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Citrus ID






de Perse, Page, Persian, Sicilian, USDA-2, Venetico, Wilder (sec. Cottin 2002)

Cultivar or taxon


Citrus x latifolia (Yu. Tanaka) Tanaka (sensu Mabberley 2004, Bayer et al. 2009); Citrus latifolia (Yu. Tanaka) Tanaka (sec. Hodgson 1967; sensu Tanaka sec. Cottin 2002)



Hodgson (1967) provided the following additional notes on the cultivar:

"The origin of the Tahiti or Persian lime is unknown, and its history is obscure. The name Tahiti arises from the fact that this type of lime was introduced in California from Tahiti sometime during the period of 1850 to 1880. As the Persian lime, it was introduced into Australia as early as 1824 (Bowman 1955), possibly from Brazil, since it is mentioned in connection with the Celeta (Seleta) and Bahia orange varieties of that country. The origin of the name Persian is unknown, however, although it seems likely that this fruit came to the Mediterranean area via Persia as did the citron. Currently, it is not to be found in Persia, however (Chapot 1965). The Sakhesli lime of the island of Djerba (Tunisia) is clearly of the same type and has been grown there for a long time, presumably centuries. H. Chapot, the distinguished French citrus systematist, reports that he has also seen old trees of this fruit in Algeria and that the name Sakhesli means "from Sakhos," an Arabic name for the island of Chios (Greece).

While the only commercial variety of the Tahiti lime apparently produces no viable pollen and is normally seedless, Reece and Childs (1962) succeeded in obtaining 250 seeds from a commercial canning plant in Florida from which 140 seedlings were planted in an orchard and 77 survived and ultimately fruited. A high degree of monoembryony is indicated as only two seedlings proved to be indistinguishable from the parent clone. The remaining seedlings exhibited a very wide range in species characters, but approximately 60 per cent were predominantly citron, lemon, or seedy acid lime. From these data, Reece and Childs concluded that this lime is clearly of hybrid origin, that one parent is obviously the common acid lime, and that the other is either lemon or citron, but probably the latter. It is interesting that they were unable to observe more than 18 chromosomes, the normal diploid number for the genus, whereas Bacchi (1940) reported this lime as triploid in genetic constitution."

The Chiefland Budwood Facility (2010) provided the following notes under Persian (clone SPB-7): "The original tree was entered into the budwood program in 1954 by Coral Reef Nursery as Li-38-1-1-X. This tree was owned by E. J. Norman of Homestead said to be one of the oldest in Dade county. The current clone is a shoot-tip graft of the original clone. Also known as Tahiti. Origin: Unknown, introduced to California from Tahiti. "



Crown compact or dense, not weeping. First-year twig surface glabrous; second- or third-year twig surface striate; thorns recurved; prickles absent or not persistent. Petiole glabrous, length short or medium; wings narrow, adjoining the blade. Leaflets one, margin crenate/crenulate or bluntly toothed, shade leaflet blades weakly conduplicate, sun leaflet blades weakly or strongly conduplicate. Scent of crushed leaflets freshly lemon-like. Fruit as broad as long or longer than broad; rind dark green (3), medium green (4), or light green with some break to yellow (5); rind texture slightly rough (4-5); firmness leathery; navel absent; flesh green/greenish; taste sour.

Hodgson (1967) provided the following additional notes on the cultivar:

"Fruit medium-small (like small lemon), oval, obovate, oblong or short-elliptical; base usually rounded but sometimes slight necked and faintly furrowed; apex rounded; areolar area elevated into a low nipple. Seeds are or lacking. Rind thin; surface smooth, tightly adherent; color pale lemon-yellow at maturity. Segments about 10; axis small and usually solid. Flesh color pale greenish-yellow; tender, juicy; very acid and with true lime flavor. Somewhat everbearing, mainly in winter (earlier in hot climates such as southern Florida). If left on tree past maturity, some fruits develop a peculiar breakdown in the areolar area at the stylar end.

Tree vigorous, broad-spreading, drooping, medium to medium-large, nearly thornless; foliage dense green. Leaves medium in size, broadly lanceolate, and petioles winged. Flower buds and flowers medium in size and flowering occurs throughout year, mainly in spring. Purple coloration usually faint and evanescent in both flowers and shoots. Fully as cold-resistant as the true lemons."

The Chiefland Budwood Facility (2010) provided the following additional notes on the synonymous Persian lime (clone SPB-7): "Description: Normally seedless with a high degree of monoembryony, most likely a hybrid, this particular one is a Florida seedling selection, fruit medium-small, smooth, thin rind, juicy. Season: Everbearing, mainly winter, June-September"



Bacchi, O. 1940. Observações citológicas em citrus. I. Número de cromosômios de algumas espécies e variedades. Jornal de Agronomia [Piracicaba] 3: 249–258.

Bayer, R.J., D.J. Mabberley, C. Morton, C.H. Miller, I.K. Sharma, B.E. Pfeil, S. Rich, R. Hitchcock, and S. Sykes. 2009. A molecular phylogeny of the orange subfamily (Rutaceae: Aurantioideae) using nine cpDNA sequences. American Journal of Botany 96: 668–685.

Bowman, F.T. 1956. Citrus growing in Australia . Halstead Press, Sydney, New South Wales. 311 pp.

Chapot, H. 1965b. Quelques varieties d'agrumes d'Iran. Al Awamia [Rabat] 15: 91–109.

Chiefland Budwood Facility. 2010. 2010 Annual report July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2010. Bureau of Citrus Budwood Registration, Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Winter Haven.

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.

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

Reece, P.C. and J.F.L. Childs. 1962. Character differences among seedlings of the Persian lime. Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society 75: 110–116.



Search for this cultivar in NCBI Entrez, NCBI Nucleotide, or NCBI Expressed Sequence Tags

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


Citrus ID Edition 2
October, 2011