The finest Lime Tree
There is no overall best lime tree for many functions, however you might have some choices, depending on your climate and if or you not need a traditional lime or you’re open to choices. Your picks will be the Mexican lime (Citrus aurantifolia), the Tahitian lime (Citrus latifolia), the hybrid Rangpur lime (Citrus x limonia) or the Kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix), that is grown mainly for its aromatic leaves used to flavor food. There are fewer lime cultivars available commercially than other citrus types.
If you want the familiar lime that you see most often in supermarkets, picked the Mexican lime. Known in Florida as Key lime, the Mexican algae is also your very best choice if you reside in a warm, moist climate. You can grown it from U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. The Mexican lime tree rises out of 6 1/2 to 13 feet tall and yields limes that are 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Glossy green immature Mexican limes turn pale yellow when they are ripe. The yellowish green pulp is juicy, acidic and delicious.
If you reside in a cooler part of USDA zone 9, then the Tahiti lime, that is much more cold hardy than the Mexican algae, might be best for you. Not as well known as the Mexican lime, the Tahihi lime is also called the Persian lime. The Tahiti lime is larger than the Mexican lime, growing from 15 to 20 feet tall with wide, drooping branches that are almost without thorns. Tahiti limes are 2 to 3 inches long and 1/2 into 2 1/2 inches wide with a vivid green peel that turns pale yellow as it ripens. The light, greenish yellow pulp lacks the distinctive aroma of the Mexican lime. USDA’s Citrus latifolia “No. 1” and “No. 2” cultivars resist viruses that commonly strike citrus trees.
If you reside in USDA zone 8, then a climate that is too cold for the Mexican or Tahiti limes, your very best option would be the Rangpur lime (Citrus x limona), a hybrid between the mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata) and the lemon (Citrus limon). Although they are not authentic limes, Rangpur limes preference like limes. The tree grows quickly up to 15 or 20 feet tall and has propagating, drooping branches with several thorns; it also rises purple-tinged flowers. Rangpur limes are reddish-orange and resemble mandarin oranges.
If you want a lime tree mainly for cooking and have limited growing space, the Kaffir lime might be the very best lime tree to get you. While the Kaffir lime doesn’t yield appealing fruit, its leaves provide a lime flavor and aroma to food and you’ll be able to use them to flavor Thai and other Southeast Asian dishes. The Kaffir lime rises up to five feet tall. You can grow it outside in USDA zones 9b through 10, but it thrives in pots and grows well on decks or patios. The dark green limes are all about the size of Mexican limes but afford little juice, but it is possible to grate their sour rinds to flavor food.