This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(from Arabic limun, a lemon) (C. Medica variety IAmon, Linn. C. Limbnium, Risso). Lemon. Fig. 974. A small tree with long irregular branches: thorns short, stout and stiff: Ivs. rather pale green, elongate-ovate, pointed at the tip, with serrate or sub-serrate margins; petioles wingless but sometimes narrowly margined, articulated both with the blade and the twig: flowers rather large, solitary or in small clusters in the axils of the Ivs., reddish - tinted in the bud; petals white above, reddish purple below; stamens 20-40; ovary tapering into the deciduous style: fruit oval or oblong, with an apical papilla, 3-5 x 2-3 in. with 8-10 segments, lemon-yellow when ripe, with a prominently glandular-dotted peel, often more or less rough and moderately thick; pulp very abundant, very acid; seeds small, ovate, smooth, often few or none, white inside. -The lemon is very sensitive to cold as, like the citron and the lime, it is readily forced into new growth by a few days of warm weather in winter. It is found in all tropical and warm subtropical regions and is cult, on a large scale in the Medit. region, especially in Sicily, whence large quantities of the fruits are exported to the U. S. In this country the lemon is widely cult, in Calif, and to a much smaller extent in Fla. The fruits are gathered just before they ripen while still green in color and often before they attain their full size and are then ripened in curing-houses, in which temperature and' humidity are artificially controlled.
The juice is used for making lemonade, for cooking, and the arts; the peel is used in cooking and the oil extracted from it is used in cooking and in perfumery. The principal cult, varieties have rather small smooth fruits The more important varieties are listed here: Eureka. fruits oval-oblong, medium size, usually seedless, ripening early: tree small, nearly thornless. Genoa. fruits oval, pointed at base and tip, ripening early, seedless: tree dwarf. Lisbon. fruits oblong, with a large papilla at the tip, few-seeded: tree of medium size, thorny; a vigorous grower. Villa Franca. fruits oval-oblong, medium to large, apex abruptly papillate, seeds numerous: tree of good size, nearly thornless. Kennedy. fruits oval, with a very small papilla, thin-skinned, nearly seedless. Ponderosa. fruits very large, sometimes weighing 2 1/2 lbs., with a neck at the base; seeds numerous. Everbearing. fruits large, abruptly papillate at the tip, with a narrowed neck at the base, rough all over; seeds rather numerous: everbearing, borne on a straggling bushy tree that sprouts from the roots.
Grown for home use in Fla. Rough (Florida Rough). A tree of doubtful origin, occurring wild in the Everglades of S. Fla.: fruits round-ovate, very rough, apical papilla surrounded by a depressed ring; seeds numerous: tree large and vigorous. The fruits of this variety are useless for commercial purposes, but the seeds are in considerable demand by nurserymen as the tree makes an excellent stock for very poor sandy or calcareous soils. See Lemon.
Fig. 974. Citrus Limonia. (X1/3, fruit 1/4)
(Limonia aurantifblia, Christ-mann. C. limetta Auct. not Risso). Lime. A small tree, with rather irregular branches: spines very sharp, short, stiff: leaves small, 2-3 in. long, elliptic-oval, crenate, rather pale green; petioles distinctly but narrowly winged: flowers small, white in the bud, occurring in few-fid, axillary clusters; petals white on both surfaces; stamens 20-25; ovary rather sharply set off from the deciduous style: fruit small, oval or round-oval, 1 1/4-2 1/2 in. diam., often with a small apical papilla, with 10 segments, greenish yellow when ripe; peel prominently glandular-dotted, very thin; pulp abundant, greenish, very acid; seeds small, oval, smooth, white inside. - The lime is perhaps the most sensitive to cold of any known species of Citrus. Even a few days of moderately warm weather in winter suffice to force it into a tender and succulent growth that is killed by the slightest frost. It is found in all tropical countries, often in a semi-wild condition. It is cult, in the warmest parts of Fla., especially on the Keys. Large quantities of the fruit, picked when still green and often not full-sized, are packed in barrels and shipped to the cities of the N. U. S., where they are extensively used for making limeade.
Large quantities of bottled lime juice are exported from Montserrat and Dominica Isls. in the W. Indies, and used on shipboard for preventing scurvy. Limes are too thin-skinned to keep well and are not processed as are lemons. It is usually prop, from seed-rarely from cuttings. The principal varieties grown in the U. S. are: Mexican (West Indian). fruits small, smooth, often with a slight apical papilla; seeds few: tree small, very spiny, usually branching from the base. This variety, almost always grown from seed, is the only one planted on any considerable commercial scale. Tahiti (Persian?). fruits large, smooth, with a broad apical papilla; seedless, about the size and shape of an ordinary lemon: poor keepers. See Lime. Hybrids: Sweet (C. limetta, Risso?). fruits about the size of a lemon, with a sweet and insipid pulp. Commonly grown in the W. Indies and Cent. Amer. Lime-quats are new hardy hybrids between the common Mexican lime and a kumquat; these hybrids vary much in size, shape and flavor, but some are about the size of a lime and have abundant very acid pulp.
See description under Limequat.