Common Name: Mandarin Lime
A form known as the 'Australian Blood Lime'
Photograph by: cskk
Mandarin lime is a spiny, evergreen shrub or small tree growing 3 - 7 metres tall[
The plant is occasionally cultivated in subtropical and tropical areas for its edible fruit[
Originated in cultivation.
Not known in a truly wild situation.
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Three main climates are suitable for commercial citrus production - tropical climates, subtropical with winter rain such as in the Mediterranean and semitropical with summer rainfall as found in Florida and southern Brazil[
]. The optimal temperatures for citrus cultivation range between 25 - 30°c, with the coldest month having an average minimum of at least 15°c[
]. Growth generally ceases below 13°c and above 38°c[
]. If there are dry periods of more than three months, then irrigation will be necessary[
Prefers a deep, well-drained but moisture-retentive loamy soil in full sun[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6[
Fruit - raw. Used to make juices[
]. The fruit is used to add a sour taste to foods[
]. It is also used in the production of limeade, marmalade and sweets, and can be are used as spice[
]. A very acid, lemon-like flavour[
]. The fruit is about 6cm in diameter[
The fruits and its peel are used medicinally[
The leaves, the roots and the fruit rinds possess antibacterial and demulcent properties. They are used in decoction to treat coughs, sore throats, dyspnoea, headache, ophthalmalgia, mastitis, galactophoritis, anorexia, vomiting and snake-bite[
The steam from a boiling decoction of the fresh leaves is iinhaled as a treatment for coryza and influenza[
Citrus species contain a wide range of active ingredients and research is still underway in finding uses for them. They are rich in vitamin C, flavonoids, acids and volatile oils. They also contain coumarins such as bergapten which sensitizes the skin to sunlight. Bergapten is sometimes added to tanning preparations since it promotes pigmentation in the skin, though it can cause dermatitis or allergic responses in some people[
]. Some of the plants more recent applications are as sources of anti-oxidants and chemical exfoliants in specialized cosmetics[
The plant is used as a rootstock for other Citrus species[
The seed is best sown in containers as soon as it is ripe, after thoroughly rinsing it[
]. Sow stored seed in containers as soon as possible]. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 3 weeks at 13°c. Seedlings are liable to damp off so they must be watered with care and kept well ventilated. The seed is usually polyembrionic, two or more seedlings arise from each seed and they are genetically identical to the parent but they do not usually carry any virus that might be present in the parent plant[
]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until they are 10cm or more tall before planting out into their permanent positions.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. This species grows easily from cuttings[
Layering in October.
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