15 Lime Varieties (The Most Common Varieties)

Sliced lime on a wooden background.

Citrus fruits like lime are a member of the genus Citrus and have green, smooth, zesty skin with a tinge of yellow on them. Lime fruits are hybrids that come in a wide variety of forms and sizes, as do other citrus fruits.

Lemons and limes have a similar flavor and smell, although limes are somewhat more acidic. Lemons tend to be sweeter, whereas limes tend to be a little sourer.

Lime varieties may differ in color and acidity, but they all offer essentially the same set of health advantages. Limes have a greater sugar and acid content than lemons. For the most part, lime juice will be the only thing you’ll find at the market. Unsweetened or sweetened lime juice is bottled after it has been squeezed.

Limes are high in vitamin c, which strengthens the immune system and helps fight common illnesses, according to nutritionists. Lime juice from unprocessed limes has a little amount of fat and protein in it.

Key Limes

A close up look of Mexican Limes, also known as "Key Limes".

Key lime, also known as Citrus Aurantiifolia, is a kind of hybrid lime from Southeast Asia with a spherical fruit that turns yellow when ripe. Key limes can also be referred to as Mexican limes or West Indian limes, depending on where you are. While key limes are smaller and seedier than other limes, such as Persian limes, they are more aromatic and have a thinner rind.

Key limes have a higher acid content and are smaller and yellower in color than other lime varieties like Persian limes. The lime tree’s spherical citrus fruits are picked while they are still green. They become yellow as they mature and become more flavorful. Then they get a little bigger and riper. Key limes, according to some, taste, juiciness, and fragrance are all superior to lemons. Sour-sweet flavoring is popular in baking, cooking, and mixing drinks because of its strong flavor.

Persian Limes (Bearss Lime)

The is one of the most common types of (if not the most common types) of limes you may find in the US. The Persian lime, with the scientific name Citrus × Latifolia, is known by several other names as well. It’s called a seedless lime, as well as a Tahiti lime, though some classify Tahiti lime as the “superset.” In this perspective, Persian limes, which are egg-sized and oval in shape and cultivated in Florida, and the Bearss lime, which is tiny and seedless and farmed in California, are the two primary types of Tahiti limes.

Citrus key limes and lemons have been bred together to create this fusion fruit. When compared to normal Eureka lemons, the Persian lime’s fruit is smaller, but it’s larger than Key limes. Bearss limes are less acidic and bitter than Key limes, which is another distinction between the two. As an added bonus, Persian limes are larger in size and have more flavor than Mexican limes.

The Persian lime’s thin, smooth rind covers the rest of the fruit’s skin. Fruit is seedless and has a juicy, acidic taste. Persian lime, like key limes, may be used in cooking and even as a key lime replacement. As an alternative to vinegar, the juice from this fruit can be used instead.

Kaffir Limes

It is a citrus fruit endemic to tropical Southeast Asian countries and southern China known as kaffir lime or makrut lime. There are a few Southeast Asian recipes that call for kaffir lime leaves or the fruit itself as an ingredient.

In common with many limes, kaffir limes ripen to a yellowish hue as they get older. Kaffir limes, on the other hand, are very sour and acidic when compared to other varieties of lime fruit. In comparison to Mexican and Persian limes, kaffir limes have a lot less juice. Kaffir limes are the tiniest limes you’ll find. The warty texture, bumpy/pebbly skin, and bright lime-green hue all help you recognize it quickly.

Because Kaffir limes lack juice, other portions of the lime are utilized in cooking instead of the flesh. This tiny citrus fruit’s tough skin, for example, carries a significant amount of the fruit’s essential oil.

Australian Limes/Finger Limes

A close up look at the Australian Lime, also known as "Finger Limes".

Finger limes, as the name suggests, have an unusually lengthy fruit compared to other varieties of lime, which are typically round or spherical in form. The Australian finger lime, often known as caviar lime, is a well-known kind of finger lime. Small prickly shrubs occur along the Australian coastline between New South Wales and Queensland’s southeast coasts. Lime-green, crimson, light yellow, and light pink are just a few of the colors available in finger limes.

Another variant of it, called Australian Dessert Limes, also known as Citrus Glauca, is found in Queensland, New South Wales, and South Australia, where they grow on prickly shrubs and tiny trees. It is possible to collect the fruits between the last two months of the year.

Jams, tarts, and jellies are frequently made from the pulp of desert lime fruits. When cut in half, the oblong fruit is round or oval-shaped. Its flavor is unique and pleasant.

Rangpur Lime (Mandarin Lime)

These limes haven’t been around since the early 1800s, although it’s uncertain where they came from.

Lemon-mandarin orange cross-pollination gave rise to both the fruit and the name mandarin lime. The other name, Rangpur, refers to its Indian subcontinent origins, where Rangpur is the name of a city in Bangladesh. Because it contains an orange peel and flesh, this hybrid lime looks a lot like a mandarin orange. Citrus fruits have a thicker skin and a longer shelf life because of this.

Because it’s a hybrid of a lemon and a tangerine, mandarin lime has a tangy, acidic flavor of its own. Rangpur limes resemble a tiny orange in appearance, but they have a tart flavor similar to a typical lime. As a result, they’re frequently included in lists of unusual limes of all kinds.

Rangpur limes are frequently used to produce marmalade, which is a sweet preserve. In fact, for marmalade, these limes are favored above Seville oranges in regions where they thrive.

Dried Lime

Dried lime is known by many names: Black lime, which refers to the color most dried limes acquire after being dried. They are also called Omani black lemons (or Loomi), Limo Amaani (which has Iranian origins), and Noomi Basra (where Basra refers to a city in Iraq). All these names point towards the Middle Eastern origins of this particular lime type.

