Flacourtia montana J. Graham, Cat. Pl. Bombay 10 10 1839. (syn: Flacourtia inermis Miq. ex Hook. fil. & Thoms. (ambiguous synonym));
India: Semievergreen and moist deciduous forests of Western Ghats, up to 1000 m (1800 m). Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala as per BSI Flora of India (1993);

flak-KOOR-tee-uh — named for Etienne de Flacourt, director of the Fr. East India Company
MON-tah-nuh or mon-TAY-nuh — of the mountains

commonly known as: mountain sweet thorn • Gujarati: અટ્ટક attak • Kannada: ಅಟ್ಟಕ attak, ಹೆಣ್ಣು ಸಮ್ಪಿಗೆ hennu sampige • Konkani: अटक atak, चामफर chamfar • Malayalam: ചരല്‍വ്വഴം caralvvazham • Marathi: रान तांबूट raan-tambut

Endemic to: Western Ghats (India)


Acc. Flora of BSI Mah (As per efi thread):
Styles absent (stigma sessile)… F. latifolia
Styles distinct and conspicuous:
Tomentose young twigs; leaves turning brown on drying …. F. montana
Glabrous young twigs; Leaves not turning brown …. F. indica. 

From Cooke’s flora. the size of flower is a good additional differentiating character.

Drupe size of a cherry; scarlet when ripe …………………………….F. montana
Drupe size of a plum; purple when ripe……………………..………F. cataphracta
Drupe size of a pea;
Stigmas 5-11………………………………………………………………F. ramontchii (syn. of F. indica as per GRIN etc.)
Stigmas 3-4………………………………………………….……………F. latifolia  

Throny trees to 8 m, thorns about 5 cm long, bark grey, thin, smooth. Leaves simple, alternate, spiral; petiole 5-10, stout, glabrous; lamina 12-22 x 6-8, ovate, elliptic, base acute or rounded, apex acute or acuminate, margin crenate-serrate, coriaceous, glabrous except midrib below, shining above; 3-5 nerves from the base, prominent, lateral veins 4-6 pairs, pinnate, prominent, intercostae scalariform, slender, prominent. Flowers unisexual, small, in axillary congested pubescent cymes; sepals 4 or 5 tomentose, small, imbricate; petals absent; stamens many; anthers versatile; ovary superior, urn shaped, glabrous, incompletely 2-5 locular, ovules 2 in each cell; styles 5, reflexed, notched at tip. Fruit a berry, globose, obtusely ribbed, 1-1.5 cm across, bright red, of an agreeable acid flavour; seeds few, reddish.       
Flowering and fruiting: April-June 
Evergreen and semi-evergreen forests
Endemic to the Western Ghats- common trees in South, Central and south Maharashtra Sahyadris.       

Flacourtia ¿ montana / indica ?
The plant in this post is confusing me. Though I have labelled it as Flacourtia montana it seems to be not. Please validate. I have put all the photos – hopefully any / one of them may prove useful in validation.
Habit: large shrub (small tree) about 4 – 5 m, seemingly unarmed
Habitat: on gradual slope, mixed deciduous forest, about 350 ft asl
Reason for confusion is the leaf shape and venation. Comparatively denser flowering. Not able to recollect whether the plant was armed or not – looks unarmed. Recent sighting of F. montana was comparatively a larger plant – about 7 – 8 m … close to water course.
at Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary on 17 APR 09

I’m not sure about this one. It could be F. montana but some of the leaves look a bit small

efi page on Flacourtia montana 


¿ Litsea josephii ? : Attachments (1). 7 posts by 3 authors.
Could this be Litsea josephii (popular syn. L. stocksii) ? (Jan 17, 2009, at Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary)
Reference: Shrikant Ingalhalikar’s Further Flowers of Sahyadri, pg. 265
Great photographs but it looks like Litsea glutinosa [ L.chinensis]. Please check.

OK …, thank you very much for this guidance.

I will work on it and be back.

Links for Litsea glutinosa (Indian laurel): http://www.hear.org/Pier/species/litsea_glutinosa.htm (Detailed desc. with two piics.),
http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lauraceae_sp_Blanco2.360.png (a plate), http://www.geocities.com/BookofWisdomandMagick5/Litsea.html (some details), http://www.stuartxchange.org/Puso-puso.html (details with a pic.), http://www.bpi.da.gov.ph/Publications/mp/pdf/p/puso-puso.pdf (some details).

One of my friend, …, says this to be Flacourtia montana … I too think so.
His comments:
The leaves and flowers look really unusual for a Lauraceae. The inflorescense and the arrangement of stamens also are different and resemble Flacourtiaceae and not Lauraceae.
I think if its a tree then its very likely to be Flacourtia montana. I think so because if you observe the leaves carefully you will see serrations. As far as i know there aren’t any Litseas with serrated leaf margin.
I need to know how the bark was if you observed it carefully.

I got a very good link with lots of pictures for Flacourtia montana except for the flowers at http://www.biotik.org/india/species/f/flacmont/flacmont_en.html
I think your leaves match with the leaf here at http://www.biotik.org/india/species/f/flacmont/flacmont_06_en.html

Yes, …. I too been there before responding here … it was of great use for coming to conclusion for this post.
AND certainly other factsheets too are very useful. 


