The species is reported to be uncommon and rare. The colour of the heartwood is usually black; in others it is black with streaks of reddish-brown. Grain is close, straight to irregular or wavy. Wood surface is reported to have a fine and even texture with metallic lustre.

The species is reported to occur in Indo-China, India and Sri Lanka. In India it is reported to be found in the hills of the Deccan and Carnatic, extending north to the Cuddapah and Kurnool district.

Ebony is used solely for its ornamental value and commands a high price; making it the choice for veneers, inlays in high-class furniture and cabinet work, and as solid timber for brush backs, fancy goods and small turned articles. It is also traditionally used in the manufacturing of musical instruments, notably for piano keys and the finger-boards of violins and cellos.

The wood is reported to be valued for its very high resistance to decay and other wood destroying organisms.