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The Texas Ebony


Zigia flexicaulis, Sudw.

The Texas ebony is a beautiful, acacia-like tree of south ern Texas and Mexico. One of the commonest and most beautiful trees on the bluffs along the coast, south of the Rio Grande. Its leaves are feathery, fern-like, its flowers in creamy clusters, its pods thick, almost as large as those of the honey locust. The seeds are palatable and nutri tious, green or ripe. Immature, the pods are cooked like string beans; ripe, they are roasted, and the pods them selves are ground and used as a substitute for coffee.

The wood is valuable in fine cabinet work, and because it is almost indestructible in contact with the ground, it is largely used for fence posts. It makes superior fuel. Besides being more valuable than any other tree of the Rio Grande Valley, though it rarely exceeds thirty feet in height, it is worthy of the attention of gardeners as well as foresters in all warm temperate countries. Prof. Sargent calls it the finest ornamental tree native to Texas.