Mangifera altissima is an erect, evergreen tree growing to a height of 12 to 35 m, occasionally up to 50 m. Bole is straight and cylindrical, free of branches for 15 to 20 m, up to 90 cm in diameter with small buttresses.
Branchlets are angular with prominent leaf scars. Leaves are elliptic to oblong-lanceolate, 15-43 cm by 2 to 11 cm, coriaceous, glabrous, dark green above; base cuneate, margins entire; apex acuminate, mucronate or obtuse; midrib and nerves prominent veins reticulate; petiole 1.5 to 5 cm long.
Inflorescences terminal or axillary panicles, crowded at apex of twigs, 10-25 cm long, glabrescent. Flowers are white or creamy white, in groups of 4 - 5 on secondary branches; bracts triangular; calyx 4-lobed, lobes ovate-oblong 1.5-3 mm long, glabrescent, persistent petals 4, ovate-oblong, 3-5 mm long glabrous; disk 4-lobed and papillose; stamens 5, 1 fertile, free, 2-3 mm long; style 2-3 mm long, excentric. Fruits are ellipsoid to ovoid drupes, 5-8 cm x 3-6 cm, weight about 40 g, green turning yellowish; peel tender, up to 2.7 mm thick; flesh slightly fibrous, white, resinous, acid to slightly sweet. Stone 4.2 - 4.8 cm by 2.3-2.7 cm by 0.8-1.5 cm sparsely fibrous.
- Native to the Philippines.
- Occasional cultivation.
- Grows chiefly in primary, lowland, inland forest, sometimes in coastal forests, rarely up to 400 m altitude. In the Philippines, it thrives in places with distinct wet and dry season on a wide range of soil types. (7)
- Also native to Bismark Archipelago, Lesser Sunda Is., Maluku, New Guinea, Solomon Is., Sulawesi. (2)
- Listed as "Vulnerable" in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
- Threatened by habitat loss.
- Phytochemical screening of the fruit yielded phenolics, flavonoids, tannins, and saponins, with absence of alkaloids, cardiac glycosides, and terpenoids. (see study below) (3)
- Fruit peel, flesh, seed, and latex were evaluated for phenolic lipids. Proximate analysis showed flesh to have the highest values in percent ash, percent crude protein, percent fat analysis while the seed showed highest value in percent moisture content and total carbohydrates. The peel showed highest value in percent crude fiber. Latex showed highest total phenolics with average of 57.95 ± 6.90 mg GAE/g.
- Nutrient analysis reveal the edible portion comprises about 75% of the fruit and contains per 100g: water 85 g, protein 0.7 g, fat 0.6 g,
carbohydrates 16.4 g, fiber 2.3 g, ash 0.5 g, calcium 95 mg, phosphorus 17 mg, riboflavin 0.1 mg, niacin 0.4 mg, phosphorus 17 mg, iron 1.2 mg, vitamin A 131 IU, thiamine 0.06 mg, riboflavin 0.1 mg, niacin 0.4 mg, vitamin C 93 mg. (7)
- Paho is much hardier than mango as common pests like leafhoppers, tip bores and seed bores do not affect the fruit. (7)
Studies have suggested antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
- Fruits are eaten fresh, ripe or unripe, pickled or used in salads.
- Fruit often eaten unripe, as
condiment, appetizer, or salad ingredient.
- Ripe fruits used to prepare marmalade.
- Seeds are salted and pounded to obtain an edible meal.
- No reported folkloric medicinal use.
- Wood: Heartwood is dark brown with almost black longitudinal bands, with 8 to 10 cm wide band of light colored sapwood. Used for general construction, sheeting, ceilings door panels, flooring, furniture, cabinetry, veneer and plywood. (6) Sapwood very susceptible to damage by dry-wood termites. (7)
• Total Phenolics / Antioxidant / Antibacterial: In a study of nine Philippine indigenous fruits M. altissima showed high total phenolics, 694 gallic acid equivalents (GAE)/100 f fresh matter. On DPPH radical scavenging activity, it showed highest value with 516 mg ascorbic acid equivalent antioxidant activity (AEAC), highest ferric reducing activity with 111 mg ascorbic acid equivalents (AAE) / 100 g fresh matter. Antibacterial testing against E. coli and S. aureus showed MIC80 2.24 and 1.66 mg GAE/mL, respectively. (see constituents above) (3)