Family • Ebenaceae - Diospyros blancoi A. DC. - VELVET APPLE - Mao shi

Scientific names

Cavanillea philippinensis Desr.
Diospyros blancoi A. DC.
Diospyros discolor Wild.
Diospyros durionoides Bakh.
Diospyros malacapal A.DC.
Diospyros merrilii Elmer
Diospyros utilis Hemsl.
Embryopteris discolor G.Don.
Mabola edulis Raf.

Common names

Kamagong (Tag.)
Mabolo (Tag.)
Velvet apple (Engl.)
Velvet persimmon (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Mao shi, Tai wan shi, Yi se shi
FRENCH: Pommier velours.
MALAY: Buah lemah, Buan mentega, Buah sagalat, Kamagong, Kayu mentega.
PORTUGUESE: Pecego-de-India.
SPANISH: Camagon.

Mabolo is a medium-sized tree growing to a height of 20 meters. Leaves are leathery, oblong, up to 20 centimeters long, with a round base and acute tip. The blade is glossy green, smooth above and softly hairy below. Female flowers are axillary and solitary, larger than the male. Fruits are fleshy, globose, up to 8-10 centimeters in diameter, densely covered with short brown hairs. The pulp is edible. The fruit hairs have to be rubbed off before eating as it can cause peri-oral itching and irritation.


In forests, at low and medium altitudes.
A shade tree, it is planted along roads and parks.

• Ethyl acetate extract of air-dried leaves yielded isoarborinol methyl ether, a mixture of a-amyrin palmitate, α-amyrin palmitoleate, ß-amyrin palmitate and ß-amyrin palmitoleate and squalene.
• Yields triterpenes.
• Leaf extract yielded alkaloids, reducing sugar, gum, flavonoids, and tannins.
• Fruit is high in tannin .
• Analysis for phenolic compounds yielded predominant amounts of rosmarinic acid followed by luteolin and hispidulin.
• Study of methanol extract of twigs yielded four new lanostane-type triterpenes, 24-ethyl-3beta-methoxylanost-9-en-25-ol, 3beta-methoxy-24-methylenelanost-9-en-25-ol, 3beta-methoxy-25-methyl-24-methylenelanost-9-en-21-ol and 3beta-methoxy-24-methyllanosta-9,25-dien-24-ol together with three known triterpenes, betulinaldehyde, betulinic acid methyl ester, and ursaldehyde.
• Nutritional analysis per 100 g of edible fruit yields 113 kcal, 26.6 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g fiber, 0.1 g fat, 58 mg calcium, 2.8 g protein, 18 mg phosphorus, 0.6 mg iron, 35 IU vitamin A, 0.02 mg thiamine, 0.03 mg riboflavin, 0.03 mg niacin, and 18 mg vitamin C.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Antioxidant and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1)-induced effects of selected Taiwanese plants / Mei-Hsien Lee, Cheun-Bin Jiang, Shu-Hui Juan, Rong-Dih Lin, Wen-Chi Hou / Fitoterapia, 2006, 77(2), 109-115 / DOI 10.1016/j.fitote.2005.11.012

(2) Bioactive triterpenes from Diospyros blancoi / C Ragasa et al / Natural Product Research, Volume 23, Issue 13 September 2009 , pages 1252 – 1258 / DOI: 10.1080/14786410902951054

(3) Volatile Components of Mabolo (Diospyros blancoi A. DC.) Grown in Cuba / George Pino et al / JEOR – Journal of Essential Oil Research

(4) Diospyros blancoi attenuates asthmatic effects in a mouse model of airway inflammation. / Lee KY, Jung JY, Lee MY, Jung D, Cho ES, Son HY. / Inflammation. 2012 Apr;35(2):623-32.

(5) Evaluation of Antidiarrhoeal Potential of the Ethanolic Extract of Three Bangladeshi Medicinal Plants / Hemayet Hossain, Shubhra Kanti Dey, Arpona Hira, Md. Sariful Islam Howlader, Arif Ahmed, Saima Sultana /Int.J.Pharm.Phytopharmacol.Res. 2012, 1(6): 371-374

(6) SOME PHENOLIC COMPOUNDS OF SALVIA PLEBEIA R. BR. / Rupali Shirsat, Subhash Suradkar and Deepak Koche / Bioscience Discovery, 3(1):61-63, Jan. 2012

(7) Evaluation of Antidiarrhoeal Potential of the Ethanolic Extract of Three Bangladeshi Medicinal Plants /  Hemayet Hossain*, Shubhra Kanti Dey, Arpona Hira, Md. Sariful Islam Howlader, Arif Ahmed, Saima Sultana / International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Phytopharmacological Research, 2012, 1(6): 371-374

(8) Diospyros discolor Willd. / Synonyms / The Plant List

(9) Enhancing the Use of Value-Added Products from Underutilized Fruit of the Endangered Mabolo (Diospyros blancoi) Tree / REGUCIVILLA A. POBAR* / IJERD – International Journal of Environmental and Rural Development (2013) 4-1

(10) In vitro screening of the vasorelaxant activity of Diospyros discolor Willd. (ebenaceae) leaf extracts / RKG Cadiang, MO Osi, JG Apostol, MC Ysrael / Planta Med 2012; 78 – PL31 / DOI: 10.1055/s-0032-1325173

(11) Antimicrobial activity of the mature fruit of Diospyros discolor willd. (Mabolo) / Mary Grace M. Manila and Madeleine Clare V. Tajanlangit / Thesis/Dissertations / March 2011

(12) In Vitro Antioxidant Activity Of Different Parts Of The Plant Diospyros Discolor / Shapna Sultana and Md. Saiful Islam, Israt Jahan Bulbul, Kaiser Hamid, Sreedam Chandra Das / Research Journal of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, 2010

(13) Lanostane-type triterpenoids from Diospyros discolor. / Chiy-Rong Chen, Chao-Wen Cheng, Min-Hsiung Pan, Yun-Wen Liao, Chih-Ying Tzeng, Chi-I Chang / Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 2007 Jun;55(6):908-11

(14) Mabolo / Nutritional analysis / The Earth of India

(15) Diospyros discolor / Medicinal Plants of the Guianas (Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana /

• It has an unpleasant, foul cheesy odor which can be dissipated by skin removal and processing.
• Considered astringent, antidiarrheal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial.

