Citrus aurantiifolla
Family: Rutaceae

The lime tree is a distinctly tropical fruit tree, probably originally from India and Southeast Asia, and introduced into many tropical areas of the world. Grown for its highly flavored, very acid fruit, which is rich in Vitamin C and citric acid, it is widely used in Thai cooking and makes a delicious drink for hot weather. It has elliptic-ovate leaves, to 7 cm (3 in) long, white flowers and greenish yellow, ovoid fruit which is smooth and thin-skinned, rather like a small, unripe lemon. There are numerous cultivars of lime. The one most favored for growing out-doors in California is 'Bears', which can be grown wherever oranges thrive. Another well-known lime is 'Mexican'.


The requirements are similar to those of the lemon (see Lemon, Citrus lemon), but the lime is very cold-sensitive and prefers the warmth, high rainfall and humidity of trop­ical climates. Except in subtropical and tropical climates, grow in pots or tubs in an intermedi­ate to warm greenhouse or conservatory. Use soil-based potting compost, and provide maxi-mum light but shade from strong sun. In the open, lime does best in a sheltered, sunny posi­tion, with well-drained soil.


Subtropical and tropical only; suited to the warmest parts of zone 10 and above.

Lilium      Limonium