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Seashore and Beach Plants

Merope angulata Mangrove Lime Limau lelang Rutaceae

 

Mangrove Lime, limau lelang, Merope angulata

 

Merope angulata

Mangrove Lime, limau lelang, Merope angulata

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 thorns.
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.

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