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Citrus ID






Balady, Boussora, Chaksi, de Palestine, Douce de Palestine, Helou, Indian Sweet, Kieffer, Mitha-kaghzi, Sidi Amer, Trabelsi, Wahi, Weirick (sec. Cottin 2002); Indian (sec. Hodgson 1967)

Cultivar or taxon


Citrus x aurantiifolia (Christm.) Swingle, pro sp. (sensu Mabberley 2004); Citrus limettioides Tanaka (sensu Hodgson 1967; sensu Tanaka sec. Cottin 2002)



Hodgson (1967) notes under the synonymous cultivar Indian that:

"The Indian sweet lime is the mitha nimbu (numerous modifications and other local names) of India, the limûn helou or succari of Egypt, and the Palestine sweet lime (to distinguish it from the Millsweet and Tunisian limettas, commonly called sweet limes).

In India, where this fruit has been grown longer than elsewhere, several forms are recognized that differ principally in fruit shape, presence or absence of the nipple, and in fruitfulness. In northeastern India, to which it is native, it has been established (Hodgson, Singh and Singh 1963) that the soh synteng of Assam is the acid form of this fruit. It is similar in all respects except: (1) the fruit is highly acid; (2) at a limited and ephemoral [sic] stage pink coloration is present in the flower buds and new shoots; and (3) the color of the chalazal spot is pinkish-purple.

The Indian sweet lime and the Tahiti lime bear slight resemblances to the galgal or hill lemon of India and the Tunisian limetta. There are virtually no resemblances to the small-fruited acid lime."



Crown compact or dense, not weeping. First-year twig surface glabrous; second- or third-year twig surface striate; thorns absent or not persistent; prickles absent or not persistent. Petiole glabrous, length medium; wings narrow, adjoining the blade. Leaflets one, margin bluntly toothed, shade leaflet blades weakly or strongly conduplicate, sun leaflet blades weakly or strongly conduplicate. Scent of crushed leaflets freshly lemon-like. Fruit broader than long; rind green-yellow (6), yellow (7-10), yellow-orange (11), or orange (12); rind texture smooth (1-3) or slightly rough (4-5); firmness leathery; navel absent; flesh orange or yellow; taste acidless-sweet.


Hodgson (1967) provided the following additional notes on this cultivar under the synonymous cultivar Indian:


"Fruit medium in size, subglobose to oblong or short-elliptic, sometimes faintly ribbed; base evenly rounded; apex commonly rounded; areolar area often protruded into a low, flat nipple surrounded by a shallow circular furrow. Seeds few, highly polyembryonic; chalazal spot light tan (almost blond); cotyledons faint green. Rind thin to very thin; surface smooth to very smooth with prominent oil glands flush with surface; tightly adherent; color greenish to orange yellow at maturity. Aroma of rind oil distinctive. Segments about 10; axis medium in size and semi-hollow at maturity. Flesh color straw-yellow; tender, very juicy; flavor insipid because of lack of acid, and with slightly bitter aftertaste. Single bloom and crop.


Tree distinctive in appearance, medium-large in size and of spreading but irregular growth habit, with thick, thorny branches; foliage medium-dense. Leaves pale green, medium in size, long-oval, blunt-pointed, and characteristically cupped or rolled, with petioles wing-margined rather than winged as in most limes. Flowers medium-large, pure white, and new shoot growth pure green."



Hodgson (1967) additionally notes, under the synonymous cultivar Indian:

"In California, this sweet lime is remarkably affected by climatic influences. Desert-grown fruit differs so greatly in size, color, form, and rind texture from that produced in the cool, equable coastal region that the inexperienced observer would consider them to be different fruits.

The sweet lime is much esteemed in India, the Near East, Egypt, and Latin America and is considered to have special medicinal values in the prevention and treatment of fevers and liver complaints. Statistics are not available, but the sweet lime is grown commercially in northern India and Egypt and widely elsewhere as a garden plant. It is also a rootstock of considerable importance in parts of India and of major importance in Israel and Palestine. [...]

The Tunisian limetta has been classed as a sweet lime but in the opinion of the writer is more logically considered an acidless member of the limetta group (C. limetta). It resembles the Indian sweet lime only in flavor and the tendency to cupping of the leaves. The essential oil of the rind is altogether different in aroma and typical of the other limettas, as are all the other characters."



Cottin, R. 2002. Citrus of the World: A citrus directory. Version 2.0. France: SRA INRA-CIRAD.

Hodgson, R.W. 1967. Horticultural varieties of Citrus. In: Reuther, W., H.J. Webber, and L.D. Batchelor (eds.). The Citrus industry, rev. University of California Press.

Hodgson, R. W., R. Singh, and D. Singh. 1963. Some little-known Indian citrus species. California Citrograph 48: 188, 211–14, 288–94.

Mabberley, D.J. 2004. Citrus (Rutaceae): A review of recent advances in etymology, systematics and medical applications. Blumea 49: 481–498.



Search for this cultivar in NCBI Entrez or NCBI Nucleotide

Additional information on this cultivar at University of California: Riverside Citrus Variety Collection


Citrus ID Edition 2
October, 2011