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Taxon: Citrus aurantiifolia (Christm.) Swingle

Genus: Citrus
Family: Rutaceae subfamily: Aurantioideae tribe: Aurantieae subtribe: Citrinae
Nomen number: 10683
Place of publication: J. Washington Acad. Sci. 3:465. 1913 "aurantifolia"
  • treated by some as a hybrid involving C. maxima and one or more other species
  • the original spelling "aurantifolia", being derived from the generic name Aurantium, is correctable under Melbourne ICN Art. 60.8 (see also Rec. 60G and Ex. 2)
Name verified on: 15-May-2008 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last updated: 01-May-2014
Species priority site is: Natl. Germplasm Repository - Riverside (RIV).
Accessions: 23 in National Plant Germplasm System.
  • all available ) NPGS accessions. or .
  • all available ) NPGS accessions by country.
  • Check PlantSearch database of Botanic Gardens Conservation International for possible non-NPGS germplasm.

Common names:

  • Egyptian lime   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – English
  • Indian lime   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – English
  • Key lime   (Source: Hortus 3 ) – English
  • lime   (Source: World Econ Pl ) – English
  • Mexican lime   (Source: Hortus 3 ) – English
  • sour lime   (Source: Pl Res SEAs 2:126.) – English
  • West Indian lime   (Source: Hortus 3 ) – English
  • limoo   (Source: Citrus CGC, p.c.) – Transliterated Arabic
  • doc   (Source: Citrus CGC, p.c.) – Transliterated Arabic (Morocco)
  • lai meng   (Source: F ChinaEng ) – Transcribed Chinese
  • citron vert   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – French
  • citronnier gallet   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – French
  • lime acid   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – French
  • limettier   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – French
  • limettier des Antilles   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – French
  • limettier mexicain   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – French
  • Limette   (Source: S. Reichel, p.c.) – German
  • Limettenbaum   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – German
  • Limone   (Source: S. Reichel, p.c.) – German
  • saure Limette   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – German
  • kagzi nimboo   (Source: Citrus CGC, p.c.) – India (Hindi)
  • kagzi nimbu   (Source: Wealth India RM ed2 ) – India (Hindi)
  • lima   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Italian
  • limão   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Portuguese
  • lima-ácida   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Portuguese
  • limeira   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – Portuguese
  • limão-galego   (Source: D. Groth, p.c. 2005) – Portuguese (Brazil)
  • limão-tahiti   (Source: D. Groth, p.c. 2005) – Portuguese (Brazil)
  • limón agrio   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – Spanish
  • limón ceutí   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Spanish
  • lima   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Spanish
  • lima mejicana   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – Spanish
  • limero   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – Spanish

Economic importance:


Distributional range:

    China: China - Yunnan [naturalized]

