Citrus macroptera (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Citrus macroptera Montr.

Family: Rutaceae

Vernacular names

  • Melanesian papeda, ghost-lime (En)
  • Malaysia: limau hantu
  • Thailand: som o phee (Yala).


Widely distributed in Thailand, Indo-China, the Philippines, New Guinea, New Caledonia and Polynesia.


The juice is used to prepare refreshing drinks. The fruit is used to prepare a substitute for soap to wash clothes and to prepare a shampoo. It is valuable as a rootstock for cultivated citrus.


  • Tree, up to 5 m tall with straight spines.
  • Leaves broadly ovate-lanceolate, up to 30 cm × 6-7 cm, with broadly winged petioles.
  • Fruit a subglobose berry, 6-7 cm in diameter, pale yellow.

Two varieties are distinguished: Kerr's Thailand papeda (C. macroptera var. kerrii Swingle) occurring in Thailand, Vietnam and China; and Annam papeda (C. macroptera var. annamensis Tanaka) occurring in Indo-China. Many hybrids with other Citrus species are known.

Selected sources

  • Reuther, W., Webber, H.J. & Batchelor, L.D. (Editors), 1967. The Citrus industry. Revised ed. 4 Volumes. Division of Agricultural Sciences, University of California.