Governor’s Plum/Kandai/ Kakai Flacourtia ramontchi/ Flacourtia indica is a small thorny deciduous tree with rough whitish-grey bark; young parts are hairy.
Leaves are 2-4 inch long, are ovate and obtusely serrated, smooth above and usually hairy beneath. The leaves and twigs are lopped for fodder (and the tree is hence susceptible to browsing). It is leafless in February/ March. New leaves are an attractive pink/ red and appear in March/ early April.
Flowers appear early in the year on leafless branches and the male trees are densely laden with fuzzy flowers. Flowers are small greenish-yellow in short hairy racemes.
Fruit is globose upto half an inch in diameter – red or dark brown when ripe. Fruit is acidic and is eaten. The tree fruits in May/ June. The tree has been widely cultivated for its fruit. The wood is hard and durable and is used for agricultural implements.
The tree is abundant in dry/ scrub forests and is found in Shivaliks upto 4000 feet. It readily adapts to a variety of soils.
- Forest Flora of the Chakrata, Dehra Dun and Saharanpur Forest Divisions, United Provinces; Upendranath Kanjilal (1928)
- Jungle Trees of Central India, Pradip Krishen (2013)