plants text index | photo index
Limau lelang
Merope angulata

Family Rutaceae

updated Jan 2013
Where seen? This rare lime-look-alike is found in the back mangroves, growing under mangrove trees. According to Hsuan Keng, they were found in Jurong and Kranji, while according to Ng, they were found in Sungei Mandai Besar and Sungei Mandai Kecil. According to Corners it is frequently seen in mangrove swamps in Southern Malaya. While Tomlison says they are also found on river banks but 'rather scattered'. It was previously known as Paramignya longispina. The malay name 'lelang' refers to the talons of the hawk, probably referring to the thorns of the plant.

Features: A thorny shrub to about 3m tall, or scrambling plant. Leaves leathery, arranged alternately. The leaves (7-16cm long) give off a lime-like smell when crushed. There are stout spines in pairs or singly. Flowers small with 5 white petals, fragrant, one appearing in the leaf angles. Fruits (2.5-4cm) yellow, resembling a small lemon with three flat sides. They contain large, long, flattened seeds.

Human uses: The plant is valued by the Malays for medicinal purposes. According to Burkill, the roots are used to treat abdominal pains, and in childbirth treatment. A lotion of it is used to treat syphilis.

Status and threats: It is listed as 'Critically Endangered' in the Red List of threatened plants of Singapore.

Kranji Nature Trail, Apr 10

Small white flowers.
Mandai, Mar 11

Mandai, Mar 11

Kranji Nature Trail, Dec 10

Limau lelang on Singapore shores

Photos of Limau lelang for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map



  • Hsuan Keng, S.C. Chin and H. T. W. Tan.1998, The Concise Flora of Singapore II: Monoctyledons Singapore University Press. 215 pp.
  • Tomlinson, P. B., 1986. The Botany of Mangroves Cambridge University Press. USA. 419 pp.
  • Burkill, I. H., 1993. A Dictionary of the Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula. 3rd printing. Publication Unit, Ministry of Agriculture, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. Volume 1: 1-1240; volume 2: 1241-2444.
  • Davison, G.W. H. and P. K. L. Ng and Ho Hua Chew, 2008. The Singapore Red Data Book: Threatened plants and animals of Singapore. Nature Society (Singapore). 285 pp.
FREE photos of mangrove trees and plants. Make your own badge here.
links | references | about | email Ria
Spot errors? Have a question? Want to share your sightings? email Ria I'll be glad to hear from you!
wildfactsheets website©ria tan 2008