Species Guide: Common Fruit Trees

Limau Nipis

A limau nipis plant with white flowers. Photo by Goh Shang Ming

Common name: Key Lime

Malay name: Limau Nipis

Scientific name: Citrus aurantifolia

Conservation status: Cultivated, Naturalised, Introduced (northern India and Myanmar)


A tree that reaches up to 5 m tall. Stems are spiny. Leaves are pointed. It bears clusters of white, fragrant flowers. Fruits are round and turn yellow when ripe.

The white flower of limau nipis. Photo by Goh Shang Ming

Habit: Perennial tree

Cultivation: It is planted by seeds, cuttings or air-layering

Ecological function: The flowers attract pollinators. It can be used as a hedge plant.

Pollinator: Insects, especially honeybees

Soil: Loamy soils. It tolerates clayey soils

Moisture: Moist, well-drained soils

Shade: No shade

Use: Fruits are eaten raw, cooked or used as flavouring. The oils extracted from fruit peels, leaves and seeds are used for soap-making.

By ShangMing

A plant lover. I like small, medium, gigantic, ordinary, exotic, local, foreign plants. Just because they thrive to stand out.