Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Citrus aurantifolia (Christm. & Panz.) Swingle in J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 3: 465. 1913 & in Citrus Indust. 1: 374. 1967. Limonia aurantifolia Christm. & Panz., Pflanzenr. Syst. 1: 618. 1777. Citrus acida Roxb., Fl. Ind. 3: 390. 1832. C. medica L. var. acida (Roxb.) Hook. f., Fl. Brit. India 1: 515. 1875.

Asm.:Abhayapuri lime, Karim ganj lime; Beng.: Kaghzinimbu, Patainebu; Guj.: Khata limbu; Hindi: Kaghzinimbu; Kan.: Limbe, Nimbe; Mal.: Erumichinarakam, Cherunaregam; Tam.: Elumichai; Tel.: Nimma. The sour lime.

Shrubs or small bushy trees, up to 3 m high; branchlets slender, angular when young, with sharp spines. Leaflets small; petioles narrowly winged; wings spathulate to obcordate, up to ca 15 x 13 mm, articulate above with the base of blade; leaflet blades ovate, elliptic to oblong, rounded at base, obtusely acute at apex, crenate along margins, 5 - 7.5 x 3.5 - 5 cm. Inflorescences lax, axillary racemes, 2 - 7-flowered, or rarely of a solitary flower. Flowers 20 - 25 mm across, bisexual and staminate, whitish in buds. Calyx cupulate, 4- or 5-lobed, greenish-white; lobes deltoid, acute, glandular. Petals 4 or 5, oblong, acute, glandular, white. Stamens 20 - 28; filaments polyadelphous, white; anthers oblong, yellowish. Ovary depressed-globose, greenish; style cylindric, white; stigma capitate. Fruits oblong, ovoid or subglobose, 4.5 - 7 x 4 - 5 cm, smooth, pitted, glandular, glossy, green to greenish-yellow; pericarp thin, coriaceous, strongly adherent; mesocarp spongy, white; endocarp segments 9 - 12, strongly adherent, centre solid, pulp-vesicles slender, fusiform, greenish-white; juice abundant, intensely acidic and sour; seeds ovoid; plump, pale; embryo white.

Distrib. Probably a native of Malesia. Cultivated in many parts of India and other subtropical countries.

Notes. This is the most valued Citrus fruit for culinary purposes, medicine, beverages and lime juice.

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