Flacourtia montana: Family: Flacourtiaceae
Mountain Sweet Thorn is a tree up to 8 m tall, endemic to the Western Ghats.  
Trunk is branched and possesses simple thorns.
Bark is brownish, smooth, blaze cream.
Alternately arranged leaves are narrow elliptic- oblong, with stalks 0.4-0.9 cm long. Leaves are velvety, 7-18 cm long, 4-8 cm wide, with a tapering tip, wedge-shaped base, and toothed margin.
Flowers are small, yellowish, spherical hairy balls. Male and and female flowers on separate trees, borne in cymes in leaf axils.
Berry is red when ripe, round and fleshy, 1-seeded.
(Source: FlowersofIndia.)
photographed in Chalakudy, Kerala
I came across this Interesting fruit in Chalakudy where it is called ‘lubika’. they are edible with a strikingly similar Gooseberry taste!

I have observed F.indica in Pune. This is new to me.




ID11042011PHK3:  A medium sized tree, No flowering observed
At Ratnagiri,Maharashtra

May be some Glochidion species from Phyllanthaceae 

Glochidion xerocarpum

How about Flacourtia montana? sometimes when the fruit are green you can see these lines on them.

Flacourtia montana J.Graham

Immature fruits are green and  shallowly ribbed, as said by …
Also 3 basal nerves on the leaves are distinct 

Supporting Flacourtia montana 


Flacourtia montana J. Graham … also placed in Flacourtiaceae
at Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary on 23 FEB 13


Flacourtia montanaedible fruitsfrom Kerala

Please identify this tree growing in the wild. I think this is a Flacourtia species.
Photographed way back in May 2006 from Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala.
I have only 3 photographs with me

Flacourtia montana J.Graham
Have you tried eating the fruits, …?

Wonderful photos.

Flacourtia montana





Small plant from Anshi : 3 posts by 2 authors. 2 correct images.
please ID this small tree from Anshi Guest House.

It seems you have mixed two plants in one post.
Any way,
DSCN0935 & DSCN0937 belong to Flacourtia montana J.Graham (Hope you did taste these fruits) ……………..

Thanks … for the ID and showing me my mistake.

Common names for Flacourtia montana in Kannada are:
attak, hennu sampige, kakkade hannu mara
… these are compiled from internet. 
… will be glad if Kannad-knowing friends help in validating these words (names) … and put them in native Kannada script.




Tree with many stamen flowers-Matheran : 4 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (8)
Please find attached picture of a tree in Matheran.

Date: Mid December 2018.
It was growing in dappled shade or partial shade.
New branches were tomentose and old branches were without hairs.
Old branches had bunch of tiny flowers.

Matheran belong to Western Ghats in Maharashtra State of India.
Matheran elevation: 800 m 

It is Flacourtia montana J. Graham

Your pictures with many stamens are of the male flowers 

Thank you so much … Matching perfect.
Was searching for fruit and female flower pictures…need little help regarding the same.
Please check the following link…
If we check picture of fruits from above link, we can see 5-6 styles in each fruit.
Our site link mentions 5 styles
Please check the following link
Morphological description as per “Ganeshaiah, K. N., UAS, Bangalore, India.; Kailash, B. R., ATREE, Bangalore, India.; Royal Norwegian Embassy grants. Indian Bioresource Information Network (IBIN), Department of Biotechnology, New Delhi, India.” is as-
Deciduous trees, about 5-15 m tall, trunk, branches and branchlets armed with simple and branched spines of about 5-8 cm long, branchlets and shoots usually densely tomentose, sometimes also glabrescent. Leaves simple, alternate, variable, broadly elliptic, obovate-ovate, to elliptic-oblong, about 7-22 x 3-9.5 cm across, base cuneate, 3-5 pliveined, margin subentire to coarsely serrate-crenate, apex acute to shallow acuminate, leaves often clustered towards apices, lateral veins 5-7 on either side of the midrib, impressed above and slightly prominent beneath, glabrous above, tomentose along midrib above, sparsely to densely tomentose on the veins beneath, teritiary veins somewhat perpendicular to midrib, quaternary veins conspicuous reticulate beneath, coriaceous to subcoriaceous, shiny, petiole glabrescent to tomentose, about 5-8 mm long. Inflorescence in shortly pedunculate axillary and terminal lax raceme fascicles or dense panicles, bracteate, like spherical hair balls. Flowers unisexual (dioecious), hypogynous, greenish yellow, about 4 mm across, pedicels articulate, glabrous or hairy, slightly elongated in fruits, about 3-4 mm long, sepals 4-5, imbricate, minute, sparsely hairy inside, subglabrous or glabrescent outside, petals absent, extrastaminal disc, with distinct glands inserted before sepals. Male flowers: Stamens numerous, filaments filiform, base minutely hairy, anthers 2 loculed, versatile, globular, dorsifixed, pollen fleshy, tricolporate, reticulate, pistillode absent. Female flowers: Ovary superior, urceolate, surrounded by disc, sometimes covered by few staminodes, carpels 3-6, incompletely loculed, recurved slightly, about 1.5 mm long, ovules often 2 per locule, style 5-6, stigma slightly bilobed, minute. Fruit indehiscent berry, ovoid-globose, about 12-18 mm across, red when ripe, becoming reddish purple. Seeds 5-6 in 2 rows, ovoid-obovoid, compressed, non arillate, rough and woody.
Both “Flora of Shimoga” book and https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/12197 mentions about 5-6 styles…
Please do confirm about this….because “The flora of the presidency of Bombay. Cooke” does mention ‘number of styles 2 or more’ which is vague.. but the identification character mentioned is cherry size fruits and scarlet fruit colour when ripe… which is matching.
Fruit size may vary depending on nutrients or fertility of the soil.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *