This tropical/semi-tropical tree can reach a height of five metres and bears an oval to nearly globular, green fruit with a three to four centimetre diameter.
The yellowish juice is decidedly acid, but some varieties yield sweet juice. They are called sweet lime.
Tahitian lime trees are larger and more vigorous yielding higher ascorbic acid containing fruit.
Lime originates in the Indonesian archipelago from where Arab traders brought it to Eastern Africa in 1000 A D, and crusaders in the 12 – 13th centuries to Europe.
Columbus took saplings to the West Indies, Spaniard to Mexico and Florida.
Although lime is used as a substituted for lemon in tropical countries, it differs distinctly from it.
Mostly people use lime for chutneys, flavouring drinks, confections, jams, concentrate it, freeze the juice, can it, and in some cases even freeze the whole fruit.
Lime is smaller than lemon with a thinner skinner.
Brazil leads world production, followed by Mexico, Tahiti and the U S A.