Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Citrus aurantiifolia (Christm.) Swingle

Irregularly branched small, spiny tree with elliptic-oval pale green leaves and white flowers followed by round to oval green fruit, ranging in taste from acid to sweetish. To 4m. [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Many citrus fruits are referred to as Lime. The true Lime as described here, is often confounded with the Sweet Lemon, Citrus limetta Risso, which see. Highly valued as an easily stored anti-scorbutic in the 19th century.

‘The Lime (C. acida) is generally considered to be remotely allied to the Citron, but may be, as we know it, a modified and improved form of the wild lime (C. hystrix) of India or the Malay Islands. Though classed as a shrub, in a favorable climate and with room to expand it forms a small tree. Being the most tender of the family and nearly always in a growing state, it is easily killed down by frost, but never fails to spring up again vigorously. It is very thorny, and when closely planted forms an admirable and impenetrable hedge, always full of fruit and so robust as to need little care.’ [American Fruit Culturist p.646/1911]. Long cultivated, particularly in the West Indies but, not withstanding the above, its origins are obscure.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues as ‘True Lime’ [Orange tribe no.20/1843].


Published May 04, 2010 - 04:14 PM | Last updated May 04, 2010 - 04:28 PM

Family Rutaceae
Region of origin

Tropical Asia

  • Citrus medica L. subsp. limonum (Risso). Wight et Arn. var. limetta Engl.
  • Citrus acida Pers.
Common Name


Name in the Camden Park Record

True Lime

Confidence level high