|Citrus subsp. var.||Lime|
Lime is a term referring to a number of different fruits, both species and hybrids and generally citruses, which have their origin in the Himalayan region of India and which are typically round, green to yellow in color, 3–6 cm in diameter, and generally containing sour and acidic pulp. They are frequently associated with the lemon. Limes are often used to accent the flavours of foods and beverages. They are usually smaller than lemons, and a good source of vitamin C. Limes are grown all year round and are usually sweeter than lemons.
Limes are a small citrus fruit, Citrus aurantifolia, whose skin and flesh are green in colour and which have an oval or round shape with a diameter between one to two inches. Limes can either be sour or sweet, with the latter not readily available in the United States. Sour limes possess a greater sugar and citric acid content than lemons and feature an acidic and tart taste, while sweet limes lack citric acid content and are sweet in flavor.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Lime (Fruit). The acid lime (Citrus aurantifolia), is found in most parts of the tropics, and is commonly cultivated or found growing in a semi-wild state in India, Ceylon, the Malay Archipelago, West Indies, tropical Mexico, and to a lesser extent on the Keys and in the warmer parts of Florida. The West Indian Islands, Montserrat and Dominica, are noted for their commercial production of lime fruit, lime juice and citrate of lime. In California, the lime is grown as a home fruit in some parts, but as it does not possess the hardiness of the orange or lemon, it is of no commercial importance. The sweet lime (C. limetta) is perhaps a hybrid, worthless as a commercial fruit in America, though grown and used in other countries.
In the eastern United States, the limes so largely used at the soda fountains are secured mostly from the West Indies, packed in barrels and imported via New York, although part of the supply comes from the Florida Keys. The supply of the western states comes from Mexico, for the most part. These limes, the product of seedling trees, are variously referred to as Mexican, West Indian or Key limes. In tropical countries, where limes may be secured at all seasons of the year, they are used almost entirely in place of lemons, and each year it is becoming a more important fruit throughout America. There is no doubt but that it will eventually occupy a much larger place in our markets.
The cultivation of the lime is confined to regions where frosts are practically unknown. In the dormant or winter season, the trees respond very readily to rising temperatures, new and very tender growth starts and if a drop in temperature sufficient to cause frost follows, as it so often does in many regions where its culture has been tried, the trees suffer severely. Attempts are being made to secure a hardy fruit by crossing with the kumquat (see Limequat).
Of the varieties in cultivation, Tahiti and Persian are much the same. The fruits are as large as ordinary lemons. These are somewhat hardier than the smaller- fruited seedling Mexican limes. Palmetto and Everglade are two varieties of Mexican limes, originated, named and described by H. J. Webber, (Yearbook United States Department of Agriculture, pages 279 281, plate XX, 1905). These have neither been introduced nor planted commercially. Their merits in a large way are therefore unknown. There is no question but that the careful selection, and propagation by budding, of Mexican limes would be well repaid. Thornless is a recently introduced variety from Dominica of the Mexican type. The absence of thorns is a desirable feature. Bearss and Imperial, of the same general type as Tahiti, are grown in California. In the colder citrous sections the true limes may be replaced by the calamondin (Citrus mites), a very prolific citrus which produces a small acid fruit of excellent flavor, resembling a small tangerine in color, shape and rind. Rangpur is an acid fruit, the size of a small lemon, round or oblate, orange-red in color, with deep orange-colored flesh, high quality and excellent flavor. It is often referred to as a lime from which it is distinct. Bonavia refers it to the Suntara orange group of India. It is hardier than the true limes. In fact it ranks with the sweet oranges in this respect and is worth planting where the true limes cannot be grown. The Mexican lime, grown as seedlings, is not particular in its soil-requirements. It grows and seems to flourish on poor sandy soils, or on rocky soils. It will grow and bear fruit in considerable quantities even when neglected and left unfertilized and uncultivated. These limes are produced in Florida on the lower East Coast and on the Keys, where an association has been formed for handling the crop. In other parts of South Florida, Tahiti and Persian have been planted in groves, in considerable numbers, and the fruit thus far has sold at good prices for local consumption. Limes may be grown as seedlings or they may be propagated by budding on sour orange or rough lemon seedlings.
In orchard plantings, the seedlings are set 12 to 15 feet apart each way and the budded trees about 20 feet. The cultivation, fertilizing and general care are the same as for other citrous fruits. The fruit is gathered when full grown, but while still green, packed and shipped immediately. Carefully handled, they keep well, but do not usually stand up so long as processed or cured lemons. It is sometimes stated that the Tahiti lime is a poor keeper. This is often due to the attacks of fungous diseases which can be guarded against.
They are attacked by the ordinary citrous insects. Anthracnose or wither-tip is the most serious fungous pest. This destroys the smaller twigs and branches and produces hard wart-like spots on the Mexican lime fruit. It may be held in check by careful pruning out of dead and diseased wood and by spraying with bordeaux mixture.
Pests and diseases
- Australian limes
- Blood lime
- Kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix) (a.k.a. kieffer lime; makrut, or magrood)
- Key lime (Citrus aurantifolia) (a.k.a. Mexican, West Indian, or Bartender's lime)
- Mandarin Lime (Citrus limonia)
- Musk lime (X Citrofortunella mitis)
- Palestine sweet lime (Citrus limettioides)
- Persian lime (Citrus x latifolia) (a.k.a. Tahiti or Bearss lime)
- Spanish lime (Melicoccus bijugatus) (a.k.a. mamoncillo, mamón, ginep, quenepa, or limoncillo) (not a citrus)
- Sweet lime (Citrus limetta) (a.k.a. sweet limetta, Mediterranean sweet lemon)
- Wild lime (Adelia ricinella)
- Limequat (lime × kumquat)
- Lime tree (Tilia sp.)
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963