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Family Ebenaceae
Diospyros montana Roxb.

Scientific names Common names
Diospyros auriculata Wight ex Hiern. Antinagam (Ilk.)
Diospyros bracteata Roxb. Kamagong bundok (Tag.)
Diospyros calcarea J.R.Fletcher Kamagong liitan (Tag.)
Diospyros calycina Bedd. Bombay ebony (Engl.)
Diospyros cordifolia Roxb. Mountain persimmon (Engl.)
Diospyros dioica Span. Mottled ebony (Engl.)
Diospyros glauca Rottler  
Diospyros doindu Dalzell  
Diospyros heterophylla Wall. ex G.Don  
Diospyros humilis Bourd.  
Diospyros kanjilalii Duthie  
Diospyros microcarpa Span.  
Diospyros montana Roxb.  
Diospyros orixensis J.G.Klein ex Willd.  
Diospyros pubicalyx Bakh.  
Diospyros punctata Decne.  
Diospyros waldemarii Klotzsch  
Diospyros montana Rosb. is an accepted species. Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
MALAYALAM: Manjakara, Nanchimaram, Bali, Malayakathitholi.
TAMIL: Karunthuvalisu, Vakanai, Vakkanatthi.
OTHER INDIAN NAMES: Patwan, Bistendu, Jagalkanti, Manjakara, Bankini, Vakkanai, Malayakathitholi.
THAI: Tarn dum, Tarn sarn.
VIETNAMESE: Thi da den.

Gen info
- The genus Diospyros consists of over 700 species of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs. The majority are native to the tropics, with a few species extending into temperate regions.
- Individual species are valued for their hard, heavy, dark wood, commonly referred to as ebony trees; others are valued for their fruit
and known as persimmon trees.
- The genus name Diospyros derives from Greek words dios and pyros—literally meaning "Zeus wheat" or generally as "divine fruit" or "divine food."

Diospyros montana is a small deciduous tree growing up to a height of 15 meters. Bole and older branches are armed with long, hard, stiff, divaricate spines from the stumps of branches..
Bark is smooth, gray or yellowish gray. Branchlets are slender, glabrous. Leaves are simple, alternate, elliptic, lance-shaped, somewhat heart-shaped at the base, and sharp or blunt at the tip; smooth above and velvety underneath. Petioles are 5-10 mm, slender, grooved above, glabrous, Male and female flowers grow on separate trees. Male flowers are are borne in 3-flowered clusters while female flowers occur singly. Flowers are creamy white or greenish-white, tubular with 4 petals which are curved back. Sepals are ovate, velvety. Stamens of the male flower are longer than the flower tube. Fruit is a berry, 1.5-2 cm across, ovoid to obconical, yellow to orange when ripe, with 3-5 rough and black seeds.

• Dioecious trees, to 10 m high; bark greyish-brown; blaze sulphur yellow; branchlets tomentose; strong often branched thorns scattered over the trunk and larger branches. Leaves simple, alternate, estipulate; petiole 3-7 mm, slender, tomentose; lamina 2.5-8 x 1.5-4 cm, oblong, oblong-lanceolate or elliptic-oblong, base cordate, round, obtuse or subtruncate, apex obtuse or acute, margin entire, softly pubescent on both sides, chartaceous; lateral nerves 4-9 pairs, pinnate, slender, faint, intercostae reticulate, obscure. Flowers unisexual, white; male flowers: 3-flowered axillary racemes; calyx hairy outside; tube 2 mm, lobes 4, 3 mm long, elliptic, obtuse or subacute, pubescent inside, margin ciliate; corolla urceolate, 6 mm, white, slightly pubescent outside; lobes 4, twisted, ovate, acute; stamens 16, 5-7 mm long, in pairs of unequal size which united at base; anthers linear-oblong, not awned, pubescent; female flowers: solitary, pedicellate; bracteoles oblong, hairy, ciliate; calyx deeply lobed, lobes 4, oblong, obtuse; corolla urceolate white; lobes 4, obtuse; staminodes 12 in a single row, lanceolate; filaments long; ovary superior, globose, glabrous; style 4, erect, bifid. Fruit a berry ca. 2 cm across, yellow, fruiting calyx enlarged to 1.5 cm, ovate, cordate, deflexed. (India Biodiversity Portal)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Distributed all along the Western Ghats of India, Sri Lanka, Indo-China through to Australia.

