Diospyros discolor Willd.

Etymology Genus Divine fruit
Species Of two different colours
Family Ebenaceae
Synonyms Diospyros blancoi A.DC., Diospyros merrillii Elmer, Diospyros utilis Hemsl.
Common Names Butter Fruit, Velvet Apple, Mabolo
Status Exotic: Cultivated Only
Form Tree
Native Distribution Philippines


Diospyros discolor is a common cultivated tree along our streetscape and parks. It has a distinctive primary branching that extends about 45 degrees. The leaves are long, elliptic and have a heart-shaped base. The underside is greyish green.

Interesting Facts:

The fruit of the Butter Fruit is edible, and said to be mildly sweet (NParks, 2009). It was recorded in Pulau Semakau (Teo et al., 2011), likely to be cultivated by past villagers for its fruits. From my knowledge though, it has not been documented in forest patches which were once abandoned plantations in the mainland.

The young form of a Butter Fruit tree.

Leaf front and back.

Cordate leaf bases and glands (arrow).

Almost 45 degree primary branching.

Male flowers.


NParks. (2009) Trees of Our Garden City: A Guide to the Common Trees of Singapore. 2nd Edition. National Parks Board, Singapore. 382 pp.
Teo S, RKH Yeo, KY Chong, YF Chung, L Neo & HTW Tan, (2011) The flora of Pulau Semakau: a Project Semakau checklist. Nature in Singapore, 4: 263-272.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2014-06-22 / Modified: 2017-12-25