Common Lime Tree Adaptations

Common Lime Tree Adaptations

The fruit of this lime is used in cooking, cocktails, refreshing juices and even kitchen cleaners. Also grown often in and around the home for its visual beauty, the lime tree has proliferated into many varieties. Each of those varieties features adaptations which help the specific lime tree serve a specific purpose.

Cool Weather

Lime trees are a part of the citrus family also, like many citrus, are indigenous to warm and humid subtropical regions. While lime trees still are a few of the very sensitive to cold, cultivated seedless lime varieties, such as the “Bearss Seedless” lime (Citrus aurantifolia “Bearss” Seedless”), may prosper in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zone 9 through 11. Older lime varieties, such as the Key lime (Citrus aurantifolia), are too frost sensitive, growing instead in USDA zones 10 and 11.

Manageable Size

While lime trees need full sunlight for healthy development, bringing them inside at night can reduce the chance of frost damage. This is just 1 reason many dwarf varieties of lime trees, such as the “Dwarf Bearss Seedless” lime (Citrus aurantifolia), which grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zone 9 through 10, are readily available. These trees comprise adapted root systems which grow well in containers and also a smaller overall size which make it possible to transfer the plant from place to place without severe distress. These trees make smaller fruit or no fruit at all, and often are grown for decoration rather than as a food crop.


In addition to their edible fruit, lime trees produce fragrant leaves and may add an aromatic dimension to your landscape. Due to this, many varieties, including the Kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix), which grows in USDA zone 9 through 11, are adapted to produce extra fragrant leaves. These fruit trees produce fewer, if any, fruit which aren’t as flavorful as some other varieties, but also make leaves whose fragrance may waft over the whole landscape.


The sour flavor of a lime is an indicator of the high level of citric acid in the flesh of this fruit. This degree of acidity was adapted by the plant over time to ward off some insects and creatures while attracting others. Varieties, such as the “Bearss” seedless lime generate larger fruit with more flavorful flesh and juice.

Seeds and Seedless

Among the broadest elastic splits between limes is the seeded and seedless split. Seeded limes include the the Key lime. These seeded limes often are smaller but more fragrant. Seedless limes, including the “Bearss” seedless lime, tend to be larger and juicier than their seeded cousins.

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