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Citrus hystrix


Citrus hystrix DC.

Family Name: Rutaceae
Common Name: Limau Purut, 箭叶橙, Kaffir Lime


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 3 m to 6 m


Native Distribution Southern China, Tropical Asia
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Small tree with a spreading or sprawling growth habit.
Foliage Dark green, smooth glossy leaves are oblong, but pinched in the middle so that 1 leaf looks like 2 ovate leaves fused together.  
Fruit The fruit is round to egg-shaped and often has a distinct nipple-like structure near the apex. It is light to dark green with a very wrinkled and bumpy texture, eventually turning yellow before dropping from the tree. The flesh contains little juice which is sour and slightly bitter.
Associated Fauna It is the food plant for caterpillars of the moths Attacus atlas (Atlas Moth)
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts : Edible Fruits, Edible Leaves
Food (Herb or Spice): The leaves add a lemon flavour to various types of dishes, such as Tom Yum soup. The rind can be added to curry, such as green curry paste. 

Landscaping Features

Landscape Uses Container Planting
Usage Hazard - Cons Spines/Thorns - Stem/Branch, Spines/Thorns - Trunk

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Caterpillar Moth Food Plant (Leaves)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast to Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Glossy / Shiny
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) White
Flowering Period Free-Flowering
Flowering Opening Time Time-Independent

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Green, Yellow / Golden
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Waxy, Bumpy / Tuberculate
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type
Mature Seed Colour(s) Cream / Off-White
Mature Seed Texture(s) Smooth
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Several (11-20)

Image Repository



Master ID 29361
Species ID 3670
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 13 December 2022.