Mexican sweet lime tree

Palestine sweet lime

Indian sweet lime

Citrus limettiodes Tan.

CRC 1482

PI 539283

VI 81

Photos by David Karp and Toni Siebert, CVC. Photo rights.

Source: Received as budwood from W.T. Swingle, USDA, 1924.

Parentage/origins: Parents unknown.

Rootstocks of accession: Yuma Ponderosa lemon

Season of ripeness at Riverside: Unknown at this time.

Notes and observations:

C. limettiodes, is also known as Indian sweet lime. The tree is medium-large with an irregular spreading form. The flowers are pure white, and the new growth is bright green. The fruits are small, round to slightly oblong, and have a thin, smooth, rind with prominent oil glands. At maturity, the rind is pale green to orange-yellow. The flesh is pale yellow, tender and juicy, with some seeds. The flavor is insipid due to the lack of acidity in the fruit but is appealing to some. Palestinian sweet lime is also used as a citrus rootstock.

6/1987, EMN: Dr. Bitters thinks this accession is probably NOT true Palestine (Indian) sweet lime. He thinks it is Mitha-kaghzi.

Description from The Citrus Industry Vol. 1 (1967):

“Fruit medium in size, subglobose to oblong or short-elliptic, sometimes faintly ribbed; base evenly rounded; apex commonly rounded; areolar area often protruded into a low, flat nipple surrounded by a shallow circular furrow. Seeds few, highly polyembryonic; chalazal spot light tan (almost blond); cotyledons faint green. Rind thin to very thin; surface smooth to very smooth with prominent oil glands flush with surface; tightly adherent; color greenish to orange yellow at maturity. Aroma of rind oil distinctive. Segments about 10; axis medium in size and semi-hollow at maturity. Flesh color straw-yellow; tender, very juicy; flavor insipid because of lack of acid, and with slightly bitter aftertaste. Single bloom and crop.
Tree distinctive in appearance, medium-large in size and of spreading but irregular growth habit, with thick, thorny branches; foliage medium-dense. Leaves pale green, medium in size, long-oval, blunt-pointed, and characteristically cupped or rolled, with petioles wing-margined rather than winged as in most limes. Flowers medium-large, pure white, and new shoot growth pure green.
The Indian sweet lime is the mitha nimbu (numerous modifications and other local names) of India, the limûn helou or succari of Egypt, and the Palestine sweet lime (to distinguish it from the Millsweet and Tunisian limettas, commonly called sweet limes).
In India, where this fruit has been grown longer than elsewhere, several forms are recognized that differ principally in fruit shape, presence or absence of the nipple, and in fruitfulness. In northeastern India, to which it is native, it has been established (Hodgson, Singh and Singh, 1963) that the soh synteng of Assam is the acid form of this fruit. It is similar in all respects except: (1) the fruit is highly acid; (2) at a limited and ephemoral stage pink coloration is present in the flower buds and new shoots; and (3) the color of the chalazal spot is pinkish-purple.
The Indian sweet lime and the Tahiti lime bear slight resemblances to the galgal or hill lemon of India and the Tunisian limetta. There are virtually no resemblances to the small-fruited acid lime.
In California, this sweet lime is remarkably affected by climatic influences. Desert-grown fruit differs so greatly in size, color, form, and rind texture from that produced in the cool, equable coastal region that the inexperienced observer would consider them to be different fruits.
The sweet lime is much esteemed in India, the Near East, Egypt, and Latin America and is considered to have special medicinal values in the prevention and treatment of fevers and liver complaints. Statistics are not available, but the sweet lime is grown commercially in northern India and Egypt and widely elsewhere as a garden plant. It is also a rootstock of considerable importance in parts of India and of major importance in Israel and Palestine.
The most unusual practice of horticultural interest in the culture of this fruit is the universal use of rooted-cutting trees in Egypt, whereas seedling trees are most commonly used elsewhere.
The Tunisian limetta has been classed as a sweet lime but in the opinion of the writer is more logically considered an acidless member of the limetta group (C. limetta). It resembles the Indian sweet lime only in flavor and the tendency to cupping of the leaves. The essential oil of the rind is altogether different in aroma and typical of the other limettas, as are all the other characters.
Columbia appears to be the best known named clonal selection of the sweet lime. “

Availability: Commercially available in California through the Citrus Clonal Protection Program. rder budwood.

