Citrus × aurantiifolia (Rutaceae family)
Origin: SE Asia and Australia
Fruiting season: year round
Height: small tree (10 – 15 ft)
Relatives: lemon, orange, grapefruit
Lime is one of the most widely planted and prolific citruses grown in Hawaii. The fruits are bright green and approximately 2” in diameter. Limes are usually used to accent the flavors of foods and beverages and are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C. Similar to all citrus, the peel contains aromatic oils and the fruit’s zest is used to add citrus flavor to recipes. Citrus trees require a well-drained soil and regular fertilization.
The taxonomy of Citrus genus is complex, and cultivation goes back at least 2500 years. While the precise number of species is unclear, all species originated from three primary ancestors: citron, pomelo and mandarin.
Limes exceed lemons in both acid and sugar content. The flesh is juicy, aromatic and acidic, like many of its relatives. The flavor is refreshing with a balance of sweet and sour.