Citrus medica var. 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 difficulty in identifying exactly which species of fruit are called lime in different parts of the English-speaking world (and the same problem applies to homonyms in other European languages) is increased by the botanical complexity of the citrus genus itself, to which the majority of limes belong. 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. Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide. Key lime gives the character flavoring to the American dessert known as Key lime pie. The peel essential oil has shown anthelmintic, antimicrobial, anti-cholinesterase, radical scavenging, antispasmodic, anticoagulant and anticancer activities. Inflorescences short axillary racemes, 1-7(-10)-flowered; flowers small, white in bud; calyx cup-shaped, 4- to 6-lobed; petals 4-6, 8-12 mm long; stamens 20-25(-34), ovary 9-12(-15)-celled, style abruptly distinct. The juvenile phase lasts about 5 years. They were spread throughout the world via migration and trade. Click on a scientific name below to expand it in the PLANTS Classification Report. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Finger limes (C. australasica), native to Australia, are a developing crop noted for their discrete juice vesicles, sometimes called “lime caviar.” Persian limes appear to be more phototoxic than Key limes. In 1943, Swingle devised a system for citrus where ten species in the subgenus Citrus were recognized. By the mid-13th century the small-fruited acid lime was well known in Italy and France. Lime is an ingredient in several highball cocktails, often based on gin, such as gin and tonic, the gimlet and the Rickey. High incidence of bacterial canker is a limiting factor in the wet tropics; under dry conditions irrigation is necessary to obtain good quality fruits. These pigmented transgenic materials carry great value to ornamental horticulture and for human health (Mumtaz-Khan et al. Swingle): 'Mexican' lime and its clonal derivatives like 'West Indian' lime, 'Kagzi' lime and 'Key' lime are the most common cultivars. (2017)). These are grown to some extent in Egypt and certain tropical countries. In Australia, desert lime is used for making marmalade. Raw limes are 88% water, 10% carbohydrates and less than 1% each of fat and protein (table). , To prevent scurvy during the 19th century, British sailors were issued a daily allowance of citrus, such as lemon, and later switched to lime. The Australian limes are not considered to be ancestors or derivatives of the three lime groups described above. (2017)). 6 (Special Issue No. α-Pinene is used as a paint thinner as well as a starting material for the preparation of synthetic camphor, drugs, and…, …sweet and bitter orange, lemon, lime, mandarin, tangerine, bergamot, and grapefruit. Until the mid-1970s, citrus taxonomists based their conclusion solely on the available morphological and geographical data. Their study, and another one conducted by Scora (1975), suggested that only three citrus types, citron (Citrus medica), mandarin (Citrus reticulata) and pummelo (Citrus grandis; now Citrus maxima) constituted valid species; the remainder are presumed to be introgressions of the basic biological species. (2017)). Tanaka) Tanaka): 'Persian' lime and its clonal selections like 'Tahiti' lime or 'Bearss' lime are the most popular in this category. © Copyright 2020 CAB International. The tree is sensitive to cold and defined by temperatures above -2°C, but it is quite drought-resistant. 5. C. aurantiifolia is a shrubby tree, to 5 m (16 ft), with many thorns. A hybrid between small-leaved and large-leaved lime, common lime has characteristics of both species. Species of this genus hybridise readily, and it is only recently that genetic studies have started to throw light on the structure of the genus. Lime is an ever-bearing tree. Its branches spread and are irregular, with short stiff twigs, small leaves, and many small sharp thorns. C. hystrix is known by various names in its native areas: jeruk purut in Indonesia. Classification . In traditional medicines, lime (C. aurantiifolia) is utilized as an astringent, antiseptic, anthelmintic, mosquito repellent, digestive and appetite stimulant, for stomach diseases, as an antiscorbutic, tonic, diuretic, and for headache, arthritis, sore throats, coughs and colds. Please consider upgrading your browser to the latest version or installing a new browser. Leaves alternate, elliptic to oblong-ovate, 4-8 x 2-5 cm, margin crenulate; petioles narrowly winged. 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. The Citrus Research and Education Centre in Florida released transgenic 'Mexican' lime plants exhibiting a unique pigmented leaf, flower, and fruit pulp. Wild limes probably originated in the Indonesian archipelago or the nearby mainland of Asia. Bartenders handling limes and other citrus fruits while preparing cocktails may develop phytophotodermatitis. Limes exceed lemons in both acid and sugar content.  Plants with fruit called "limes" have diverse genetic origins; limes do not form a monophyletic group. Lime trees are used in landscaping and for ornamental uses in dooryards and backyards. http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20083096339, Litz, R. E., 2005. Confusion exists regarding the identities and number of species within the genus Citrus. 2. Updates? A., 2007. Flowers and young fruits on a key lime tree (. (Lista nacional de especies de plantas invasoras y potencialmente invasoras en la República de Cuba - 2011). Examples are, 'Eustis', 'Lakeland' (both C. aurantiifolia x Fortunella japonica) and 'Tavares' (C. aurantiifolia x Fortunella margarita), Certain lime hybrids are grown exclusively in some regions. , "The American Heritage Dictionary entry: lime", "Fruit Data: Yield, Sugar, Acidity, Tannin", "Next generation haplotyping to decipher nuclear genomic interspecific admixture in Citrus species: analysis of chromosome 2", "The Origin of Cultivated Citrus as Inferred from Internal Transcribed Spacer and Chloroplast DNA Sequence and Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism Fingerprints", "Genomics of the origin and evolution of Citrus", "World production of lemons and limes in 2018; Crops/Regions/World/Production Quantity from pick lists", "Quantitative Assessment of Citric Acid in Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, and Commercially-Available Fruit Juice Products", "Phytophotodermatitis: Bulla formation and hyperpigmentation during spring break", "What Caused The Rash On This Man's Wrist And Hand? Generate a print friendly version containing only the sections you need. , Contact with lime peel or lime juice followed by exposure to ultraviolet light may lead to phytophotodermatitis, which is sometimes called margarita photodermatitis or lime disease (not to be confused with Lyme disease). Their flowers and leaves have a specific scent; and the small plants, lush green foliage and small, yellow fruits look very attractive. Most species and hybrids of citrus plants called "limes" have varying origins within tropical Southeast Asia and South Asia. 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. South Indian cuisine is heavily based on lime; having either lemon pickle or lime pickle is considered an essential of Onam Sadhya. The rich flavour and acid taste make lime a favourite for hot and spicy dishes, either fresh or in the form of pickles and sauces. Flowers are either perfect or male and borne in inflorescences of up to 10 flowers in the leaf axils of mature shoots, but are often single in the axils of a shoot which has just flushed. It was then transported from Palestine to Mediterranean Europe.