USDA Germplasm Resources Information Network page for Palestine sweet lime


Lime, any of several species and hybrids of trees and shrubs in the rue family (Rutaceae), widely grown in tropical and subtropical areas for their edible acidic fruits. The Persian lime (Citrus ×latifolia) is one of the most common commercial varieties, though the smaller key lime, or Mexican lime (C. ×aurantifolia), is also economically important in many places. The lime fruit is a key ingredient in certain pickles and chutneys, and lime juice is used to flavour drinks, food, and confections. Limeade and other lime-flavoured drinks have a flavour and bouquet quite distinct from those made from lemons. The juice may be concentrated, dried, frozen, or canned. Lime oil, from the peel of the fruit, is processed mainly in the West Indies. Citrate of lime and citric acid are also prepared from the fruit.

key limeKey limes (Citrus ×aurantifolia).Grant Heilman/Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

The tree seldom grows more than 5 metres (16 feet) high and if not pruned becomes shrublike. Its branches spread and are irregular, with short stiff twigs, small leaves, and many small sharp thorns. The evergreen leaves are pale green, and the small white flowers are usually borne in clusters. The fruit is usually about 3 to 4 cm (1 to 1.5 inches) in diameter, oval to nearly globular in shape, often with a small apical nipple, and the peel is thin and greenish yellow when the fruit is ripe. The pulp is tender, juicy, yellowish green in colour, and decidedly acid. Limes exceed lemons in both acid and sugar content. There are, however, some varieties so lacking in citric acid that they are known as sweet limes. These are grown to some extent in Egypt and certain tropical countries.

key limeFlowers and young fruits on a key lime tree (Citrus ×aurantifolia).© jpkirakun/Fotolia

Wild limes probably originated in the Indonesian archipelago or the nearby mainland of Asia. Arabian traders may have taken limes, as well as lemons, from India to the eastern Mediterranean countries and Africa about 1000 ce. Limes were introduced to the western Mediterranean countries by returning Crusaders in the 12th and 13th centuries. Christopher Columbus took citrus seeds, probably including limes, to the West Indies on his second voyage in 1493, and the trees soon became widely distributed in the West Indies, Mexico, and Florida. Limes are grown to a limited extent in practically all citrus-growing areas. Limes contain vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and were formerly used in the British navy to prevent scurvy—hence the nickname “limey.”

A number of other related plants are commonly referred to as limes and are used similarly. The fruit and leaves of the Kaffir lime, or makrut lime (C. hystrix), add distinctive flavour to the cuisines of Southeast Asia and are sometimes used in perfumery. Sweet lime (C. limetta), less tart than the Persian lime, is commonly cultivated in the Mediterranean region. The mandarin lime, also known as the Rangpur lime (C. ×limonia), is thought to be a lemon–mandarin orange hybrid and is commonly used to make marmalade. Finger limes (C. australasica), native to Australia, are a developing crop noted for their discrete juice vesicles, sometimes called “lime caviar.”

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Mary Ellen sweet lime

Citrus limettioides Tan.

CRC 4053

PI 654842

VI 625

Photos by Toni Siebert and David Karp, CVC. Photo rights.

Source: Received as budwood from Mexico, via Raul Gonzales of Lindcove Research and Extension Center, 2000.

Parentage/origins: Parents unknown. From Valley of the Yaquis, Sonora, Mexico.

Rootstocks of accession: Yuma Ponderosa lemon

Season of ripeness at Riverside: Unknown at this time.

Notes and observations:

C. limettiodes, is a newly-selected lime originating in Mexico where similar fruits are referred to as “lima dolce.” The mature tree is medium-large with a spreading habit. The flowers are pure white and the new leaves are bright green. The fruits are small, round to slightly oval with a smooth pale green to greenish-yellow rind at maturity. The flesh is pale yellow, tender and juicy, and has a few seeds. The flavor is insipid due to the lack of acidity in the fruit, but is appealing to some.

Availability: Commercially available in California through the Citrus Clonal Protection Program. rder budwood.

USDA Germplasm Resources Information Network page for Mary Ellen sweet lime

Sweet Lime Varieties – Sweet Lime Tree Growing And Care

There’s a new citrus on the block! Okay, it isn’t new, but fairly obscure in the United States. We’re talking sweet limes. Yes, a lime that is less tart and more on the sweet side. Intrigued? Perhaps, you are interested in growing sweet lime trees. If so, read on to find out about sweet lime tree growing and how to take care of a sweet lime tree.

Sweet Lime Varieties

The sweet lime (Citrus limettioides) has a number of names depending upon what language is being spoken. In French, sweet limes are called limettier doux. In Spanish, lima dulce. In India, mitha limbu, mitha nimbu or mitha nebu, with “mitha” meaning sweet. Other languages have their own names for the sweet lime and just to confuse matters, there is also a sweet lemon (C. limetta), which in some circles is also called a sweet lime.

Sweet limes lack the acidity of other limes and, while sweet, the lack of tartness renders them almost bland to some tastes.

Whatever you call them, there are basically two types of sweet lime, Palestine and Mexican sweet limes, as well as several sweet lime varieties grown in India.

The most common, Palestine (or Indian) is an oblong to nearly round fruit with a rounded bottom. The peel is greenish to orange-yellow when ripe, smooth with obvious oil glands and thin. The interior pulp is pale yellow, segmented (10 segments), incredibly juicy, low on acid and with a slightly bitter to bland flavor. Palestine trees are large to shrubby, thorny and hardier than ordinary lime trees. This varietal also bears during the rainy season in India when other citrus is out of season.

Columbia is another varietal, as is ‘Soh Synteng,’ a more acidic variation with slightly pinkish, young shoots and flower buds.

About Sweet Lime Tree Growing

Sweet lime trees look much like the Tahiti lime, with serrated leaves and almost wingless petioles. Unlike supermarket limes, the fruit is yellow-green to yellow-orange in color. Actually, if you let any lime ripen, it would be similar in hue, but they are picked before they are ripe to lengthen their shelf life.

The fruit is most likely a hybrid between a Mexican type of lime and a sweet lemon or sweet citron. The fruit is primarily cultivated in India, northern Vietnam, Egypt, tropical America and countries around the Mediterranean coastline. The first fruit was brought to the United States from Saharanpur, India in 1904.

Here, the plant is mostly grown as an ornamental for personal use, but in India and Israel, it is used as rootstock for the sweet orange and other citrus varieties. Growing sweet limes trees is possible in USDA zones 9-10. What type of sweet lime tree care is needed for successful growing in these areas?

Care of a Sweet Lime Tree

Plant sweet limes on the south side of a building where it will get the most warmth and protection from any cold snaps. Plant sweet limes in well-draining soil since like all citrus, sweet limes hate “wet feet.”

A big thing to watch for with sweet lime tree care is temperature. Sweet limes can be grown in the garden or do nicely in containers as long as the ambient temps are 50 degrees F. (10 C.) or more. Container growing is nice since the tree can be moved to shelter if inclement weather is expected.

Also, hot, hot temperature can also affect your sweet lime. Be sure to water the tree every 7-10 days if it is in the ground and up to every day if container grown depending upon rain and temperature factors.

Citrus ID



Cultivar or Taxon

Citrus x aurantiifolia (Christm.) Swingle, pro sp. (sensu Mabberley 2004); Citrus limettioides Tanaka (sensu Hodgson 1967; sensu Tanaka sec. Cottin 2002)


Crown compact or dense, not weeping. First year twig surface glabrous; second or third year twig surface striate; thorns absent or not persistent; prickles absent or not persistent. Petiole glabrous, length short or medium, wings absent, if present, narrow, adjoining the blade. Leaflets one, margin bluntly toothed, shade leaflet blades flat, weakly or strongly conduplicate, sun leaflet blades flat, weakly or strongly conduplicate. Leaflets freshly lemon-like when crushed. Fruit broader than long, rind green-yellow (6), yellow (7-10), yellow-orange (11) or orange (12), rind texture smooth (1-3), slightly rough (4-5) or medium rough (6-7), firmness leathery, navel absent, flesh orange or yellow, taste acidless-sweet.

Cottin, R. 2002. Citrus of the World: A citrus directory. Version 2.0. France: SRA INRA-CIRAD.

Mabberley, D.J. 1997. A classification for edible Citrus (Rutaceae). Telopea 7: 167–172.

Reece, P.C. and F.E. Gardner. 1959. Robinson, Osceola and Lee—new early maturing tangerine hybrids. Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society 72: 49–51.


Search for this cultivar in NPGS/GRIN1

Search for this cultivar in NCBI2 Entrez, NCBI Nucleotide, or NCBI Expressed Sequence Tags

1GRIN: Germplasm Resources Information Network; NPGS: National Plant Germplasm System

2NCBI: National Center for Biotechnology Information

A few years ago my friend Jesica and I were shopping at a market, and she pointed out some extra-large limes. “Mira, esa es nuestra lima.” Look, that’s our lime.

She made me taste some — I was a little wary of sticking half a lime in my mouth — and I was amazed. The lima didn’t taste like regular Mexican lime at all. It was like a pear crossed with a sweet orange, with an intense, floral perfume.

From then on, I called lima “nuestra lima” just because I liked how that sounded. I tasted some at the markets when vendors offered (“Quiere lima guerita?”), but I never bought any because I didn’t know what to do with it.

Then, last week, after tasting an especially juicy lima at Mercado San Juan, I thought: what the hell have I been waiting for? I bought a kilo and decided to make agua fresca.

When I got home that night, I squeezed the lima juice and added strawberries and a little sugar.

The result was exactly what I’d imagined in my head: whisperingly sweet with a bite from the berries. And the smell! It could’ve come from a spray bottle. Or a flower bouquet. I served it to my friends Erik and Liz for dinner and Erik said: “This tastes like summer.” Best compliment ever.

My only duda, as they say, is that I don’t know lima’s official scientific name, therefore I don’t know if you can find it outside Mexico. Ricardo Muñoz Zurita’s Mexican Gastronomy Dictionary says they’re citrus aurantifolia, but that doesn’t sound correct, as these limes aren’t tart or acidic. I think they may be citrus limetta. Anyone out there care to comment? Can you find these in the United States, Europe or elsewhere?

In the meantime, if you live in Mexico, please make this agua fresca and sip it outside, preferably at sunset on a weekend night. You can find limas at Mercado San Juan or the Condesa Tuesday tianguis, and I’m sure elsewhere.

Strawberry-Lima Agua Fresca*
*Remember this is the Mexican sweet lime, not the tart limón
Makes 12 cups, which four people can finish in one sitting, because it’s THAT good


1 cup fresh-squeezed lima juice (about eight limas)
12 strawberries, quartered
4 tablespoons sugar
12 cups water


I actually halve this recipe and make two batches, since my blender only holds 6 cups of water at a time. So place half of the above in the blender and blend until smooth. Strain into pitcher. Repeat with second batch and serve cold or room-temperature.

Spanish-Speakers’ Citrus Struggle: The Confusing Debate Over How to Say Lemon/Lime en Español

This morning, while the Remezcla editorial estaff discussed the day’s happenings, we had a confusing debate about how to say lemon and lime in Spanish. Our team represents a wide swathe of Latin America (Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Chile and Peru, among others), and everyone had a different opinion – not only about how to say these two different fruits in Spanish, but about what they actually were.

In a nutshell, we proved the thesis of PRI‘s recent article: “Why asking for a lime isn’t so easy in Spanish-speaking countries.”

In the piece, PRI‘s Moira Lavelle describes a friend’s desperate struggle to order a lime for his soda in Chile. After much frustration, Lavelle’s friend was eventually told that Chileans didn’t eat those “unripe lemons” he wanted. (This also happened to our managing editor when she tried to ask for limes in Argentina.)

“The word for lemon is limón, as it is in most other varieties of Spanish. The word for lime doesn’t exist really,” said Scott Sadowsky, a professor of Chilean linguistics at Temuco’s Universidad de la Frontera. “That’s due to the fact that there really is nothing like a lime here. Every once in a while, someone will download a recipe from the Internet and you might see it translated as lima, which is more or less a literal translation from English, and people will normally shrug and just use lemons.”

And it’s more complicated than that, because some countries reverse the definitions of limón and lima, so that limón = lime and lima = lemon. Lavelle discovered that some of this confusion comes from the fact that neither limes nor lemons are indigenous to Latin America (they are thought to have originated in Southeast Asia). Since the different varieties weren’t always simultaneously available in the same countries, it wasn’t necessary to develop different names to distinguish amongst them.

