False Lime (Suregada multiflora)

Inflorescence of the false lime Inflorescence of the false lime

The false lime tree is a small tree that is found native to the coastal regions in Singapore and throughout South and Southeast Asia, from India through Peninsula Malaysia and parts of Indonesia. The common name is derived from having small, round fruits which resemble limes! 

The genus name, Suregada, is derived from the Telugu name for the plant, whereas the specific epithet multiflora, refers to the many flowers produced along the axils of the plant. Although its flowers are small and not prominent from afar, up-close, you’ll notice that the branches of this tree are lined with thousands of tiny cream-coloured flowers! These creamy white flowers are slightly fragrant in the day, with both male and female flowers produced on the same tree. 

A full view of the tree. Can you spot its flowers? A full view of the tree. Can you spot its flowers?

Though a small tree, it is actually filled with useful properties! In Bangladesh, the fresh juice extracted from the bark of the plant is used to treat fever, sores, and stomach issues! For treating rheumatism, paste made from the leaves of the false lime is applied on affected areas. It also possesses useful phytochemicals with medicinal properties, which may protect cells from damage that could lead to cancer! The false lime is also harvested as timber used for rafters and firewood. 

A small tree but packed with so many uses — come and check it out in our outdoor gardens, at the Meadow Car Park!

Written by: Ng Yu Qin, Horticulturist, Research and Horticulture

Yu Qin is always looking for ways to pick up new skills and put them to use. She spends most of her time with orchids and enjoys learning something new about them every day!

This article is part of our What's Blooming series.