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From our bonsai section - Texas Ebony!
Ebenopsis ebano (Berl.) Barneby & Grimes
Texas ebony, Ebano
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
Synonyms: Pithecellobium flexicaule, Pithecellobium ebano
USDA Symbol: EBEB
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Texas-ebony is a 25-30 ft. shrub or tree with a rounded, dense crown. Dark green, twice-pinnate leaves are borne from spiny branches. White blooms are followed by 4-6 in. seed pods which persist through the winter. Ebenopsis ebano is a species of flowering plant in the pea family, Fabaceae, that is native to the coastal plain of southern Texas in the United States and eastern Mexico. It is commonly known as Texas Ebony or Ébano (in Spanish).
Ecoregions in which Texas Ebony can be found include Tamaulipan matorral,Tamaulipan mezquital, Veracruz dry forests, and Yucatán dry forests.It is a small, evergreen tree that reaches a height of 7.6–9.1 m (25–30 ft) and a crown width of 1.8–4.6 m (5.9–15 ft). - From Wikispecies
Wikispecies - Species Directory
APG III (down to family level)
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Eurosids I
Species: Ebenopsis ebano
I first encountered Texas Ebony as a bonsai in training tree at Sunshine Bonsai Store in Dallas, Texas. Proprietor Mr. Sunshine - yes, that's his real name, had a 12" tall tree by his counter but I was in such a hurry to pick up some pots that I gave it a good hard stare before darting out the door.
Returning a month later, I had time to browse and have a closer look at the Texas Ebony tree. This time Mr. Sunshine had just potted a 20" tall Texas Ebony which was sitting in the back room.
Love at first site!
The smooth bark and thorns reminded me of the Texas Mesquite along with similar legume leaf growth. Mr. Sunshine smiled and passionately mentioned the leaves fold up at night...
They sure do Sir - they sure do!
Taking a closer look at this little tree, I was drawn to the beautiful bark and extending zig zag branches. This species was being trained as Bonsai. We talked at length about wiring since branches are thorny and zig zag in shape. The clip and grow approach works best with minimal, if any, wiring. You clip back areas where you don't want growth and redirect the tree's energy on desired areas for growth. This I could handle versus some of the unbelievably complex and radical wiring and shaping of other tree varieties.
However, wiring and shaping aside, I loved everything about this species just as it was.