Listen to the report below to learn about the perpetual lima/limón confusion, or read more on PRI.

Tons of Regional Spanish Fruit Names You’ll Hear in Latin America

Some vendors even call it el jugo del amor (love juice) since it’s a popular smoothie and mousse option.

Borojó is the only term heard around all of Latin America, so that should be easy to remember.

16. Membrillo

Mostly native to Asia, membrillo is a large pear-looking fruit that’s called “quince” in English.

It grows in countries with temperate climates, such as Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Peru and parts of Paraguay.

Because of its bruised-like qualities, there’s a colloquial Chilean expression that goes:

Más machucado que un membrillo. — More bruised up than a quince.

17. Curuba

Like maracuyá and gulupa, curuba is part of the passion family.

Though they may all taste similarly sweet and sour, they’re physically distinct in size and color. Curuba is the largest of the three (longer and more oblong in shape) and for that it’s officially called “banana passion fruit” in English.

Similar to gulupa and maracuyá, the slang names for curuba are semi-alike, but still quite out of the ordinary:

Ecuador — taxo

Venezuela — parcha

Peru — trompos or tintín

Bolivia — tumbo, curuba

18. Nopal

This one is very celebrated in Mexican cuisine and is native to the country’s dry deserts.

It’s a cactus fruit (like pitaya), but not at all as sweet.

Nopal can be served in a chilled or warm salad, or sometimes fried and sauteed as a side, because it accompanies savory dishes well.

Other Latino names include: tuna, sabra, chumbera and higo (higo usually means fig in Spanish, but they call it this because it’s considered a cactus fig). In Argentina nopal is known as penepes.

Our English name is “prickly pear fruit.”

The Galápagos Islands, which are located off the coast of Ecuador, have six variations of the plant and fruit alone!

19. Pepino Dulce

Pepino is the the word for “cucumber” in Spanish, so we English speakers call it “sweet cucumber” or sometimes “melon tree.” The taste resembles a mixture of melon and cucumber!

Note: Pepinillo is the word for “pickle” Spanish.

This is a fruit that belongs to the Americas, natural to the Andes regions. There are no other funky names for this one, but some like to simply call it pepino.

Just remember that if it doesn’t look like a cucumber, then it must be the fruit! It’s a brownish-yellow color.

20. Feijoa

We English speakers like to call this one, “guavasteen” or “pineapple guava.” It sort of looks like a mini-guava, inside and out, but it’s not.

It’s native to Uruguay, northern Argentina, Colombia and Brazil, and is also rarely exported.

Some Spanish speakers tend to call it guayabo de Brasil, which means, “guava from Brazil,” probably because there’s a bigger fruit population there.

Another fun fact: The word feijoa kind looks like feijoada, which is the name for a delicious Portuguese/Brazilian dish made up of bean stew. The two aren’t related whatsoever, I just thought it was cool (I’m not trying to confuse you, I swear!).

And so there you have it!

A colorful list of exotic Spanish fruits and names to help boost your language learning system.

Enjoy, and eat up!

And One More Thing for Your Juicy Spanish Knowledge…

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In the real world, you may not pick up on new vocabulary and idioms straightaway. FluentU is designed for you to become familiarized with everyday Spanish, by combining all the benefits of total immersion and native level conversations with easy-to-read subtitles.

FluentU has a wide variety of videos – topics like soccer, TV shows, business, movies, and even magical realism, as you can see here:

FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts. Didn’t catch something? Go back and listen again. Missed a word? Hover your mouse over the subtitles to instantly view definitions.

And FluentU isn’t just videos—it’s a complete language learning program. Learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s Learn Mode. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on. You’ll be able to create vocab lists and track your progress as you advance through video after video.

The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and it recommends you examples and videos based on the words you’ve already learned. You have a truly personalized experience.

Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, or the Google Play store and bring FluentU’s innovative language-learning experience to your iOS and Android device. Become a master of the Spanish fruit stand faster than you ever thought possible!

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Sweet Lime Has Amazing Health Benefits

Sweet lime or mosambi is a popular tropical fruit, available in all seasons. This sweet and sour tasting fruit looks more like a lime for appearance and is mostly consumed in the form of juice than as a whole fruit.

