According to research, Citrus aurantifolia derives from crosses between Citrus papeda as the female parent and Citrus medica as the male parent, whereas Citrus limon is close relative of citron or sour orange. The lime is native to the Indo-Malayan region where it grows wild in the valleys of the Himalayas. Limes are classified into varieties that are sweet or bitter according to the sweetness of the juice.

Bearss and Tahiti are the most planted varieties of lime in South Africa. The Bearss variety is thought to have originated in California, from a seedling that developed out of Tahitian fruit. It was named after TJ Bearss, the owner of the nursery where it developed. The exact origin of the Tahiti lime is unknown. The name refers to the fact that the variety was introduced to California from Tahiti somewhere between 1850 and 1880.

Citrus aurantifolia thrives in tropical and subtropical conditions. The flowers are considered a valuable source of food for honey bees. The bees are extremely fond of lime flowers, feeding on both nectar and pollen, and sometimes also collect the honeydew left by aphids on the leaves. The lovely aromatic blooms also attract hummingbirds and butterflies thereby bringing a sense of life and vitality to the garden. The fruit is edible, it’s used for cooking and also to make juices. When planted in rows, lime trees make a privacy hedge, they respond well to pruning. This tree can also be planted as a potted topiary to accent a patio or courtyard.