Fruits & Vegetables

Velvet apple

Botanical Name:Diospyros discolor
Family: Ebenaceae
Order: Ericales
Genus: Diospyros
Species: D. discolor

*Cavanillea mabolo Poir.
*Cavanillea philippensis Desr.
*Diospyros blancoi A.DC.
*Diospyros durionoides Bakh.
*Diospyros mabolo (Poir.) Roxb. ex Lindl.
*Diospyros mabolo Roxb. ex J.V.Thomps.
*Diospyros malacapai A.DC.
*Diospyros merrillii Elmer
*Diospyros philippensis (Desr.) Gürke
*Diospyros utilis Hemsl.

Common Names: Velvet apple, Velvet persimmon or Mabolo tree.
Name in Other Languages:
Bangladesh: Gab;
Chinese: Yi Se Shi;
French: Pommier Velours,
India: Belanti Gab, Hong Nhung (Hindu);
Indonesia: Bisbul, Buah Mentega;
Japanese: Ke Gaki;
Malaysia: Buah Mentega, Buah Lemah, Buah Sagalat, Buah Sakhlat, Sagalat;
Philippines: Camagon, Kamagong, Mabolo, Mabulo ( Tagalog);
Portuguese: Pécego-De-India;
Spanish: Camagón;
Taiwan: Mao Shi, Tai Wan Shi;
Thailand: Ma-Rit;
Vietnamese: H?ng Nhung

Habitat: Velvet apple is native to the Philippines, where kamagong usually refers to the entire tree, and mabolo or tálang is applied to the fruit.It grows in the South and South-East Asia: Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh

Velvet apple is a dioecious, evergreen and much branched tree which grows 7 to 32 meters high with green branchlets when young that becomes gray and glabrous. Leaves are alternate, entire, oblong, about 8–30 cm by 2.5–12 cm and coriaceous with obtuse base and acuminate apex. Its upper surface is dark green, glabrous and glossy and its lower surface is silvery hairy and petiole upto 1.7 cm and densely pubescent. When young, leaves are pinkish to pale green and silky hairy. Male flowers form in 3 to 7 flowered axillary cymes or racemes on short pedicel. Calyx is deeply 4 lobed and tubular about 1 cm long. Corolla is creamy white with 4 reflexed lobes. Fruit is a oblate or globose berry, 5–12 cm by 8–10 cm, velvety, orange or brown- reddish. Pulp is whitish, firm, sweet, astringent which comprises of dark brown seeds about 4 × 2.5 × 1.5 cm. Seeds are covered with whitish membrane which is transparent when fresh and opaque when dried.


Seed of trees are normally planted 30 or 45 feet from each other; this one can be planted from 25 to 30 feet from each other. It needs a good distribution of rainfall through the year. Trees that were planted by seeds could take 6 or 7 years to give out fruit, but trees that were propagated by cuttings produce fruit in 3 or 4 years. It is a very productive tree. In Puerto Rico it produces through the months of August and October. In Cebu, Philippines there is a barangay named after the fruit itself. In Bangladesh it is known as ‘bilati gab’ (=foreign gab), to distinguish it from ‘gab’ (Diospyros peregrina). The fact that fruits vary greatly – in shape, color, hairiness and taste – suggests that there is a great deal of genetic variation in the plant. Seedless cultivars exist, and are highly favored since in the normal varieties the large seeds occupy a considerable volume of the fruit.

Edible Uses:
The fruits are eaten fresh after removing the skin, or can be used to make juice.
Velvet apple fruits can be eaten fresh with some lime or lemon juice. Cut the fruit in half, remove the seeds, and scoop with a spoon.
Velvet apple fruits can be combined with other fruits in fruit salads.

Nutritional Value of Velvet Apples:
Despite the unpleasant smell, people still turn to velvet apples because of its high nutrient content that can be very beneficial for a variety of health issues. Velvet apples are rich sources of various vitamins, minerals, and essential organic compounds, including dietary fiber, protein, potassium, iron, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves of velvet apple trees have been shown to contain isoarborinol methyl ether (also called cylindrin) and fatty esters of ?- and ?-amyrin. Both isoarborinol methyl ether and the amyrin mixture demonstrated antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, Staphylococcus aureus and Trichophyton mentagrophytes. Anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties have also been shown for the isolated amyrin mixture.

Traditional uses:

*Use the leaves and bark to treat itchy skin.
*Bark is also used for treating fevers, coughs, diarrhea and dysentery.
*Fruits are used for wounds and to gargle in the condition of aphthous stomatitis.
*Decoction of young leaves is used for treating hypertension, diabetes and heart ailments.
*Heat the leaves and squeeze with the leaves of Mexican mint for making a preparation for treating chest colds.
*Use it as eyewash.
*Use the juice of leaves and bark for treating snakebites.
*The juice of unripe fruit is used as a wash for wounds.
*Seed oil is used for dysentery and diarrhea.
*In Guianas, it is used for treating heart problems, colds, diarrhea, spider bites, hypertension, diabetes, stomach aches and eczema

Other Uses: The wood of the tree is very hard (iron wood) and is used for making furniture and utensils.

Known Hazards:
*When used in excess, it causes allergic reactions such as itching, rash, sickness, nausea, redness and skin inflammation.
*If consumed in an empty stomach, it causes nausea, abdominal pain and heartburn.
*Pregnant women should consult the doctor to prevent the chances of miscarriage.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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