Sweet lime juice is refreshing, serves as an energy drink and acts as a natural coolant to the body by providing varied health benefits including prevention of stroke, hydrating the body, helping in motion sickness and also by improving the joint health, besides several beauty benefits.

If you are looking for a low-calorie fruit -sweet lime is the right choice with less than 43 calories in one serving of fruit, filled up with fibre, vitamin C, potassium, iron, calcium and copper.

Top Health Benefits

Promotes Digestion

The abundance of flavonoids in sweet lime stimulates the secretion of digestive juice, acids and bile’s that are beneficial in improving the digestion, bowel movements and neutralize the acid secretions which aids in flushing out of the toxins. Sweet lime is the best choice of fruit when you suffer from diarrhoea, vomiting and nausea.

Prevents Scurvy

Deficiency of Vitamin C leads to scurvy characterized by swollen gums, frequent attacks of cold and flu, and ulcers in mouth and tongue. Sweet lime is potential in stopping bleeding gums, applying sweet lime juice mixed with black salt helps in healing the bleeding gums. Halitosis (bad breath) can be treated by sipping sweet lime juice or by chewing the sweet lime grind.

Boosts Immune System

The presence of flavonoids limonin glucoside possesses strong anti-cancer, antioxidant, anti-bacterial and detoxifying properties. It helps in combating infections, treating ulcer and wounds, improves blood circulation and boost the immune system and fights cancer cell formation.

Healthy Hair

The antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties of sweet lime make it an ideal choice of fruit for many beauty care therapies that improves the hair and skin health. The richness of vitamins in sweet lime strengthens the hair and treats dandruff and split ends.

Skin Health

The dense nutrients and rich aroma present in sweet lime makes it an important ingredient in several skincare products. It is helpful in treating dry skin, improving skin tone and glow, acts as a natural moisturizer and promotes healing.

The mild bleaching agent in sweet lime is effective in clearing out pigmentation, acne, blemishes providing a radiant and glowing skin.

Treats Dehydration

The abundance of vitamins and minerals make sweet lime juice a healthier alternative to carbonated drinks in satiating your thirst and hydrating your body. It is extremely beneficial for athletes as it energizes the body, reduces the risk of dehydration and muscle cramps. It is also significant in treating people suffering from sun-stroke.

Good For Bone Health

The high content of Vitamin C in mosambi or sweet lime helps in alleviating inflammation and swelling and hence play a pivotal role in treating symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It also enhances calcium absorption, stimulates the cell to build bone and promote overall bone health.

Improves Vision

Sweet lime juice being a powerhouse of antioxidants and antibacterial properties, it is highly effective in treating and preventing various eye infections and ailments like cataract and glaucoma.

Attenuates Gout and Urinary Disorder

Having a higher concentration of potassium, sweet lime juice is extremely beneficial in cleansing the kidneys and reducing the risk of urinary bladder infections. And being high in antioxidants, it scavenges free radicals and flushes out uric acid from the body and thereby treating gout.

A Natural Astringent:

If you are getting ready for a party and want an instant glow on your face, try this Sweet Lime Face Scrub. Easy to make, this scrub works as a natural astringent, opens pores making the skin look youthful.

Sweet Lime Face Scrub


1 small sweet lime

2 tsp honey

½ cup water


In a bowl, squeeze out the juice from the sweet lime, carefully disposing off all the seeds.

Add honey and water and mix all components thoroughly, to obtain a homogenous blend.

Gently rub this liquid scrub on your face and neck in circular motions, for five minutes.

Wash off with lukewarm water, dry with a soft towel and apply a moisturizing cream.

How It Works:

The citrus juice content in sweet lime acts as a bleaching agent, lightening dark spots in areas such as the chin and behind the neck. Moreover, sweet lime juice is also a mild astringent which effectively removes acne and blackheads, cleansing the pores and refreshing skin. The treacly sweetener honey is also an excellent skincare element. It abounds in antioxidants that eliminate harmful free radicals from the face and is a natural emollient, tenderly hydrating skin. Use this sweet lime face scrub once a week for that invigorating and radiating glow.

Mexican lime

Citrus aurantifolia (Christm.) Swingle

CRC 1710

PI 539151

VI 419

Photos by David Karp and Toni Siebert, CVC, 11/03/2009. Photo rights.

