How Do Limes Grow Without Seeds?

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Seedless limes are monocotyledonous fruits, which means that the flowers produce fruit without pollination and are therefore seedless. Some varieties have been bred to be seedless, but seedless limes are squeezed because they occur naturally.

Limes are one of the citrus fruits, so you would expect them to always have seeds like other citrus fruits. But remember that there are several varieties of limes that differ in many ways.

So in this article, you’ll discover how do limes grow without seeds. Let’s start.

Persian lime The most famous lime

Most limes sold for food and other uses are Persian limes. Although believed to be a distinct species, authorities have determined that this lime is actually a “natural hybrid of lemon and true lime.”

Persian lime, also called Baird lime or Tahitian lime, is a monocarpic plant. This means that it bears fruit without fertilization. It is therefore seedless.

The true lime, on the other hand, has seeds. It is also called West Indian lime or Mexican lime. It is much smaller than the Persian lime and has thinner skin. They are also less resistant to disease than Persian limes and have a shorter shelf life.

Photo by Hanna Balan on Unsplash

Characteristics of the Persian lime

Fruit formation usually begins when the flower’s ovules are fertilized by pollen. In contrast, monocotyledonous fruits, such as Persian limes, develop without fertilization. Fruit formation in monocotyledonous plants may be due to a variety of causes, including sperm and ovule problems, pollination problems, and chromosome disorders.

Persian limes have three pairs of chromosomes instead of two. So while there are many fruits that are naturally single-flowered, Persian limes cannot reproduce because of this chromosome imbalance. For this reason, many growers use the grafting method.

In grafting, a portion of a seedless tree is grafted onto another.

This grafting allows growers to clone the original tree and produce more seedless limes. Grafting can also be used to repair damaged trees. However, from a production standpoint, grafting is the key that allows growers to produce and sell seedless limes on a commercial scale.

Thus, this is the most important reason why most limes on the market are seedless. Interestingly, other members of the citrus family are also seedless. For example, some lemons are also seedless. Although seeds are occasionally found in “seedless” lemons due to hybridization, many lemons are seedless.

However, lemons without seeds are rarer than lemons with seeds, which is not the case with limes.

Famous lime varieties-how do limes grow without seeds

Persian and Mexican limes are already known for their seed composition. However, there are other types of lime as well. Here is a brief introduction to some of them.

Kaffir lime

The kaffir lime is a species of lime that is particularly well known on the Asian continent. It is characterized by its lime green color and rough skin. Like many limes, it turns slightly yellow when it begins to ripen. However, limes are often very acidic and their juice is overly sour. For this reason, they are not suitable for cooking.

They also produce less juice than Persian and Mexican limes. This lime has seeds from which you can grow other limes.

Photo by Vino Li on Unsplash

Philippine lime

The Philippine lime is a lime hybrid. The flesh is orange, and as the name implies, lime is especially common in the Philippines and other parts of South Asia. In some countries, the Philippine lime is called calamander.

Limes from the Philippines are rich in juice and are sometimes used in local cuisine. They are also used to decorate dishes and for eating. Limes are pitted, with 8-12 seeds per fruit.

Finger lime

The finger lime is probably the rarest species of lime. It is also called caviar lime or Australian lime and differs greatly from other limes in the shape of its fruit. It is cylindrical, has a long skeleton, and an irregular, rough, sinuous shape. It is also pointed at one end.

The flesh of the lime resembles small pearly caviar rather than the usual rectangular juice sac that most citrus fruits have. The juice is tart but has a refreshing aftertaste.

Finger limes are seedless. There are different colored varieties, but all are seedless.

Blood Lime

A cross between the Red Finger and the Ellendale Mandarin (a cross between an orange and a tangerine). It is an unusual lime with a sweet flavor and red color.

Compared to many traditional lime varieties, the blood lime is relatively small. However, unlike other limes, the peel can be eaten along with the pulp.

It also contains seeds.

Rangpur Lime

The Rampur lime is a cross between the mandarin and other citrus species. It is sometimes represented in some texts as a type of Indian mandarin lime. The Rampur lime looks like a small orange but tastes more like a conventional lime with a sour taste.

Rampur limes are mainly used as an ingredient in jams. Limes also have seeds.

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

Can lime seeds be eaten?

As many people know, limes are one of the most versatile ingredients in cooking. You can make delicious lemonade, add limes to water or iced tea, or even use limes in cooking.

Limes are excellent citrus fruit, making them an ideal source of vitamin C, and they also have powerful healing and antioxidant properties.

Lime seeds are small and it can sometimes be difficult not to swallow them. Some fruits, such as cherries, apples, and nectarines, can be very toxic in large quantities. The seeds of apples, for example, contain cyanide, a substance that is deadly to humans.

Lime seeds have no effect when eaten. Lime seeds are not considered dangerous because they are not one of the fruits mentioned. However, people with digestive disorders such as diverticulitis or irritable bowel syndrome may have difficulty digesting lime seeds.

They are not toxic or dangerous for pets either, but as with humans, they may have certain reactions if they have digestive problems.

References

Bruno, J. (2021, December 1). Why Don’t Limes have Seeds and Lemons Do? Thrive Cuisine. https://thrivecuisine.com/garden/why-dont-limes-have-seeds-and-lemons-do/

C. (2021, January 6). Do Limes Have Seeds? Prepared Cooks. https://preparedcooks.com/do-limes-have-seeds/

Raga, S. (2016, March 2). Why Do Most Lemons Have Seeds, While Most Limes Do Not? Mental Floss. https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/76345/why-do-most-lemons-have-seeds-while-most-limes-do-not

Schader, M. (2019, November 18). How Does Broccoli Reproduce? Sciencing. https://sciencing.com/how-does-broccoli-reproduce-12148552.html

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