Baliospermum montanum (Willd.) Mull. Arg.

Baliospermum montanum (Willd.) Mull. Arg.




Baliospermum axillare Blume, Baliospermum solanifolium (Geiseler) Suresh.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Akar kara nasi, terap kompong, maharaja lela (Peninsular).
Indonesia Kasingsat (Sundanese), srintil, adal-adal (Javanese).Kasingsat (Sundanese), srintil, adal-adal (Javanese).
Burma(Myanmar) Natcho.
Thailand Tong taek (Central), thon di (Central, Trang), nong pom (Loei).
Vietnam C[aar]m t[uwr] n[us]i, c[oj] t[uw]a.

Geographical Distributions

B. montanum occurs in Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, the Andaman Islands, Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, southern China, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java and Sumbawa.


This is a monoecious or sometimes dioecious bushy shrub, which can grow up to 2 m tall and often of somewhat herbaceous texture. The young branchlets are angled and striate, with yellow hairs but becoming hairless and often reddish with age.

The leaves are arranged alternately, simple, elliptical to oblong, broadly ovate, obovate or ovate-lance-shaped, measuring 5-25(-38) cm x 2.5-13(-18) cm, sometimes 3-5-lobed, slightly cordate to wedge-shaped at base, acuminate at apex, coarsely dentate at margins, pinnately veined and sometimes prominently 3-veined from base. The petiole is 1-11(-17) cm long, with 2 glands at apex. The stipules are gland-like.

The inflorescence is an axillary with cyme up to 4 cm long. It is unisexual or bisexual and arranged on leafy branches. The bracts are up to 1.5 mm long. The flowers are unisexual, pedicelled, with 5 imbricate, pale green to reddish perianth lobes (petals absent) and lobed-crenate disk. The male flowers are about 2.5 mm in diametre, with 14-25 free stamens while the female flowers are with superior, nearly globular, 3-lobed and 3-celled ovary, 3 styles, connate at base and prominent bifid stigmas.

The fruit is nearly globular, with 3-lobed capsule, which is up to 13 mm in diametre and 3-seeded.

The seeds are ovoid, up to 9 mm long, grey, marbled, shiny, carunculate and with fleshy endosperm.

Ecology / Cultivation

In Java, B. montanum occurs in open forests such as teak forests, brushwoods and grasslands, up to 250 m altitude. In Peninsular Malaysia, it is found in lowland forests but uncommon. It has been found only once in northern Sumatra. It is more common in India, Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand, where it occurs in moist or dry evergreen forests, bamboo forests and scrub vegetation up to 700 m altitude (in India and Burma (Myanmar) up to 1300 m).

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(3): Medicinal and poisonous plants 3.