Mandarin Lime (Citrus limonia). A group of three similar limes: the Rangpur (Citrus x limonia Osbeck—see below); the Kusiae or Kusiae lime, believed to be a form of the Rangpur, with a more limelike aroma, planted on Kusiae, or Strongs Island, in the Caroline Islands of Micronesia; and the Otaheite, or Otaite, orange, or Otaheite Rangpur (Citrus otaitensis Risso or Citrus taitensis Risso et Poit), thought to be a non-acid form of the Rangpur. Its origin is unknown, but it was introduced to the West (England and France) from Tahiti in 1813.
Omani Lime. A small lime with a very strong flavor and fragrant aroma. It is grown in the Middle Eastern country of Oman, it is preserved by boiling in salt water and then dried. It is then used as a seasoning called amani, black lime, dried lime, loomi, lumi or omani. Strongly flavored, with a slightly bitter, fermented flavor, it tastes typically sour and citrusy, but lacks the sweetness of a fresh lime.
Palestine Sweet Lime (Citrus limettioides or Citrus lumia Risso et Poit.). The Palestine sweet lime or limetta is a hybrid. It is not known where or how the sweet lime originated. It is thought to be a hybrid between a Mexican lime and a sweet lemon or sweet citron, and believed to be native to India. It is chiefly cultivated in central and northern India, northern Vietnam, Egypt and the Mediterranean coast. It arrived to the U.S. from Saharanpur, India, in 1904; there is modest cultivation in California. In the West Indies and Central America, it is eaten by cutting off the stem end, piercing the core with a knife and sucking out the juice. The fruit is eaten fresh in India, as well as cooked and preserved. It is called limettier doux in French; lima dulce in Spanish; mitha limbu, mitha nimbu, or mitha nebu, in India (mitha meaning “sweet”); quit giay in Vietnam; limun helou, or succari in Egypt; laymun-helo in Syria and Palestine. It is often confused with the sweet lemon, Citrus limetta Tan., which, in certain areas, is referred to as “sweet lime.” See also Sweet Lime/Limetta. Photo courtesy of Logee’s Tropical Plants, Logees.com.
Rangpur Lime (Citrus x limonia Osbeck). From the Pacific Rim, the Rangpur lime has an orange rind and orange fruit. It is also called the Mandarin lime. The name can be misleading because there are few similarities between the Rangpur and true limes—it is probably a lemon x Mandarin orange hybrid. However, the Rangpur is highly acidic and can be used as a substitute for commercial limes. Other names include the Canton lemon (in South China), the Hime lemon (in Japan), the Cravo lemon (in Brazil), the Tahitian Orange in the U.S., the Mandarin lime. The Rangpur lime is generally candied or pickled. In the West, it is made into marmalade (it makes a superb marmalade, superior to the Seville, or sour, orange commonly used). The Rangpur is believed to be of Indian origin. It was introduced into Florida in the late 19th century from seeds obtained from India. Photo courtesy of Melissas.com.