Spanish lime, which has several other colloquial names, is a slow-growing but handsome garden tree with an erect, stately trunk, smooth, gray bark and spreading branches. Young branchlets are reddish. The small white flowers are fragrant. The fruit clusters are branched, compact and heavy with round, green fruits that resemble small unripe limes. The pulp is salmon-colored or yellowish, translucent, and juicy. The flavor is acidic-sweet similar to many citrus. Spanish lime ripens from June to September in South Florida. The plant is native to the southern Caribbean island and northern South America.
In its native range, Spanish lime is well adapted to areas of low rainfall. The tree can tolerate long periods of drought. It is not tolerant of wet conditions, however, and the planting area must be well-drained.
The tree is said to flourish in nearly all types of terrain but particularly in deep, rich soil of calcareous origin. It does very well in the oolitic limestone of South Florida and the Florida Keys. It is moderately tolerant of seaside conditions. Plant the tree in full sun.
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