Citrus hystrix (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Citrus hystrix DC.

Family: Rutaceae

Vernacular names

  • Mauritius papeda, leech-lime (En)
  • Citron combera (Fr)
  • Indonesia: jeruk purut, limo purut
  • Malaysia: limau purut
  • Philippines: kabuyau, kulubut (Tagalog), kolobot (Bisaya)
  • Burma: shouk-pote
  • Cambodia: krauch soeuch
  • Laos: 'khi 'hout
  • Thailand: ma kruut
  • Vietnam: trúc.


The origin of C. hystrix is not known, but it is widely naturalized in Malesia, Sri Lanka and Burma.


The juice of the fruit is used for seasoning and to prepare drinks. The major use seems to be as an insecticide for washing the head and treating the feet to kill land leeches. Leaves are also used to season food.


  • Tree, up to 12 m tall with crooked trunk and short stiff spines.
  • Leaves broadly ovate to ovate-oblong, 3-15 cm × 2-6 cm; flowers small, fragrant, white.
  • Fruit an ovoid to ellipsoidal berry, 5-7 cm in diameter, green to yellow, irregularly very bumpy, with 10-12 segments.

Often in home gardens, not very vigorous. Hybrid forms exist.

Selected sources

  • Ochse, J.J., Soule, M.J., Dijkman, M.J. & Wehlburg, C., 1961. Tropical and subtropical agriculture. 2 Volumes. The Macmillan Company, New York. 1446 pp.
  • Reuther, W., Webber, H.J. & Batchelor, L.D. (Editors), 1967. The Citrus industry. Revised ed. 4 Volumes. Division of Agricultural Sciences, University of California.


P.C.M. Jansen, J. Jukema, L.P.A. Oyen, T.G. van Lingen