Soost, R. K. Department of Plant Science, University of California, Riverside, California.
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An acid citrus fruit, Citrus aurantifolia, usually grown in tropical or subtropical regions because of its low resistance to cold. There are two principal groups of limes: (1) the West Indian, Mexican, or key lime and (2) the Tahiti or Bearss lime. The West Indian lime is a medium-sized, spreading tree with numerous willowy branches that are densely armed with short, stiff spines. Flowers are small and flowering occurs throughout the year, but mainly in the spring. The fruit (see illustration) is very small (about the size of a walnut), strongly acidic, and drops when fully colored. The West Indian lime is more sensitive to cold than the Tahiti lime, which is a more vigorous tree, bearing lemon-size fruits. The Tahiti lime is seedless and its aroma is less pronounced. See also: Fruit; Fruit, tree; Sapindales
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