Parts utilized
Roots and leaves.

Edibility / Nutrition
– Fruit is edible, the tannin content declining as it ripens.
– A good source of vitamins A, C, and minerals.
– Studies show the fruit has good nutritive value and suggest use for making cakes and tarts.

– Bark and leaves used for itchy skin ailments.
– Decoction of bark for coughs.
– Bark used for fevers, dysentery and diarrhea.
– In Southeast Asia, juice of unripe fruit used for wounds.
– Oil from seeds used for diarrhea and dysentery.
– Infusion of fruit used as gargle in aphthous stomatitis.
– In Bangladesh, juice of bark and leave used for snakebites.
– Bark and leaves used as eyewash.
– In Siddha medicine, gum is used to consolidate watery semen.
– In the Guianas, used for colds, diarrhea, heart problems, hypertension, spider bites, stomach aches, diabetes, eczema. Source


Study Findings
• Antioxidant: Antioxidant and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1)-induced effects of selected Taiwanese plants: 12 selected indigenous Taiwanese plants, including Diospyros discolor, were studied for their antioxidant activity, superoxide radicals scavenging and reducing power activities. D discolor extracts, among others, showed to contain abundant phenolic constituents suggesting a potential source of natural antioxidants.
• Bioactive Triterpenes / Antibacterial / Analgesic / Anti-inflammatory / Dried Leaves: Ethyl acetate extract of air-dried leaves yielded isoarborinol methyl ether, a mixture of α-amyrin palmitate, α-amyrin palmitoleate, ß-amyrin palmitate and ß-amyrin palmitoleate and squalene. Compounds 1 and 2 showed antibacterial activity against E coli, P aeruginosa, C albicans, Staph aureus and T mentagrophytes. Sample 2 showed analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities.
• Chemical Composition / Volatile Components: Study yielded 96 compounds of which the fruit characterized by the existence of many esters – benzyl butyrate (33.9%), butyl butyrate (12.5% and (E)-cinnamyl butyrate (6.8%).
• Constituents / Antioxidant / Antimicrobial: Leaf extract yielded tannins and alkaloids. It showed statistically significant free radical scavenging activity. It showed antidiarrheal property with an increase in latent period of diarrheal induction. Extract also showed significant antimicrobial activity and significant lethality in brine shrimp assay.
• Anti-Asthma: Methanolic extract showed anti-inflammatory activity in an airway inflammation mouse model. Histological exam of lung tissue showed marked attenuation of allergen-induced eosinophilic inflammation and mucus-producing goblet cells in the airway.
• Biofuel Potential: Mabolo, a much neglected fruit in the Philippines, was studied as a possible inexpensive source of biofuel. An ethanolic extract proved to be as effective as alcohol fuel. On emission testing, it emitted the least amount of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, compared with commercial regular and unleaded gasoline.
• Antidiarrheal: Evaluation of antidiarrheal potential was done on ethanolic extracts of three Bangladesh medicinal plants. Results on ethanolic extracts of leaves of D. blancoi and bark of Acacia nilotica suggest antidiarrheal activities. Results were comparable to standard antidiarrheal drug loperamide.
• Antidiarrheal / Antioxidant: Study showed antidiarrheal activity in a castor-oil induced mice model, with significant reductions in faecal output. Extract also showed dose-dependent antioxidant activity in a DPPH-scavenging assay. In a study designed to evaluate the antidiarrheal activity of ethanolic extracts of three Bangladesh medicinal plants, Diospyros blancoi leaves significantly inhibited the mean number of defecation, increased the latent period and significantly decreased the number of stools.
• Antitumor Activity / Apoptosis Induction: Study investigated various extracts of aerial parts of Salvia plebeia for antitumor activity and apoptosis induction. The dichloromethane extract may inhibit cancer cell proliferation by inducing cell apoptosis.
• Vasorelaxant / Leaves: Study evaluated various extracts for vasorelaxant activity and total phenolic content. Analysis showed all the extracts and fractions contain polyphenols expressed as gallic acid equivalent. The ethyl acetate fraction of leaf extract exhibited 52% relaxation of isolated rat aortic rings, while the methanol extract produced almost 100% relaxation at the same concentration. Results suggest the extract possess endothelium-dependent and NO-mediated vasorelaxant effects.
• Antimicrobial / Fruit Juice: Study evaluated the antimicrobial effect of D. discolor juice on bacteria and fungi (P. aeruginosa, S. aureus, and C. albicans). Results showed the juice contains alkaloids, terpenes, reducing sugars and tannins. The mabolo juice showed concentration dependent antimicrobial activity attributed to the alkaloids and tannins.
• Comparative Antioxidants Activity of Different Plant Parts: Study evaluated the antioxidant activity of methanol extracts from different parts of the plant including leaf, fruit and bark. The bark showed the highest antioxidant activity, followed by the fruit and leaf.

Cultivated and wild-crafted.