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Citrus ID






Buoi Ming, Cabuyao, Daun Jeruk Purut, des Orfévres, Djerook Pooroot, Indonesian, Jeruk Purut, Kaffir, Kasturi, Kieffer, Kieffir, Kraunch Soeuth, Leech, Mak Khi Hout, Makrut, Ma-krut, Mauritius, Porcupine, Purut, Sabol, Soh-khynphor (sec. Cottin 2002)

Cultivar or taxon


Citrus hystrix DC. (sensu Swingle and Reece 1967, Bayer et al. 2009; sensu Tanaka sec. Cottin 2002)



The Chiefland Budwood Facility (2010) provided the following notes under synonymous Kaffir lime (clone DPI-438-3): "This selection was received from CREC at Lake Alfred. Also known as C. hystrix or Mauritius Papeda."



Crown compact or dense, not weeping. First-year twig surface glabrous; second- or third-year twig surface striate; thorns absent or not persistent; prickles absent or not persistent. Petiole glabrous, length very long; wings wide, tucking beneath blade. Leaflets one, margin crenate/crenulate or bluntly toothed, shade leaflet blades flat or weakly conduplicate, sun leaflet blades weakly conduplicate. Scent of crushed leaflets freshly lemon-like. Fruit as broad as long or longer than broad; rind dark green (3), medium green (4), light green with some break to yellow (5), green-yellow (6), or yellow (7-10); rind texture medium rough (6-7) or rough (8); firmness leathery; navel absent; flesh green/greenish or yellow; taste sour.

Swingle and Reece (1967) provided the following additional notes on the species:

"J. J. Ochse (1931, pp. 117-18) gave the following description of C. hystrix as it occurs in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia): "Low tree or shrub, 2-12 m high; trunk crooked, asymmetric or angular, rather thin, branched near the base; crown irregular, densely branched; branchlets thin, when young compressed-acutangular, when older terete, dark green, glabrous with scattered glandular dots, armed with axillary spines; spines short, stiff, subulate, green with hard brown or orange-coloured tips, obliquely erect, solitary, glabrous, 0.2-1 cm long. Leaves alternate or biseriate, stalked unifoliate, orbicular-ovate or ovate-oblong, lanceolate; base cuneate, obtuse or rounded, rarely subcordate, apex obtuse, rounded or obtusely acuminate, often notched; patently serrate-crenate, coriaceous, glabrous on both surfaces, above dark green, shining, beneath light green or yellowish-green, dull, densely pellucid dotted, fragrant when bruised, 3-15 cm long, 2.5-6 cm wide. Petiole from 0.3-0.5 cm above the base upwards with large, foliaceous wings; the winged part obovate or obcordate-oblong, with an acute, cuneote[sic], obtuse or rounded base and an obtuse, truncate, rounded or slightly emarginate apex, patently crenate-exsculptate, coriaceous, above dark green, shining, beneath light green or yellowish green, dull, with scattered pellucid dots, including the wings 1-8 cm long, 1-4.5 cm wide, sometimes very similar to the leaf itself and not rarely for a greater or smaller part connate with it. Inflorescences axillary or terminal, dense, 1-5-flowered, glabrous. Flowers smallish, shortly stalked, 4-5-merous, fragrant, in bud globose, white, 0.5-0.7 cm diam.; pedicel terete, yellowish green, glabrous, 0.1-0.5 cm long. Calyx cupular, afterwards flat, 4-lobed, glabrous within and without, 0.2-0.35 cm diam.; lobes broadly ovate-triangular, acute or shortly acuminate, yellowish white with violet margins, ciliate, ±0.1 cm long. Petals 4-5, ovate oblong, with a narrowed base and a narrowed or acuminate, obtuse apex, yellowish white or tinged with red, glabrous, with scattered pellucid dots, 0.7-1 cm long, 0.3-0.5 cm broad. Stamens 24-30, quite free, 0.4-0.8 cm long, filaments thickened above the base, with a filiform apex, glabrous, 0.3-0.6 cm long; anthers elliptic-oblong, 0.15-0.25 cm long. Ovary depressed globose, glabrous, with a tuberculate-folded surface, 0.2-0.4 cm diam.; style short, robust, terete, glabrous, 0.1-0.15 cm long; stigma depressed globose, glabrous. Fruit pendulous, globose, ovoid or ellipsoid, with an abruptly contracted obtuse or rounded base and a rounded or slightly depressed apex, crowned by a short style-rest, very irregularly bumpy, glabrous, with many scattered glandular dots, when ripe yellow or yellowish green, feebly shining, 5-7 cm diam.; peel thick, its exterior layer of ±0.2 cm thickness, yellowish green, the inner part white; pulp yellowish green, very sour and slightly bitter, faintly fragrant; fruiting pedicel very short, 0.3-0.5 cm long. Seeds ovoid-oblong, 1-1.5 cm long, 0.5 cm thick; cotyledons and plumule white."

