Citrus hystrix is a thorny bush native to southeast Asia. Citrus hystrix is also known as Kaffir Lime (though it is seldom used due to its ethnic connotations in South Africa), Thai Lime, Market Lime, Mauritius Papeda, Leech Lime, Wild Lime, or Combavas. It is part of the Rutaceae family of plants. It produces a citrus fruit. The fruit is used in Asian cuisine. The leaves and their essential oil is used in perfumes.
Citrus hystrix can grow between 2 to 11m or 6 to 35ft. The foliage is interesting as it is hourglass-shaped. It appears as double leaves. The flowers are white. They are fragrant. They have four or five petals. Citrus hystrix flowers in the summer. It is followed by fruits. The fruit is a small green. It has a rough texture and ripens to yellow.
How to grow Citrus hystrix:
Plant Citrus hystrix in sandy, loamy, fertile soil that is well-drained. Grow it in the sun or slight shade. It benefits from regular watering. But it should never be water-logged. Protect Citrus hystrix from frost. In colder climates, it should be grown in a greenhouse. It is generally disease-free and pest-free. But the roots can rot if water-logged.
Citrus hystrix leaves are used in cooking in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia. In foods such as Soto and Ayam, and Malaysia, Burma, India. They are used fresh, dried, or frozen. The citrus hystrix fruit rind is also used to infuse flavor in drinks and food. In Cambodia, the fruit is crystalized and consumed as a sweet. Citrus hystrix is also used in local and traditional medicine as well as religious ceremonies, however, the fruit contains large quantities of Furanocoumarins which could cause skin inflammation.
Citrus hystrix is also known by local names in different countries:
Indonesia: Eruk purut
China: Jiàn yè chéng
Philippines: kabuyaw or Kulubot
Malaysia: Limau purut
Thailand: Makrud or Makrut มะกรูด,
Laos: Mak khi hut ໝາກຂີ້ຫູດ
Vietnam: Trúc or Chanh sác
Reunion Island : Combava
West Bengal: Gondhoraj Lebu
India: Gondhoraj Lebu
Bangladesh: Gondhoraj Lebu