  • widely cultivated in tropics & subtropics

  • probable origin East India


  • Ali, S. I. & S. M. H. Jafri, eds. 1976–. Flora of Libya. ["aurantifolia"].
  • Backer, C. A. & R. C. Bakhuizen van den Brink, Jr. 1963–1968. Flora of Java. ["aurantifolia"].
  • Bayer, R. J. et al. 2009. A molecular phylogeny of the orange subfamily (Rutaceae: Aurantioideae) using nine cpDNA sequences. Amer. J. Bot. 96:668–685. [= Citrus × aurantiifolia].
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences. 1959–. Flora reipublicae popularis sinicae. ["aurantifolia"].
  • Citrus Crop Germplasm Committee. 1998. pers. comm. [re. common names].
  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India. 1985–1992. The wealth of India: a dictionary of Indian raw materials and industrial products. Raw materials (revised edition). New Delhi. 3:610–611.
  • Dassanayake, M. D. & F. R. Fosberg, eds. 1980–. A revised handbook to the flora of Ceylon. ["aurantifolia"].
  • Davis, P. H., ed. 1965–1988. Flora of Turkey and the east Aegean islands. ["aurantifolia"].
  • Duke, J. A. et al. 2002. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs.
  • Elevitch, C. R., ed. The traditional tree initiative: species profiles for Pacific Island agroforestry (on-line resource).
  • Encke, F. et al. 1984. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 13. Auflage.
  • Facciola, S. 1990. Cornucopia, a source book of edible plants. ["aurantifolia"].
  • Federici, C. T. et al. 1998. Phylogenetic relationships within the genus Citrus (Rutaceae) and related genera as revealed by RFLP and RAPD analysis. Theor. Appl. Genet. 96:812–822.
  • Garcia-Lor, A. et al. 2013. A nuclear phylogenetic analysis: SNPs, indels and SSRs deliver new insights into the relationships in the 'true citrus fruit trees' group (Citrinae, Rutaceae) and the origin of cultivated species. Ann. Bot. (Oxford) 111:1–19.
  • Gmitter, F. G. et al. 2007. Citrus fruits. In: Kole. C., ed., Genome mapping and molecular breeding in plants (7 vols.) 14:265–279.
  • Gmitter, F. G. et al. 2009. Citrus breeding. Pp. 105–134 in: Jain, S. M. & P.M. Priyadarshan, eds., Breeding plantation tree crops: temperate species. [as "aurantifolia and recognized as a "true" species].
  • Groth, D. 2005. pers. comm. [re. Brazilian common names].
  • Hanelt, P., ed. 2001. Mansfeld's encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops. Volumes 1-6.
  • Lampe, K. F. & M. A. McCann. 1985. AMA handbook of poisonous and injurious plants.
  • Leung, A. Y. & S. Foster. 1996. Encyclopedia of common natural ingredients used in food, drugs, and cosmetics, ed. 2.
  • Li, X. et al. 2010. The origin of cultivated Citrus as inferred from Internal Transcribed Spacer and chloroplast DNA sequence and Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism fingerprints. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 135:341–350.
  • Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium. 1976. Hortus third.
  • Mabberley, D. J. 1997. A classification for edible Citrus (Rutaceae). Telopea 7:170. [lists as C. ×aurantiifolia (Christm.) Swingle].
  • Macbride, J. F. et al., eds. 1936–1971. Flora of Peru.; new ser. 1980- ["aurantifolia"].
  • McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker. 2000. Herbs of commerce, ed. 2.
  • Nasir, E. & S. I. Ali, eds. 1970–. Flora of [West] Pakistan. ["aurantifolia"].
  • Nicolosi, E. et al. 2000. Citrus phylogeny and genetic origin of important species as investigated by molecular markers. Theor. Appl. Genet. 100:1155–1166. [as "aurantifolia"].
  • Nicolosi, E. 2007. Chapter 3. Origin and taxonomy. Pp. 19–43 in: Khan, I. A., ed., Citrus genetics, breeding and biotechnology. CABI.
  • Penjor, T. et al. 2013. Phylogenetic relationships of Citrus and its relatives based on matK gene sequences. PLoS One 8(4): e62574. [this study included one sample of Citrus aurantiifolia (as "aurantifolia) that clustered in a subgroup with C. micrantha, C. hystrix and C. macroptera within the pummelo clade].
  • Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource).
  • Rehm, S. 1994. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants.
  • Reichel, S. 1998. pers. comm. [re. German common names].
  • Reitz, R., ed. 1965–. Flora ilustrada catarinense.
  • Smith, A. C. 1979–1991. Flora vitiensis nova. ["aurantifolia"].
  • Townsend, C. C. & E. Guest. 1966–. Flora of Iraq. ["aurantifolia"].
  • Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. 1952–. Flora of tropical East Africa. ["aurantifolia"].
  • Verheij, E. W. M. & R. E. Coronel, eds. 1991. Edible fruits and nuts. In: Faridah Hanum, I. & L. J. G. van der Maesen, eds., Plant Resources of South-East Asia (PROSEA). 2:126. ["aurantifolia"].
  • Woodson, R. E. & R. W. Schery, eds. 1943–1980. Flora of Panama. ["aurantifolia"].
  • Wu Zheng-yi & P. H. Raven et al., eds. 1994–. Flora of China (English edition). [lists as C. ×aurantiifolia (Christm.) Swingle].
  • Yaacob, O. & S. Subhadrabandhu. 1995. The production of economic fruits in South-East Asia.


Check other web resources for Citrus aurantiifolia (Christm.) Swingle:

  • Flora of China: Online version from Harvard University
  • TROPICOS: Nomenclatural and Specimen Database of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.


  • Check for additional images
  • Google Images Images Note: Be advised that their identity may be inaccurate. Proper identification of a plant may require specialized taxonomic knowledge or comparison with properly documented herbarium material.

Abbreviations & symbols in GRIN Taxonomy

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Cite as:
USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program.
Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database].
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
URL: (27 November 2015)

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