Ochse stated that "this species, called Djerook pooroot in the Dutch East Indies, is nowhere cultivated on a large scale but…very often on a small one."

This much misunderstood species was named by De Candolle from young seedlings, not yet in flower, grown from seed sent to the Montpellier Botanic Garden from Mauritius, where it was probably not native. De Candolle redescribed it in 1824 but had not yet seen flowers or fruits.

Thanks to flowering material from Mauritius and from Montpellier preserved in the Kew Herbarium, it is possible to determine with certainty that C. hystrix is the species with very bumpy fruits belonging to the subgenus Papeda that is widely distributed in Indonesia. The fruits usually have 10 to 12 segments (rarely 13 or 14). The leaves are blunt-pointed, usually of medium size, 8 to 12 by 3 to 5 cm, more or less irregular at the tip and sometimes slightly emarginate. The margins are more or less crenate. The winged petiole, usually two-thirds to three-fourths as long as the leaf blade, is broadly rounded and blunt at the base, often subtruncate at the tip, often with more or less crenate margins.

The flowers are small, with short, entirely free stamens, as in all the other species in the section Papeda . The fruits are almost always bumpy or tuberculate. The pulp-vesicles were first described by Penzig (1887, pp. 131-32), who stated: "They are provided with a slender very long stalk which suddenly enlarges toward the free end, forming a small round or oval body pointed at the tip." Penzig noted that they differ from the pulp-vesicles of the other species studied by him in showing "a large amount of oil accumulated in their centers." This accumulation of numerous droplets of oil, often of a very strong and acrid flavor, is characteristic of all the species of the subgenus Papeda. The cotyledons are epigeous in germination.

Citrus hystrix, although the best known and most widely distributed species of this subgenus, is not the most vigorous species, and not the most promising for use as a rootstock. It has undoubtedly hybridized with other species of the subgenus Papeda in the village fruit gardens of the people of the East Indian Archipelago and also with species of the subgenus Citrus. Doubtless some of these hybrids are included among the bizarre forms described and figured by Wester (1913 and 1915).

Bonavia reported (1886, p. 215) that the fruit of C. hystrix is never eaten; however, it is used by the natives in Ceylon as an insecticide for washing the head and also for smearing on the feet to kill land leeches. The tree is often cultivated near the villages for these purposes. According to Bonavia, C. hystrix may have come into Ceylon with the Dutch and their Malay servants for use as a hair wash. This use may account for the wide distribution of the species throughout the East Indian Archipelago and adjoining parts of the Asiatic mainland.



The Chiefland Budwood Facility (2010) provided the following notes under synonymous Kaffir lime (clone DPI-438-3): "The leaves, rind and juice have many uses in cooking."



Bayer, R.J., D.J. Mabberley, C. Morton, C.H. Miller, I.K. Sharma, B.E. Pfeil, S. Rich, R. Hitchcock, and S. Sykes. 2009. A molecular phylogeny of the orange subfamily (Rutaceae: Aurantioideae) using nine cpDNA sequences. American Journal of Botany 96: 668–685.

Bonavia, E. 1888-90. The cultivated oranges and lemons, etc., of India and Ceylon. W. H. Allen & Co., London. 384 pp.

Chiefland Budwood Facility. 2010. 2010 Annual report July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2010. Bureau of Citrus Budwood Registration, Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Winter Haven.

Cottin, R. 2002. Citrus of the World: A citrus directory. Version 2.0. France: SRA INRA-CIRAD.

Ochse, J.J. 1931. Fruits and fruitculture in the Dutch East Indies . G. Kolff & Co., Batavia. 180 pp.

Penzig, O. 1887. Studi botanici sugli agrumi e sulle piante affini. Tip. Eredi Botta, Rome. Ministero di Agricoltura, Industria e Comercio. Annali di Agricoltura, No. 116. 596 pp. and atlas of 58 pls.

Swingle, W.T. and P.C. Reece. 1967. The botany of Citrus and its wild relatives. In: Reuther, W., H.J. Webber, and L.D. Batchelor (eds.). The Citrus industry. Ed. 2. Vol. I. University of California, Riverside.

Wester, P.J. 1913. Citriculture in the Philippines. Philippine Bureau of Agriculture Bulletin 27. 71 pp.

Wester, P.J. 1915. Citrus fruits in the Philippines. Philippine Agricultural Review 8: 5–28.



Search for this cultivar in NCBI Entrez or NCBI Nucleotide

Additional information on this cultivar at University of California: Riverside Citrus Variety Collection


Citrus ID Edition 2
October, 2011