Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Micromelum minutum (G.Forst.) Wight & Arn.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers and buds. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit. © Stanley Breeden
Fruit, side views and cross section. © W. T. Cooper
Leaves, flowers & fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Wight, R. & Arnott, G.A.W. (1834) Prodromus Florae Peninsulae Indiae Orientalis : 448.

Common name

Lime Berry; Micromelum


Usually grows into a small tree not exceeding 30 cm dbh but also flowers and fruits as a shrub.


Oil dots visible with a lens. Leaflet blades about 4.5-15 x 1.5-6 cm, unequal-sided at the base. Domatia are foveoles.


Calyx lobes short, about 0.1-0.2 mm long. Petals about 2.5-3 mm long. Stamens ten, dimorphic, five long and five short. Disk small, confined to an area beneath the ovary.


Fruits ovoid-ellipsoid, about 9 x 7 mm. Seeds about 6-7 x 4-5 mm. Testa smooth, translucent. Cotyledons green, folded many times, oil dots numerous, readily visible with a lens.


Cotyledons glabrous, cordate to reniform, about 18-19 x 21-23 mm, apex rounded often notched. Oil dots visible to the naked eye. First leaf usually trifoliolate sometimes compound with 5 leaflets, oil dots conspicuous. At the tenth leaf stage: leaflet blades slightly hairy on the upper surface, unequal-sided at the base; oil dots numerous, visible to the naked eye; margin of the leaflets slightly sinuate; compound leaf petiole and rhachis clothed in short, prostrate hairs. Seed germination time 10 to 41 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards to north-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range from sea level to 600 m. Grows as an understory tree in monsoon forest, dry rain forest, beach forest and well developed rain forest. Also occurs in Malesia, New Caledonia and Fiji.

Natural History & Notes

Food plant for the larval stages of the Orchard, Canopus and Capanens Butterflies. Common & Waterhouse (1981).

This species may have medicinal properties.

Leaf and stem material of this species was active against some tumors. Collins et al. (1990).

This species has been used medicinally in Malaysia and Indonesia. Cribb (1981).

Limonia minuta G.Forst., Prodr. : 33(1786), Type: Friendly Islands, Forster; holo: BM. Micromelum glabrescens Benth., Hookers Journal of Botany 2: 212(1843). Micromelum pubescens var. glabrescens (Benth.) Oliv., Journal of Proceedings of the Linnean Society, Botany 5, 2nd Suppl. : 40(1861).
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