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Citrus hystrix

Family Name: Rutaceae
Common Name: Kaffir lime, Limau purut, 箭叶橙
Full Sun: 6-8h Semi-Shade Moderate Water Herb & Spice Tree


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Shrubby (1m-5m), Small (6m-15m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 3 m to 6 m


Native Distribution Southern China, Tropical Asia
Native Habitat Terrestrial

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.  
Fruits 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 and 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

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses Container Planting
Usage Hazard - Cons Spines/Thorns - Stem/Branch, Spines/Thorns - Trunk
Species record last updated on: 20 April 2020.