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Common Name : Gaub Tree     -       Scientific Name : Diospyros malabarica (Ebenaceae)       -       Other Name : Thimbiri (S)
Kokkare Villu
08/20/2013
Kokkare Villu
08/28/2013
Kokkare Villu
08/28/2013
Illanda Mottai
08/28/2013
Illanda Mottai
08/28/2013

This is an indigenous species, which is native to the Indian Subcontinent and South East Asia.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Least Concerned” (National Red list 2012).

This is a very slow growing tree with black trunk that can grow up to a height of about 35 meters. This is a species that is found close to water bodies and along waterways in the monsoon and intermediate forests of the intermediate zone and dry lowlands.

No insect is known to attack it due to the chemical components that are found in the tree. The green fruit extract is used to give strength to cotton thread and to make a brown dye to colour thread for traditional hand weaving. The ripe fruits are edible. Fruit juice and bark extract is taken in diarrhea, dysentery and intermittent fever.

An uncommon species of butterfly, the Red-spot Duke lays its eggs on the tender leaves of this species.

I have seen this species in most dry zone national parks always growing close to water.

In Wilpattu this is a common species found close to all the water bodies. During the months of July to September these trees are covered with a new crop of maroon colour tender shoots creating quite a spectacle around water bodies such as Kumbuk Wila pitiya, Borupan Wila, Mahapatessa, Kudapatessa and Kokkare Villu. I have observed Grey Langurs and Toque Monkeys feeding on the ripe fruits of this species