Family • Ebenaceae - Diospyros ebenaster Retz. - EBONY PERSIMMON

Scientific names

Diospyros ebenaster Retz.
Diospyros ebenum J. Konig ex Retz.
Diospyros digyna Retz.
Diospyros sapota Roxb.
Diospyros nigra Perr.
Diospyros nigra Blanco
Sapote negro Sonn.
Sapota nigra Blanco

Common names

Sapote (Tag.)
Black persimmon (Engl.)
Black sapote (Engl.)
Chocolate pudding fruit (Engl.)
Chocolate sapote (Engl.)
Ebony persimmon(Engl.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: He shi (Taiwan).
FRENCH: Barbacoa, Barbaquois, Caca poule (Antilles), Ébènier des Antilles, Sapote noire, Sapotier.
GERMAN: Ebenholzbaum, Schwarze Sapote.
JAPANESE: Diosupirosu nigura.
PORTUGUESE: Ébano das Antilhas.
SPANISH: Ébeno agrio, Guayabota, Matasano de mico, Sapote negro, Zapote, Zapote de mico, Zapote negro, Zapote prieto.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Phytochemical and antioxidant characterization of the fruit of black sapote ( Diospyros digyna Jacq.) / Elhadi M. Yahia, Fabiola Gutierrez-Orozco, Claudia Arvizu-de Leon / FOOD RES INT 01/2011; 44(7):2210-2216. / DOI:10.1016/j.foodres.2010.11.025

(2) Sorting Diospyros names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 – 2020 The University of Melbourne.

(3) Antimicrobial C-glucoside from aerial parts of Diospyros nigra. / Dinda B, Bhattacharya A, De UC, et al. / Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 2006 May; 54(5) :679-81.

Sapote is a tall, smooth tree, 7 to 15 meters high. Leaves are leathery, shiny, thick, oblong to elliptic-oblong, 10 to 20 centimeters long, and borne on rather short stalks. Flowers are dioecious, occurring singly in the axils of leaves and measuring from 1 to 1.5 centimeters long. Calyx is greenish, with broad truncate lobes. Corolla is tubular, lobed and white. Fruit is large, smooth, green, rounded, 9 to 12 centimeters in diameter, more or less depressed at its apex, enveloped at its base by a persistent calyx. Flesh of the fruit is yellowish, turning nearly black at maturity. Seeds are usually four, and about 2 centimeters long.

– Occasionally planted in and about towns as an ornamental foliage and for its large edible fruit.
– Nowhere spontaneous, but found in Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, and Rizal Provinces in Luzon, and on other islands.
– Introduced from Mexico during the early colonial period.

– Yields alkaloids, cardenolids.



Sapote5Parts used
Fruit, bark, leaves.

– In the Philippines, fruit is eaten in milk, cooked in pies (with lemon to counteract its mawkishness), or made into ice-cream.

– In the Philippines, pounded bark and leaves are used as blistering plaster.
– In Yucatan, decoction of leaves used for fevers.
– Used as remedy for leprosy, ringworm and for itching.

In the West Indies, unripe fruit is pounded and thrown into the water to narcotize the fish.

Study Findings
• Antioxidant / Fruit: Study characterized the phytochemicals and antioxidants of the fruit of black sapote (Diospyro digna Jacq.) Study yielded phenolics, carotenoids and tocopherols. Total phenolic content was 347.8 mg BAE/100g fresh weight. Important phenolics were sinapic acid and myricetin. Antioxidant capacity by DPPH and FRAP assays showed antioxidant capacity comparable to other important fruits.
• Antimicrobial / C-Glucoside / Aerial Parts: Study isolated a new C-alkylglucoside, diospyrodin from the leaves and stems of D. nigra. It showed antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.