Citrus aurantifolia

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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Citrus aurantifolia, Swingle (Limonia aurantifolia, Christ- mann. C. limetta Auct. not Risso). Lime. A small tree, with rather irregular branches: spines very sharp, short, stiff: lvs. small, 2-3 in. long, elliptic-oval, crenate, rather pale green; petioles distinctly but narrowly winged: fls. small, white in the bud, occurring in few- fld. axillary clusters; petals white on both surfaces; stamens 20-25; ovary rather sharply set off from the deciduous style: fr. small, oval or round-oval, 1¼-2½ in. diam., often with a small apical papilla, with 10 segms., greenish yellow when ripe; peel prominently glandular-dotted, very thin; pulp abundant, greenish, very acid; seeds small, oval, smooth, white inside.— The lime is perhaps the most sensitive to cold of any known species of Citrus. Even a few days of moderately warm weather in winter suffice to force it into a tender and succulent growth that is killed by the slightest frost. It is found in all tropical countries, often in a semi-wild condition. It is cult. in the warmest parts of Fla., especially on the Keys. Large quantities of the fr., picked when still green and often not full-sized, are packed in barrels and shipped to the cities of the N. U. S., where they are extensively used for making limeade. Large quantities of bottled lime juice are exported from Montserrat and Dominica Isls. in the W. Indies, and used on shipboard for preventing scurvy. Limes are too thin-skinned to keep well and are not processed as are lemons. It is usually prop, from seed—rarely from cuttings. The principal varieties grown in the U. S. are: Mexican (West Indian). Frs. small, smooth, often with a slight apical papilla; seeds few: tree small, very spiny, usually branching from the base. This variety, almost always grown from seed, is the only one planted on any considerable commercial scale. Tahiti (Persian?). Frs. large, smooth, with a broad apical papilla; seedless, about the size and shape of an ordinary lemon: poor keepers. See Lime. Hybrids: Sweet (C. limetta, Risso ?). Frs. about the size of a lemon, with a sweet and insipid pulp. Commonly grown in the W. Indies and Cent. Amer. Limequats are new hardy hybrids between the common Mexican lime and a kumquat; these hybrids vary much in size, shape and flavor, but some are about the size of a lime and have abundant very acid pulp. See description under Limequat. CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


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