Source: Received as budwood from Mel Anderson, Fruit Growers Supply Company, 1927.

Parentage/origins: Parents unknown.

Rootstocks of accession: Yuma Ponderosa lemon

Season of ripeness at Riverside: October to December

Notes and observations:

Mexican lime is known by many names such as Key lime, Bartender’s lime, and West Indian lime. The trees are moderately-sized and bushy, almost shrub-like, and the leaves are distinctively aromatic when crushed. Some selections are quite thorny, while other selections are thornless. Mexican lime trees are sensitive to cold. The blossoms are pure white and fragrant. The fruits are small, approximately one and one-half inches in diameter, and almost round, with a thin, smooth, greenish-yellow rind at maturity that is especially fragrant. The flesh is greenish-yellow, seedy, and highly acidic, with a fine texture. Once Mexican limes reach full maturity, usually in autumn to early winter, they drop from the tree.

1985, EMN: From Ora Vista Orange Co., Highgrove, Calif. Buds from 30 year old tree, large vigorous and bears good crops. Had vein enation. This accession had psorosis and exocortis, removed by shoot tip grafting . This treatment probably also removed vein enation earlier noted.

Description from The Citrus Industry Vol. 1 (1967):

“Fruit very small, round, obovate or short-elliptical; base usually rounded but sometimes with slight neck; apex also rounded but usually with small, low, and faintly furrowed nipple. Moderately seedy and highly polyembryonic. Rind very thin; surface smooth, leathery; tightly adherent; color greenish-yellow at maturity, following which it drops from the tree. Segments 10 to 12; axis very small and usually solid. Flesh color greenish-yellow; fine-grained, tender, juicy; highly acid with distinctive aroma. Somewhat everbearing but crop comes mainly in winter (earlier in very hot climates).
Tree medium in vigor and size, spreading and bushy with numerous, slender, willowy fine-stemmed branchlets densely armed with small, slender spines. Foliage dense and consists of small, pale green, broadly lanceolate, blunt-pointed leaves with definitely winged petioles. Flower buds and flowers small, and flowering occurs throughout year but mainly in spring and late summer. Not withstanding contrary statements in the literature, the new shoot growth is faintly purple-tinted and flower buds and young flowers faintly purple-tinged. Coloration fades rapidly, however, especially if the weather is warm, and is soon lost. Very sensitive to cold.
The West Indian or Mexican lime is the kaghzi nimbu (numerous modifications and other local names) of India, the limûn baladi of Egypt, the doc of Morocco, the Gallego lime of Brazil, and limon corriente in some Latin American counties. In North America, it is sometimes also called the Key lime.
Because of the relatively high degree of polyembryony exhibited by this fruit, it comes remarkably true to seed, and seed propagation is still employed in most of the countries where its culture is important—India, Egypt, and Mexico. As a consequence, clonal varieties have not been selected and named, except for a few which are noted below. In this connection, it is significant to note that in California it has been found impossible to distinguish between seedling clones of the common acid lime from India, Egypt, and Mexico, and clones of Florida and West Indian from origin budded trees. It seems likely, therefore, that the principal clones employed are genetically identical and that only one horticultural variety is involved, which in California is known as Mexican and in Florida as West Indian or Key.
A nucellar seedling selection arising from the Mexican lime-grapefruit cross was described and named Everglade in 1905 by Webber (1943) in the belief that it produced a larger fruit. In California, it has been indistinguishable from the parent clones and therefore has not come into use. Thornless clones reported in the literature include: Doc Sans Epines (Doc Thornless) of Morocco; Yung, a form introduced into California from Morroco by George Yung about 1882 and described and named by Webber (1943); an introduction from Trinidad (West Indies) received by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1910, a limb sport which was found in the Ballard orchard near Weslaco, Texas, shortly after the freeze of 1925; and a selection recently made at Yuma, Arizona, by J. Hamilton of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. None has proved to have commercial value.
Because they produce distinctive symptoms when infested with the tristeza virus, West Indian lime seedlings are widely used as an indicator in the detection of this disease.”

Availability: Commercially available in California through the Citrus Clonal Protection Program. rder budwood.

USDA Germplasm Resources Information Network page for Mexican lime

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