If you enjoy the flavor of Middle Eastern food, dried Omani limes are a must-have. Dry limes for Omani markets are picked up fresh from the tree and dried on-site. Afterward, they’re cooked in salt water and then sun-dried till they’re nearly black in color.

Middle Eastern cuisine benefits greatly from the use of Omani dried limes as a spice. Black lime, loomi, limoo Amani, and Noomi Basra are all names for the same dried lime.

A zesty kick is added to a variety of meals by drying the tiny limes out in the sun. Dried limes have a distinct lime flavor, as well as earthiness and smoky undertones.

It has two applications. It may be used as a spice in Persian and Middle Eastern cuisines after being cooked in salt water and dried. They are often used in recipes like such as seafood stews, tagines, soups, and stews, as well as chicken and meat meals. You may also make tea out of the dried peel!

Calamansi Limes

A close up shot at a group of Philippine Limes, also known as "Calamansi".

The Philippines is where you’ll find the majority of these tiny green spherical limes. They’re also known as Philippine limes or Philippine lemons, depending on who you ask. Calamondin is the name given to it in various countries. Citrus microcarpa (Philippine limes) appear like a little green lime, but they have orange flesh. They’re a hybrid of the two lime species. Other countries that grow calamansi limes include Indonesia, southern China, and Taiwan, as well as the Philippines.

Calamondins have a sour juice but a sweet rind when they’re fully ripe. When completely mature, these limes take on the appearance of a tiny tangerine. As a result, whole or half Philippine limes are frequently used as a flavoring or decorative element to many meals.

When completely ripe, this lime resembles a tiny tangerine, which is why it’s so unique!

Blood Limes

Blood limes and key limes are both hybrid limes. ‘Blood lime’ varieties are created by cross-pollination between red finger limes and an Ellendale Mandarin hybrid. The Ellendale mandarin is a cross between a sweet orange and a mandarin, giving blood limes a distinctive sweet-sour flavor.

Blood limes are tiny when compared to other varieties of limes. Their crimson egg-shaped fruits are just around 4 cm long and 2 cm broad, so they’re rather little. Blood limes, on the other hand, are unique in that the peel and meat of the fruit may both be consumed. Ginger limes contain approximately a dozen seeds in them, as well as a thick rind and smooth skin. Their flesh is solid and yellow. Because of this, many people mistakenly believe it has a ginger-like aroma, hence the name. It looks more like a lemon than lime.

This red lime is a hybrid of red finger lime and a Rangpur lime, a sort of mandarin hybrid.

Desert Limes

These desert limes, also known as citrus glauca, are found in Queensland, New South Wales, and South Australia, where they grow on prickly shrubs and tiny trees. It is possible to collect the fruits between November and December while the trees blossom in August.

When completely ripe, the fruit has a bright yellow-green size (marble size). Because it’s not often consumed, you won’t find Australian desert lime in supermarkets.

Because of their high concentration of folates, antioxidants, and, of course, vitamin C, limes are popular in the foodservice sector.

Merdeka Limes

Merdeka limes are a relatively new hybrid, having appeared in the market only in 2010. A hybrid of the Kaffir lime and the Kalamansi lime, they have a strong citrus scent and are highly tasty. In general, the pulp is seedless or contains just a small number of seeds, and it’s solid and slightly bitter in flavor. The new cross has more of the Kaffir lime ancestry than the original. It is said to be more fragrant and disease- and pest-resistant than either of its parents. It’s great for landscaping, too, because of the way it grows.

Some Lime Crosses And Lime-Like Fruits

While not exactly limes, some lime-crossed fruits and other lime-like fruits that share a lot of lime characteristics are worth mentioning here.

Limequat

Limequat is a citrus tree crossbred from a Lime and a Kumquat parent species. Little, oblong-oval-green leaves cover the shrub-like Limequat (Citrus aurantium). Pips are the fruit’s tiny seeds, and it’s ovoid and yellowish or green in color, depending on the kind you get. It has a delicate peel and a taste that is comparable to lime in the pulp. In spite of its bitterness, the fruit’s juice and skin may be consumed raw, but the zest made from the two is commonly used in beverages and meals. The fruit has a high concentration of vitamin C and is highly acidic.

Yuzu

There is considerable debate as to where Yuzu limes come from, but the majority of experts agree that they are indigenous to China’s Yangtze River valley, where they have been growing in the wild since antiquity. Citrus fruits like yuzu, which have a milder flavor than oranges and lemons, are popular in Japanese cuisine. The 2–3-inch-diameter fruit is the size of a grapefruit. It is more fragrant and acidic than other citrus fruits, with a thicker yellow peel.

Winged Lime

They’re also known as Violet-Black Twig limes because of their purple-black twigs, which give them their name. These limes have a mild lime flavor, making them ideal for eating fresh. They have a large amount of sugar and are a great alternative to other kinds of limes. They are average-sized, about three inches in diameter. Because of the sweetness and lack of acidity in the flavor, some people have described the fruit as bland.

Millsweet Limetta

The Limetta, known as Millsweet lemon, has an extremely low acid content. Despite their resemblance to lemons, Limettas are distinct from genuine lemons because of their unique features. Upon maturity, the rind becomes slightly rough, pitted, and covered in oil glands that have sunk into the fruit. The juice has a pleasant taste since the flesh is pale yellow, low-seeded, and low in acidity.

Conclusion

Limes themselves are hybrid fruits, and they can be used to create several other hybrids and crossed fruits. These tasty, juicy fruits offer a great mixture of taste, nutritional value, and health benefits. A decent variety also allows you to enjoy a broad spectrum of tastes.

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