Flacourtia rukam Zoll. & Moritzi.

Last updated: 4 June 2015

Scientific Name

Flacourtia rukam Zoll. & Moritzi.


Flacourtia cataphracta Blume [Illegitimate], Flacourtia edulis Griff., Flacourtia euphlebia Merr., Flacourtia megaphylla Ridl., Flacourtia peninsula Elmer, Flacourtia sulcata Elmer. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Rukam manis, rukam gajah [2], rokam, rukam, rukem, saradan, kupa landak [3]
English Rukam [2], Indian prune [4]
China Da ye ci li mu [4]
Indonesia Ganda rukem, rukam (Java); klang tatah kutang (Borneo) [2]
Thailand Takhop-thai (Central); khrop-dong (Pattani) [2]
Laos Kén [2]
Philippines Amaiit (Tagalog); aganas (Bisaya); kalominga (Igorot) [2]
Vietnam Mung guân ru'ng [2]
Japan Marei-iku-kanko [4]
Papua New Guinea Lumbulum [4]
France Prunier de Chine; prunier café [2]

Geographical Distributions

Flacourtia rukam is widely distributed but scattered, both cultivated and wild, all over Malaysia. It is apparently rare in the Moluccas and New Guinea. It has been introduced into Indo-China, India and Thailand. [2]

F. rukam grows under humid tropical conditions up to 1500 m above sea level and has been found growing wild at 2100 m elevation. Its natural habitat is primary or secondary forests, often along rivers, and the tree grows in the shade as well as in full sun. The tree appears to be fairly adaptable to a range of temperature, rainfall and soil conditions. [2]

Botanical Description

F. rukam is come from family Flacourtiaceae. This is a small tree which can grow up to 5-15(-20) m tall. The trunk and old branches are usually crooked, furrowed and branched near the base. The young stem and branches are with strong, woody, simple or branched spines, up to 10 cm long and usually absent in clonally propagated trees. [2]

The leaves are ovate-oblong or elliptic to oblong-lance-shaped, measuring (6.5-)10-15(-18) cm x (3-)4-7(-9) cm, hairless or hairy on the midrib and nerves, often shiny dark green above, brownish-red and drooping when young and with coarsely-toothed margins. The petiole is 5-8 mm long. [2]

The inflorescences are in few-flowered, short, axillary and finely hairy racemes. The pedicels are 3-4 mm long. The flowers are greenish-yellow and usually unisexual. There are 4 sepals, but rarely 3-6, while petals are absent. The male flowers are with 8 orange or yellow-white fleshy disk-lobes and numerous stamens. The female flowers are usually without stamens, with 4-6(-8) styles, free and indistinctly bilobed stigmas. [2]

The fruit is spherical, depressed-spherical to obovate berry, 2-2.5 cm in diametre, light-green to pink or purplish-green to dark red, with whitish, juicy, acid pulp and crowned by the 4-6(-8) small peg-like styles set in a circle. [2]

There are 4-7 seeds and flat. [2]


F. rukam seed germinates readily and quickly. The young plants, if nursed well, bear much larger leaves than the full-grown tree, which is often sparsely foliated compared with Flacourtia inermis Roxb. Shoot growth occurs in more or less synchronous flushes. [2]

The length of the juvenile phase is not known. In Java F. rukam trees flower between June and August; the fruit ripens after about 14 weeks. Occasionally flowering occurs at other times of the year. Bisexual flowers are rare and male trees are needed for pollination. Insects are attracted by nectaries in the flower. [2]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

Fruit, leaves, wood. [2]

Traditional Use

The ripe fruit can be eaten raw; it is rubbed between the palms of the hand because bruising the flesh eliminates astringency. It is also served in 'rujak', a fruit salad with spicy sauce, pickled, or sweetened with sugar to make jam or confectionaries. The young leaves are eaten raw in side dishes. Immature fruit is used to prepare traditional medicine against diarrhoea and dysentery. The juice of the leaves is applied to inflamed eye-lids. In the Philippines a root decoction is taken by women after childbirth. The wood is hard and strong and used to make household utensils such as pestles and furniture. [2]

Preclinical Data

No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of F. rukam. [2].


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Flacourtia rukam Zoll. & Moritzi [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [Updated 2013 Mar 23, cited 2015 June 4]. Available from http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-4813302.
  2. Sunarjono HH. Flacourtia rukam Zoll, Moritzi. In: Verheij EWM, Coronel RE, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 2: Edible fruits and nuts. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc Scientific Publisher, 1991; 168-169.
  3. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of medicinal plants used in Malaysia. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002. p. 356.
  4. Quattrocchi U. CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume III E-L. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 259.