- Phytochemical screening of leaves yielded alkaloids, steroids, saponins, flavonoids, and tannins. (6)
- Study of leaves for secondary metabolites isolated a significant amount of the pentacyclic triterpenes: oleanolic acid and ß-amyrin. (7)
- Study of heartwood and bark yielded diospyrin-3'-methoxydiospyrin, diospyrin-2-(epoxy-3-methyl-butanoate), diospyrin-2'-(2-hydroxypropanoate), sioapyrin-3'-(2-hydroxypropanoate), and tetrahydrodiopyrin. (8)
- Study of leaves isolated five flavonol glycosides (1-5), two naphthalene dimer glycosides (7 and 8), including three new compounds (1, 2, and 8). (see study below) (12)
- Phytochemical screening of roots yielded carbohyydrates, protein and amino acids, fixed oils and fats, saponins, sterols, alkaloids, phenols, tannins, flavonoids, anthocyanins and anthraquinones in different solvent extracts. (20)
- GC-MS analysis of roots yielded about 100 bioactive compounds. Major constituents are 0-octadecenamide (7.88%), (Z)-ß-sitosterol (5.57%), 9-octadecenoic acid (Z)-2-hydroxy-1-(hydroxymethyl) ethyl ester (5.42%), dibutyl phthalate (4.81%), ar-tumerone (3.52%), cyclopentasiloxane decamethyl (3.28%), 6-octade cenoic acid methyl ester (Z) (3.08%), stigmasterol (2.80%), heptadecane, 9-hexyl (2.27%), and cyclohexasiloxane dodecamethyl (2.25%). (20)

Studies have suggested antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, anticancer, antiproliferative, anti-filarial, mosquitocidal, anxiolytic properties.

Parts used
Bark, leaves, stem-bark, fruits.


Caution: Fruits are reportedly poisonous.
- No reported folkloric medicinal use i the Philippines
- In central India, bark used for jaundice, vomiting, and dysentery. (14)
- In Tamil Nadu, India, leaves used for diabetes; extract of fresh stem bark used for stomachaches. (17)
- In Jharkhad, India, stem bark used for vomiting; root and stem bark used for fever. (18)
- Fruits applied externally to treat boils. (19)
- Fish poison: Crushed leaves and fruits are used to stupefy fish.

- Wood: Wood is durable; moderately hard. There is a wide variation in amount of sapwood and heartwood. When produced, the heartwood can be black with rosy, yellowish, brownish or ashy streaks,; sometimes nearly or totally black, generally sharply demarcated from a thin or wide band of whitish, yellowish, or red sapwood. Texture is fine, smooth, and dense; the grain generally straight.
- Furniture: While it rarely grows to sufficient size, It is a beautiful furniture wood. The density makes it a difficult wood to work with, but can yield a beautiful surface. Small trees containing little or no sapwood are used locally to make posts, beams, joists, rafters window sills, small implements, scabbards, and canes.

Selenium Nanoparticles / Anticancer, Antioxidant, Antimicrobial / Leaves: :
Study reports on an easy plant-mediated synthesis of selenium nanoparticles using an aqueous leaf extract of Diospyros montana. The biosynthesized SeNPs showed potential antioxidant property by DPPH and reducing power assays. The NPs exhibited significant antimicrobial activity against microorganisms such as Gram+ Staphylococcus aureus and Gram- Escherichia coli and fungus Aspergillus niger. On cytotoxicity testing, the NPs showed activity against human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) cells, inhibiting cell growth in a dose-dependent manner. (3)
Silver Nanoparticles Antioxidant / Antibacterial / Stem Bark: Study reports on the eco-friendly biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) using stem bark of D. montana. The AgNPs showed antioxidant effect by DPPH and H2O2 assays, which increased with increasing concentration. The AgNPs showed antibacterial activity against both Gram+ (B. subtilis and S. aureus) and Gram- (E. coli and K. aerogenes) strains. (4)
Diospyrin / Tumor Inhibitory / Stem Bark: Study isolated diospyrin, a tumor inhibitory agent from the stem bark of Diospyros montana, Study reports on a sensitive high-performance thin-layer chromatographic (HPTLC) method for the precise estimation of diospyrin. (5)
Free Radical Scavenging / Heartwood: Study the free radical scavenging activity of methanolic extract of D. montana heartwood using DPPH and reducing power assays. In DPPH method, IC50 was 115.31 µg/ml compared to ascorbic acid standard of 174.7 µg/ml. Significant results were observed in the reducing power method. (9)
ß-Sitosterol / Detection and Quantitation: ß-sitosterol is a plant sterol present in Diospyros, which is reported to possess anticancer and adaptogenic properties. HPTLC (High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography) was done for detection and quantification of ß-sitosterol in D. montana. Estimated values were 651.99, 467.06, 447.14, and 323.87 µg/ml for leaves, stem bark, roots, and seeds respectively. Leaves were the richest source of ß-sitosterol in D. montana. (10)
Anti-Filarial Activity / Fruit: Study evaluated the potential anti-filarial activity of petroleum and alcoholic extracts pf D. montana fruits. In vivo study was carried out on both whole worm preparation and nerve muscle preparation of Setaria cervi. The petroleum ether extract produced initial stimulation followed by reversible paralysis in whole worm. The alcoholic extract caused reversible paralysis in whole worm and irreversible paralysis in nerve muscle preparation. (11)
Phenolic Compounds / Radical Scavenging Activity / Leaves: Study of leaves isolated five flavonol glycosides (1-5), two naphthalene dimer glycosides (7 and 8). Compound 1 showed radical scavenging activity. (12)
Diospyrin / Anticancer / Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma / Bark/ : Study isolated diospyrin, a bis-naphthoquinone derivative, from a bark extract of D. montana. The compound inhibited the in vivo growth of Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma (EAC) in Swiss albino mice. (13)
Diospyrin / Tumor-Inhibitory: Diospyrin and its derivatives have shown significant tumor inhibitory activities against murine tumors in vivo. Studies were done on the effects on mice inoculated with Ehrlich ascites carcinoma after treatment with diospyrin and four synthetic derivatives, measuring hematological status, serum protein and creatinine levels, activities of serum glycolytic enzymes and histopathology. Results showed no noticeable adverse effects on vital parameters suggesting potential for use of diospyrin and derivatives as therapeutic agents. (15)
Antiproliferative Diospyrin Derivatives: Epoxide: Derivatisation of diospyrin, a bisnaphthquinonoid isolated from Diospyros montana, led to the modification of its inhibitory activity in vitro towards a murine tumor model, Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) and to human cancer cell lines viz., malignant skin melanoma (A375) and epidermoid laryngeal carcinoma (Hep2). Among the novel derivatives,an epoxide exhibited the maximum antiproliferative activity (IC50 range of 0.03-0.21 µM) and with comparatively lower toxicity in normal human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). The compound presents as a potential lead compound as an antiproliferative agent against cancer. (16)
Anxiolytic / Amelioration of Anxiety Via 5-HT2A Pathway / Leaves: Study evaluated the anxiolytic effect of methanolic extract of powder extracted from D. montana leaves, using open-field test (OFT), hole board test (HBT) and elevated plus maze test (EPM) in doses of 50, 100, 200 mg/kg p.o. in experimental rat models. Results showed anxiolytic effects which may involve GABA and serotonin mediated mechanisms. Study suggests potential as a therapeutic agent for management of anxiety. (22)
Silver Nanoparticles / Mosquitocidal against Dengue Vector Ae. albopictus / Leaves: Study reports on the synthesis of silver nanoparticles using D. montana leaf extract and tested their efficacy as larivicide and pupicide against dengue vector Ae. albopictus mosquitoes. Quercetin, luteolin, kaempferol, gallocatechin gallate, epigallocatechin gallate, and capsaicin were among the novel reducing and capping agents found in D. montana leaves through LCMS analysis. Synthesized AgNPs showed low LC90 (<90 ppm) for all larval and pupae of Ae. albopictus and negligible mal effect on non-target organisms. Results suggest the leaf extract is an environment-friendly and sustainable sources of effective reducing and capping agents to synthesize high stable and ecologically acceptable AgNPs and their application as mosquitocide. (23)
Selenium Nanoparticles / Antioxidant / Antibacterial / Anticancer / Bark: Study reports on the green synthesis of selenium nanoparticles (SeNPs) using D. montana bark extract. On DPPH free radical scavenging assay and reducing power capacity, the SeNPs showed good antioxidant capacity. The NPs showed antibacterial potential with inhibition zones of 48 mm for E. coli, 44.14mm B. subtilis, 36.20mm Klebsiella pneumonia, 34.16mm S. aureus. On antiproliferative testing, the SeNPs showed moderate cytotoxicity to breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) with IC50 of 38.19 µg/ml (Doxorubicin 6.41 µg/mL). suggesting to dose-dependently inhibit cell proliferation. (24)
Silver Oxide Nanoparticles / Photocatalytic / Antibacterial / Anticancer / Bark: Study reports on the fabrication of silver oxide NPs (Ag2NPs) using methanol bark extract of D. montana. The NPs showed significant anticancer effect against hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HepG2), which is mediated through increased DNA damage, authophagy and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential. Photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue was observed. The NPs showed significant zone of inhibition against E. coli (16.33 mm), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (18.56 mm), Bacillus subtilis (22.26 mm), Staphylococcus aureus (18.65 mm) at 40 µg/mL. (25)
Larvicidal / Ae. albopictus / Leaves: Study evaluated the larvicidal activity of crude extract of D. montana leaves against Ae. albopictus. More than 80% larval mortality was observed after 72 hours of exposure in all instars. After 72 hours exposure, the LC50 caused moderate mortality of 12% and 8%  against Chironomus circumdatus and Toxorhychites splendens. The crude extract yielded secondary metabolites, including terpenoids, saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, and coumarins. (26)


