The bright green fruit is smaller than the lemon, more globular, more acid, and with a thinner rind. It has the vitamin value and other properties of the citrus fruits. The juice has long been known as a preventive against scurvy and is one of the main sources of citric acid.
The predominant lime in American cuisine is a larger, more mildly flavored, typically seedless cross, C. latifolia, between the true lime and citron, known as a Persian, Tahitian, or Bearss lime, and there are a number of other citrus fruits called limes. The name lime is also applied to the unrelated linden and sometimes to a species of tupelo, or sour gum, known also as the Ogeechee lime.
Limes are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Sapindales, family Rutaceae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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