HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Annonaceae
Sphaerocoryne affinis (Teijsm. & Binn.) Ridl.

Scientific names Common names
Dasymaschalon scandens Merr.     Rumdul (Philippines)
Melodorum aberrans (Maingay ex Hook.f. & Thomson) J.Sinclair       
Mitrella aberrans (Maingay ex Hook.f. & Thomson) Ban  
Mitrella mesnyi Ban  
Monoon submitratum Miq.  
Polyalthia aberrans Maingay ex Hook.f. & Thomson  
Polyalthia affinis Teijsm. & Binn.  
Polyalthia submitrata (Miq.) Ridl.  
Popowia aberrans (Maing. ex Hook.f. & Thom.) Pierre ex Finet & Gagn.  
Sphaerocoryne aberrans (Maingay ex Hook.f. & Thomson) Ridl.       
Sphaerocoryne affinis (Teijsm. & Binn.) Ridl.       
Unona mesnyi Pierre  
Sphaerocoryne affinis is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
CAMBODIA: Kramuon rumduol, Rumduol.

Gen info
- Sphaerocoryne affinis is a species of flowering plant in the soursop family, Annonaceae.
- In 2005, a royal decree by King Sihamoni of Cambodia proclaimed rumbuol the national flower of Cambodia. The flower was flagged as a symbol of environmental preservation by the government. (3)
- In Cambodia, several places are named for the plant: Romdoul District in Sray Vieng, and Ou Rumduol, a commune in Battambang province.  (4)    

A tree that reaches a height of 8–12 m, with a stem diameter of up to 20–30 cm. Its simple leaves are arranged alternately on stems in two ranks. Leaves are lanceolate with a pronounced acumen. Petioles are 2.5-5 mm long, the sepals 2-3.5 mm long, the inner petals 5-8 mm long, and the floral receptacle about 1 mm high and 1.2-2.1 mm in diameter. It has yellowish-white flowers that give out an attractive smell in the late afternoon and evening, a distinctive fragrance that can be smelled from a long distance. (2) (8)

• Tree or scandent shrub. Twigs drying brown, shallowly striate or latticed, glabrous but for a few pale hairs on the youngest parts. Leaves chartaceous, glaucous beneath, drying brown or grey-brown above, sometimes shiny, paler and duller beneath with midrib a contrasting red-brown, glabrous above, below with a scattering of pale adpressed hairs, sometimes almost glabrous, midrib flush above in dry leaves, prominent beneath, lateral nerves slightly raised on both surfaces, lamina elliptic, 4–14.5 × 1.5–5 cm, base acute, apex acuminate, lateral veins 14–18 pairs, tertiary venation clearly visible from both surfaces. Petioles 4–8 mm long, c. 1 mm thick. Inflorescences single-flowered, axillary. Flowers pedicel 15–16 mm long, c. 1 mm thick, widening distally, drying brown, striate, more or less glabrous, medial bract c. 1.5 × 1 mm, with sparse pale hairs, perianth sometimes 4-merous, sepals slightly connate at base, broadly ovate, c. 2 × 4 mm, drying black, sparse, short adpressed pale hairs outside, glabrous within, petals rather thick, outer petals broadly ovate, c. 7 × 6 mm, covered with short dense pale hairs, glabrous near base inside, inner petals c. 6 × 5 mm, hairy outside, more or less glabrous within, stamens many, carpels many, 1–1.5 mm long, white hairs near apex. Fruits pedicel 2–2.5 cm long, c. 1 mm thick, widening distally, calyx persistent, monocarps to 25 or more, ellipsoidal, typically drying 8–9 × 5–6 mm, 2-seeded fruits to 13 mm long, minutely beaked, drying dark red-brown, minutely pimpled, glabrous except for a few short pale hairs near the apex, stipe very slender, 8–14 mm long, c. 0.5 mm thick. Seeds 1, rarely 2, ellipsoidal, c. 8 × 6 mm, drying smooth, pale brown. (9)

- Native to the Philippines.
- In low and medium elevation forests.
- Also native to Borneo, Jawa, Malaya, Thailand. (1)

- A bioactive compound, acetylmelodorinol (AM), was isolated from the ethyl acetate fraction and evaluated its anticancer properties on HeLa. (see study below) (6)

- Fragrance: The yellowish-white flowers emit a potent and attractive smell from late afternoon, and more potently in the evening, carried for miles by night winds.
- Studies have suggested antioxidant, anti-Parkinson , anticancer, antiproliferative, apoptotic properties.

Parts used
Flowers, fruit, bark, seeds.


- Fruit is edible. emitting an alluring aroma that travels some distance.
- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In Cambodia, flowers are used to treat dizziness and blood pressure; the bark used for treatment of fever.
- Bark used for treatment of animal and venomous snake bites.

