Velvet apple an useful plant

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Velvet apple Quick Facts
Name: Velvet apple
Scientific Name: Diospyros blancoi
Origin Low and medium altitude forests of the Philippine Islands from the island of Luzon to the southernmost of the Sulu Islands, and is also found in southern Taiwan (Guishan Dao, Hengchun peninsula, Lanyu) and Celebes in Indonesia.
Colors Velvety, orange or brownreddish
Shapes Globose or oblate berry
Taste Sweet, astringent, mild
Velvet apple is endemic to the low and medium altitude forests of the Philippine Islands from the islands of Luzon to the southernmost of the Sulu Islands and also found in southern Taiwan and Celebes in Indonesia. The tree was introduced into Malaysia, Java, India and subsequently elsewhere in the tropics. It thrives in areas with tropical, monsoonal climate. It is a slow growing and evergreen tree with drooping branches to an erect, straight tree normally which grows normally upto 18 meters tall with exceptional specimens’ upto 33 meters with a stout, black and furrowed bole which can be 80 cm in diameter.

It 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.

Facts About Velvet Apple

Name Velvet apple
Scientific Name Diospyros blancoi
Native Low and medium altitude forests of the Philippine Islands from the island of Luzon to the southernmost of the Sulu Islands, and is also found in southern Taiwan (Guishan Dao, Hengchun peninsula, Lanyu) and Celebes in Indonesia.
Common/English Name Butter Fruit, Mabolo, Camogan Ebony, Mabola Persimmon, Velvet Apple, Mabola-Tree, Velvet Persimmon
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: Hồng Nhung
Plant Growth Habit Dioecious, much-branched, evergreen tree
Growing Climate Tropical, monsoonal
Plant Size 7–32 m high
Stem 50 in (80 cm) thick
Leaf Alternate, oblong, 8–30 cm by 2.5–12 cm
Fruit shape & size Globose or oblate berry, 5–12 cm by 8–10 cm
Fruit color Velvety, orange or brownreddish
Pulp Whitish, firm
Fruit skin Thin, yellow, pink, orange, brownish or purple-red
Fruit Taste Sweet, astringent, mild
Seed 4 × 2.5 × 1.5 cm, wedge-shaped, dark brown


Fruits are bright red, 8-10 centimeters in diameter and have a velvet skin. The skin resembles the smell of cheese, but the fruit has not much odor and has pleasantly sweet taste. The pulp is whitish cream which covers several rather big seeds.


Velvet apple is native to the low and average height wooded area of the Philippine Islands from the island of Luzon to the southernmost of the Sulu Islands. Usually it is cultivated for its fruit and as a shadow tree for roadsides. The tree was naturalized into Java and Malaya.

Health Benefits of Velvet apple

1. Hypertension and Heart Health

Velvet apple has potassium which acts as a vasodilator. It relaxes the blood vessels, lowers stress on heart and also blood pressure. The presence of fiber content helps to lower cholesterol. 

2. Circulation

The presence of meaningful amount of iron stimulates red blood cells amount in the body. It promotes oxygenation of vital tissues and muscles, increases rapidity of therapeutic process of cells, stimulates development of hair and increases metabolic efficiency.

3. Respiratory Conditions

The fruits are used to provide relief from coughs, asthma and chest blockage. It is due to the presence of large amount of vitamins and minerals that have impact on improving the immune system.

4. Strengthen immunity

The fruits contains ample amounts of Vitamin C which helps to stimulate immune system of the body as it acts as antioxidants, eradicates free radicals that causes mutation of healthy cells. These vitamins prevent the chances of premature aging, long lasting diseases and boost cellular development.

5. Digestive Health Improvement

Dietary fiber in Velvet apple eases opening of food to digestive tract that lowers constipation and other gastrointestinal problems. In Philippines, it is used for treating dysentery and diarrhea in humans.

6. Reducing Skin Irritation

Apply the pulp topically to lower inflammation and skin irritation. Apply the pulp and juice on snakebites and other toxic invasions in the body, lower the effects of problems and counteract toxins.

7. Circulation

Velvet apples have high content of iron that promotes red blood cells in the body, increases tissue oxygenation and major group of muscles, accelerates healing of cells, stimulates hair growth and promotes metabolic efficiency.

8. Respiratory ailments

Velvet apples are used to provide relief from chest congestion, cough and asthma. The high content of vitamins and minerals helps to improve immune system.

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.

Culinary uses

  • Ripe fruits are consumed fresh.
  • Add the ripe fruit in salads, stews or fried like vegetable.
  • Fry the flesh in butter and serve it with ham, sausage or spicy meat.
  • It could be used as a dessert or made into drinks.

Side effects

  • 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.






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