The Key lime grows 1-2 inches in diameter, and is not a typical green colored lime. In fact, when ripe, it’s color is more shades of yellow than green in appearance (photo left).
It is smaller, seedier, has higher acidity, a stronger aroma, and a thinner rind than a typical Persian (green) lime.
In fact, a Key Lime is highly valued for it’s strong, tart flavor, as opposed to it’s cousin lime–the Persian–which are less sour and tart.
The name comes from its association with the Florida Keys, where it is best known as the flavoring ingredient in Key Lime Pie. It is also known as West Indian lime, Bartender’s lime, Omani lime, Tahitian lime or Mexican lime.
Dwarf varieties are popular with home growers and can be grown indoors in winter in colder climates. The trunk rarely grows straight, with many branches that often originate quite far down on the trunk. Flowers and fruit appear throughout the year but are most abundant from May to September.
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