Citrus aurantifolia

Images obtained while working with Morthy Solomon, December 1999.
morthy_karer_fruit2.jpg (6214 bytes)

Images obtained while working with Shinmaysin Gonzaga, Fall 2000.
shinmaysinlime01.jpg (48867 bytes)shinmaysinlimes.jpg (26298 bytes)

Location Collected: Mwalok
Date Collected: 12/01/99

Collected By: Morthy Solomon. Text by Loveleen James, Fall 2000.


A full lime is squeezed into hot water to create a very strong and tart tea that treats coughing associated with a cold.


Serlinda Soukon: Karer is medicinal from top to bottom. The young leaves are used for coughing. You have to boil the leaves and drink the boiling water. Karer can also be used for headache. You can take the young leaves, pound them and put them in oil. When you have a headaches, apply to skin. The green leaves are used for umwulap (steam bath) when you have a cold or flu. You can also mix the leaves with other leaves and boil the mixture, drink to help the blood vessels, the muscles, and other bodily organs. The juice of the fruit, drunk undiluted, is good for coughing. Any cut not caused by a knife can be treated with undiluted juice. This will hurt, but the wound will heal more rapidly. The skin of the tree (kelupwur) can be cut into pieces, put into a cloth, placed in boiling water, squeezed into a cup, and drank. This will cure soumwahu en lusulus. Soumwahu en lusulus is characterized by high fever and convulsions. Locals tend to refer to this as "jumping" sickness. February 2004.

  1. Genus: Citrus aurantifolia
  2. Family:Rutaceae
  3. English name: lime
  4. Chuukese name: laimis
  5. Kosraen name:lime
  6. Pohnpei name: karer in lopwolopw
  7. Yapese name:Ramong
  8. Growth form: shrub
  9. Growth location: terrestrial
  10. Growth environment: cultivated area
  11. Growth Zone: tropical
  12. Average Height: 7-12ft
  13. Stem: Woody
  14. Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
  15. Stipule:none
  16. Petiole:1/2 inch
  17. Leaf Blade: Ovate
  18. Inflorescence: Raceme to cyme
  19. Floral Bracts: None observed
  20. Flower: white, small, has fragrance, unisexual,
  21. Calyx: The color is white,five parts, fused at the beginning but blooms into five parts
  22. Corolla: Campanulate
  23. Stamens: The filaments and anthers surround the stigma
  24. Ovary: Superior
  25. Style: Green leaves,
  26. Fruit: Circular
  27. Seed: located inside fruit, small and oval with one pointed end
  28. Anything else: Flower and leaf are fragranted; Very thorny bush.
  29. Cultural Usage: Used as a sauce in variety of dishes, juice of fruit is used as a detergent.

Description by Natalia Peter, Fall 2000:

  1. Citrus Aurantifolia
  2. Family: Rutaceae
  3. Chuukese name: nimis
  4. English name: lime
  5. Kosraen name: lime
  6. Pohnpeian name: karer
  7. Yapese name: nemong
  8. Growth form: tree
  9. Growth location: terrestrial
  10. Growth environment: cultivated garden
  11. Growth zone: Tropical
  12. Average height: Rarely taller than 12 ft. (2-4m high)
  13. Stem--spreading and woody, brown in color
  14. Leaf arrangement: alternate
  15. Stipule---absent
  16. Petioles--1-2 cm., smooth surface, narrowedly winged
  17. Leaf blade--acute, entire, elliptic,oblong-ovate, rounded at the base(2-3inch.) dark green above, paler green below
  18. Inflorescence--none
  19. Floral bracts--none
  20. Flower-- Faintly fragrant or scentless, auxillary, 5cm. across are solitary or 2-7 in. a raceme, have 4 to 6 oblong, spreading petals,white but purple when fresh.
  21. Calyx--none
  22. Corolla--3-4
  23. Stamens--20-25 bundled white stamens with yellow anthers.
  24. Ovary--inferior
  25. Style--1/4 inch
  26. Fruit--borne singly or in 2's( or sometimes large clusters at the twig tips) round, obovate, or slightly elliptical, sometimes with a slight nipple at the apex, the base rounded and faintly necked, 2cm., somewhat rough to very smooth.
  27. Seed--3-5, obovate, smooth
  28. Anything else--It thrives in a warm, moist climate
  29. Cultural usage: the lime, because of its special bouget and unique flavor, is ideal for serving in half as a garnish and flavoring for fish and meats, for adding zest to cold drinks and for making lemonade.