Carolina Lime

Since I couldn’t decide which hardy citrus trees to add to my zone 7b/8a Georgia, USA garden, I bought a box of assorted fruit from Stan at McKenzie Farms. It included lots of interesting things, including some varieties that he doesn’t even list on his website. What, for instance, is a Carolina Lime? How hardy is it? It seems like a great fruit, with sour, flavorful juice without any bitterness or off flavors. It made a great limeade. It seems ungoogleable, as I just find pages that include the words “Carolina” and “lime” but nothing about this particular citrus variety. Anyone here growing it?


ungoogleable seems like an impressive feat!

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It appears to be a very old variety, and very very little is said about it in these books

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I can’t read those old books well, but I get the impression that they’re talking about trees in the Tilia genus, usually called linden or basswood in the US, and lime trees in Britain. They’re different from citrus trees.


You sure you aren’t just talking about a trifoliate orange? I ask because pure trifoliate is generally not too bitter, but the crosses usually seem to have the peel bitterness in the fruit pulp. I spent a lot of time in the 1990’s going thru the Fla collection of trifoliate crosses.

Not for me. Trifoliate orange no matter what you call it tastes like battery acid. The sticky glue you get on your hands from handling it takes paint thinner to get off your fingers.

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Pretty fascinating! Did you try asking Stan? It certainly doesn’t look like a Trifoliate orange.

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Well, is it maybe a limequat?

You’d better better ask Stan what a “Carolina lime” is, and hope he knows. Since you didn’t pick it yourself, you didn’t see the tree, and the fruit looks underripe with dried out skin, so it’s REALLY hard to tell much.

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Now that I think about it, it does look a lot like I’d imagine the fruit of a Seville orange and a lime crossed, if they were hybridized together ‘if the overall appearance looked more like the Seville orange’, I have never seen such a thing, so I don’t know for sure how that could look, yet Seville oranges look dried out on the outside, even if they are not, and they have a rough course looking peel.

I dunno about the outside, but the rind in your photo is from either a fruit stored a long time, or a trifoliate. I have eaten “Seville” oranges since they grew wild where I grew up, and the peels are as thick or thicker as a sweet orange.

Interesting. Let us know what else you find out.

The fruit in the OP looks far larger than the trifoliate oranges I’m used to seeing.

If it’s hardy, though…I’m interested…


The word from Stan: “Its a bud stick I got from Germany long ago. At one time it probably had a legitimate name but it got misplaced long ago.”

The one I got sat in a box for a while before I got around to trying it, so that explains the dry skin.


It appears to be some sort of ‘Rangpur’ lime, they come in different color skin and flesh, like this one Borneo Rangpur Citrus Tree - One Green World

like this oneón_mandarina_mandarin_lime_or_rangpur_lime/

and like this one Rangpur Lime Tree — Just Fruits and Exotics

they are Mandarin-Lime hybrids