- Scent: In Cambodia, flower is used for scenting lip wax for ladies, called kramuon rumbuol. Oil from dried and ground powder of flowers used in aromatherapy.
- Wood: Stems used as firewood. Used for construction of house and boats. Also used for making bows and hunting tools. (4)
- Decorative: In Cambodia, blossoms were used to embellish women's hair and create hairstyle, and worn by young girls as necklaces.
- Cultural: Flowers are used in Buddhist blessing

Antioxidant / Potential for Parkinson's Disease:
There is a strong relationship between oxidative stress and PD. Antioxidant compounds have been considered as a novel therapy for PD. Study suggested rumdul fruit as a new potential candidate for PD treatment, and evaluated its activities on a fly model of Parkinson. Results showed rumdul fruit water extract (RFWE) has strong antioxidant capacity with DPPH IC50 of 85.62 µg/mL. At concentrations of of 3, 6, and 12 mg/mL,  RFWE could ameliorate the locomotor disabilities and dopaminergic neuron degeneration. Although 12 and 18 mg/mL doses could induce some side effects on fly development and viability, the RFWE effectively rescued PD phenotypes on the fly model. The study contributed strong evidence for further research as a novel source for PD treatment. (3)
Anticancer / Antiproliferative and Apoptotic / Fruit: The roots, bark, leaves, branches, and flowers of S. affinis have been reported to have anticancer activity. Study evaluated the anticancer potential of S. affinis fruit extracts using cervical cancer HeLa cells. The hexane fraction of fruit extract exhibited cytotoxicity against HeLa and Hek-293 (human embryonic kidney 293) with IC50s of 4.05-4.34 µg/mL and10.61-37.52 µg/mL, respectively. The extracts exhibited selective toxicity against cancer cells with selectivity index between 2.45-9.26. Cells treated with the hexane fraction showed increased level of histone H2A variant, γH2AX, a marker for DNA damage. HExpression of cyclin E, crucial for G1 and S phase transition, was reduced in cells treated with the extract. Treatment also decreased expression of PCNA mRNA, which is essential for replication. Results suggest anticancer effect by arresting the cell cycle of HeLa cells and inducing apoptosis via irreversible DNA damage. (4) (5)
Acetylmelodorinal / Antiproliferative and Apoptotic on HeLa Cells / Seeds: Study evaluated seeds and pericarp of S. affinis fruit for cytotoxicity on LeLa cells. The solvent fraction from the seed exhibited considerably higher cytotoxicity against HeLa cells than those of the pericarp. A bioactive compound, acetylmelodorinol (AM), was isolated from the ethyl acetate fraction and evaluated its anticancer properties on HeLa. Treatment with AM inhibited HeLa cell proliferation with IC50 of 2.62 µg/mL. The AM disrupted cell cycle progression by reducing expression of cyclin E, CDK1/2, and AKT/mTOR pathways, increasing intracellular ROS levels, reducing BCL-2/BCL-XL expression, causing DNA fragmentation and nuclear shrinkage, and triggering apoptosis through caspase 3 and 9 activation in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Study establishes foundation for investigation of molecular mechanisms underlying AM's properties. (6)
Effect of Ultrasonic Treatment on Antioxidant Level of Fruit Juice: Study evaluated the effects of ultrasonic power and time on the  antioxidant content and activity of rumduol juice. In ultrasound-assisted extraction, the rumduol juice showed maximum antioxidant activity of 34.3 mM Trolox equivalent/100 g dry matter, estimated by ABTS assay, which was 59.7% higher than control without ultrasonic treatment. (7)

- Wild-crafted.
- Ornamental cultivation.

May 2024

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE:   Rumdoul, Mitrella mesnyi / អ្នកប្រើប្រាស់:ទេព សុវិចិត្រ - / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Click on image or link to go to source page / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Rumdul: The national flower of Cambodia / © superfffmk / click on image or link to go to source page / superfffmk.like
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Romduol:The national flower of Cambodia / © intocambodia / non-commercial use / click on image or link to go to source page / intocambodia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Sphaerocoryne affinis / KEW: Plants of the World Online

Sphaerocoryne affinis / Wikipedia
Rumdul (Sphaerocoryne affinis) Antioxidant Activity and Its Potential for Parkinson's Disease Treatment / Ngo Binh Thao Nghi, Tran Thuc Uyen, Huynh Man Anh, Dao My Linh, Dang Thi Phuong Thao / Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2022: 8918966 / PMID: 35340209 / DOI: 10.1155/2022/8918966
Sphaerocoryne affinis fruit extract causes DNA damage leading to inhibited cell proliferation and activated apoptosis in cervical cancer cells / Nghia Le-Trung, Tue Duong Minh, Thao Dang Thi Phuong, Kaeko Kamei / DOI: 10.21203/rs.3.rs-2723074/v1
Potent anti-cancer activity of Sphaerocoryne affinis fruit against cervical cancer HeLa cells via inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis / Nghia Le-Trung et al / BMC Complment Med Ther., 2023; 23: 290 / DOI: 10.1186/s12906-023-04127-0 / PMID: 37598145
Acetylmelodorinol isolated from Sphaerocoryne affinis seeds inhibits cell proliferation and activates apoptosis on HeLa cells / Nghia Le-Trung, Kenji Kanaori, Tomonori Waku, Thao Thi Phuong Dang, Kaeko Kamei / BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies,  2024; 24: Article No 59 / ISSN: 2662-7671 /
DOI: 10.1186/s12906-024-04357-w
Effects of ultrasonic treatment of rumduol mash on the antioxidant level of fruit juice / Nguyen TYL, Le VVM / International Food Research Journal, 2016; 23(6): pp 2335-2340
Additions to Annonaceae in the Flora of Thailand / David M Johnson, Pasaorn Bunchalee, Phanom Sutthisaksopon et al / THAI FOREST BULL., 2021;p 49(2): pp 163-172 / DOI:10.20531/tfb.2021.49.2.02
Sphaerocoryne affinis: Annonaceae of Borneo: a review of the climbing species / IM turner / Garden's Bulletin Singapore, 2012; 64(2): pp 371-479

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
                                          New plant names needed
The compilation now numbers over 1,300 medicinal plants. While I believe there are hundreds more that can be added to the collection, they are becoming more difficult to find. If you have a plant to suggest for inclusion, native or introduced, please email the info: scientific name (most helpful), local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, and, if possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT