Diospyros is a genus of over 700 species of deciduous and evergreen trees, shrubs and small bushes. The majority are native to the tropics, with only a few species extending into temperate regions. Depending on their nature, individual species are commonly known as ebony or persimmon trees. Some are valued for their hard, heavy, dark timber, and some for their fruit. Some are useful as ornamentals and many are of local ecological importance.