Updated April 2024
September 2021

IMAGE SOURCE: Diospyros montana / Vinayaraj / CC by SA 4.0 / Click on image or link to go to source page / WIKIMEDIA
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Illustration / Diospyros montana /Kirtikar, K.R., Basu, B.D., Indian medicinal plants, Plates (1918) / PlantIllustrations.org
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Diospyros montana / ? Photographer / Image posted at eFloraofIndia / Non-commercial use / Click on image or link to go to source page / eFloraOfIndia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Diospyros montana / Plants of the World Online
Diospyros montana / Wikiipedia
Diospyros montana leaf extract-mediated synthesis of selenium nanoparticles and their biological applications / Karrupannan Kokila, Nagaraj Elavarasan, Venugopal Sujatha / New Journal of Chemistry, 2017; Issue 14
Biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles using stem bark extracts of Diospyros montana and their antioxidant and antibacterial activities / Devaraj Barathi, M Diviya Josebin, V Bhuvaneshwari/ Journal of Nanostructure in Chemistry, 2018; 8: pp 83-92 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40097-018-0256-7
Sensitive high-performance thin-layer chromatographic method for the estimation of diospyrin, a tumour inhibitory agent from the stem bark of Diospyros montana Roxb. / M N Ravishankara, M Rajani et al / Journal of Chromatography B: Biomedical Sciences and Applications, 21 July 2000, 744(2): pp 257-262 /
DOI: https://doi,org/10.1016/S0378-4347(00)00277-2
Microscopical evalation, phytochemical screening, and hihg-performance thin-layer chromatography fingerprinting of leaves of Diospyros montana (Roxb.) /Abhijeet V Puri / IJGP: International Journal of Green Pharmacy, 2018; 12(3) / pISSN: 0973-8258 / eISSN: 1998-4103
Isolation and characterization of triterpenes from Diospyros montana (Roxb.) leaves / Abhijeet Visnu Puri / Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, 2020' 9(3): pp 113-118 /
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22271/phyto.2020.v9.i3b.11245
Diospyros montana Roxb: A source of 1,4-naphthoquinone dimers counting diospyrin esters / Venu Sharma / IOSR: Journal of Applied Chemistry, Jan 2017; 10(1) Ver1: pp 25-26 / eISSN: 2278-5736
Free radical scavenging activity of heartwood of Diospyros montana Roxburg / A V Pathak, P R Itankar / A K Singhai / Journal of Pharmacy Research, 2009; 2(3): pp 483-486
Detection and quantification of ß-autosterol in Diospyros montana Roxb. by HPTLC / Shravan Kumar, Hafsa Ahmad, Sakshi Sehgal, Rajiv Gupta, Saraf S A / International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences, 2011; 2(4): pp 519-527 / ISSN: 0975-6299 / Record No 20123047700
Screening of Fruit of Diospyros montana for Anti-Filarial Activity / Rakesh Kumar, Mehtab Parveen, Anil Kumar, Waseem Rizvi / Journal of Natural Remedies, Jan 2009; 9(1) / DOI: 10.18311/jnr/2009/22
Phenolic Constituents of Leaves of Diospyros montana / Toshiyuki Tanaka, Miyuki Furusawa, Tetsuro Ito et al / Natural Product Communication / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1934578X0700200111
Biological Activity of Diospyrin towards Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma in Swiss A Mice / Banasri Hazra, Pratima Sur, Durlav K Roy, Bimanesh Sur, Amalendu Banerjee / Planta Med, 1984; 50(4): pp 295-297 /
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-969713
Ethno Medicinal Plants Use by Two Sympatric Tribes of Central India / Mithlesh Kumar Maravi. Bhairo Prasad Ahirvar, and Shivaji Chaudhry / International Jornal of Advanced Herbal Science and Technology, 2017; 3(1): pp 37-48 / Art ID Med-357
Pharmacological Studies on the Effect of the Treatment of Swiss A Mice with Diospyrin, a Tumour-Inhibitory Plant Product and Its Synthetic Derivatives / Sampa Pal, Amalendu Banerjee, Banasri Hazra, Ratnamala Ray, Dilip K Bhattacharya / Phytotherapy Research, 10(5): pp 393-397 /
Synthesis and antiproliferative activity of some novel derivatives of diospyrin, a plant-derived naphthoquinonoid / Madhushree Das Sarma, Rina Ghosh, Amarendra Patra, Banasri Hazra / Biorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, Juune 2oo7; 15(11): pp 3672-3677 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bmc.2007.03.0350
Phytosocialogical and ethnomedicinal studies of sacred groves in konjikuppam village, cuddalore district, Tamil Nadu / J Nithyadevi, R Sivakumar / International Letters of Natural Sciences, 2015; Vol 32: pp 77-91 / ISSN: 2300-9675 / DOI: 10.18052/www.scipress.com/ILNS.32.77
Ethno-medicinal plants of Jhardhand, India / Harish Singh / Herbal Cures: Traditional Approach, 2008; pp 248-263
Diospyros montana / Ken Fern: Tropical Plants Database / Useful Tropical Plants
Phytochemical Screening and GC-MS Analysis of Diospyros montana (Roxb.) Root / S K Bodele, N H Shahare / International Journal of Research in Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics, 7(2): pp 100-107  / DOI: 10.61096/ijrpp.v7.iss2.2018.100-107
Diospyros / Wikipedia
Methanolic fraction from Tamala (Diospyros montana Roxb.) ameliorates anxiety like behaviour via 5-HT2A pathway in rats / Ankur Kumar Tanwar, Ram Sharma, Sukesh Kumar Gupta / Phytomedicine Plus, 2022; 2(1): 100150
Diospyros montana mediated reduction, stabilization, and characterization of silver nanoparticles and evaluation of their mosquitocidal potentiality against dengue vector Aedes albopictus / Rajesh Kumar Malla, Goutam Chandra / Scientific Reports, 2023; 13: Article No 17202 /
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-44442-7
Biogenic Synthesis of Selenium Nanoparticles using Diospyros montana Bark Extract: Characterization, Antioxidant, Antibacterial, and Antiproliferative Activity / Abhijeet Puri, Swati Patil / Biosciences Biotechnology Research Asia, 2022; 19(2) / DOI: 10.13005/bbra/2997
Biomimetic formation of silver oxide nanoparticles through Diospyros montana bark extract: Its application in dye degradation, antibacterial and anticancer effect in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells / Venugopal Sujatha, Gunaseelan Kaviyasri, Alagesan Venkatesan et al / Journal of King Saud University-Science, 2023; 35(3): 102563 / DOI: 10.1016/j.jksus.2023.102563
Evaluation of larvicidal efficacy of Diospyros montana leaf extract on Aedes albopictus / Rajesh Kumar Malla, Priyanka Mandal, Goutam Chandra /  International Journal of Mosquito Research, 2023; 10(2): pp 15-22 / DOI: 10.22271/23487941.2023.v10.i2a.666

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants

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