scientific name Merope angulata (Merope,
the name of a Greek nymph and daughter of Helios. The Latin word,
angulata, meaning angular, refers to the shape of the fruit)
common name Limau Lelang (the Malay word, lelang, evidently compares
its long thorns to a hawk's talons)
habit A lime-like shrub or small tree with stout single or paired
leaves 8 to 11cm long, alternately arranged, glabrous (hairless),
thin leathery, margins faintly notched. Leaf blade oblong, blunt or
slight pointed at the tip, covered entirely with minute oil glands
that are visible as translucent dots when held against the light
with an eye-lens, and aromatic when bruised. Midrib (main vein)
raised prominently on the underside, side veins faint. Leaf stalk
without the familiar wings found commonly on other lime plants.
thorns Pointed, woody and slender, up to 3.5cm long, single or
paired on leaf axils.
flower Flower fragrant, single, axillary, petals 5, white, about 2cm
long; bisexual, stamens 10, ovary superior.
fruit Like a miniature lemon, about 4cm long, triangular or 4-sided
in section, consisting Of 3 to 4 locules (fruit chambers). Apex of
fruit pointed. Fruit ripens yellowish-green, filled with slimy large
long, flattened seeds.
remarks Merope angulata belongs to the Lime Family (Rutaceae). It is
restricted to back mangrove and river banks, and can be found along
the western coast of Peninsular Malaysia (Perak, Negri Sembilan and
Malacca) to Singapore where it is currently very rare. The salt
tolerant nature of this species had been considered as a potentially
useful root stock for Citrus plant cultivation. The fruits are much
sought after by the Malays for medicinal purposes.