Typically a shrub up to 3 m tall, but sometimes forms a small tree.
Compound leaves are composed of 3 elliptic leaflets with the terminal leaflet twice as large as the lateral leaflets (terminal leaflet: 2-4 cm long, lateral leaflets: 1.2-2 cm long, 0.8-1.2 cm wide). A pair of spines is located at the base of the leaf petiole.
Fragrant, white flowers are composed of 3 oblanceolate petals which are reflexed at the tip. They are produced throughout the year in small clusters of 2-3 in the leaf axils (area between the upper surface of the leaf and adjacent stem).
Reddish orange to bright red, fleshy fruits are round to ellipsoid (1-1.5 cm long). The fruit peel contains many oil glands that smell like lemon. Each fruit contains 1-3 seeds embedded within a mucilaginous pulp. Fruits are produced continuously throughout the year.
Lime Berry's facts
Did you know?
In Philippines, the leaves of lime berry are used to make aromatic bath salts.
In Indonesia, the leaves of lime berry are used to treat the health complaints such as colic, diarrhea and skin diseases.It is also used in cosmetics.
Lime berry is used in traditional medicine of South East Asia.
The plant is believed to possess antibacterial and antifungal properties which help to treat diarrhea, colic and skin ailments.
Lime berry fruits are useful for sore throats and coughs. Fruits should be peeled and soaked the lime water overnight. Then rinse and boil in about 1 cup water along with ½ cup of sugar. It should be rinsed and boiled second or third time as needed for the sore throat and cough.
The crushed leaves of lime berry are applied to treat dandruff.
Lime berry fruit is cooked with sugar and water in Guyana as an aid for coughs which helps to loosen phlegm.
Lime Berry's Relationship with Humans
It is grown for its edible fruit, and has been widely introduced to other subtropical to tropical regions of the world; it has become naturalized on a number of islands in the tropical Pacific Ocean. It has also been noted as a potential invasive in several Indian Ocean archipelagos, and along the United States Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas as well as in the Caribbean.
The lime berry has gained some popularity as a bonsai plant. More tropical than true citrus, it must be kept in greenhouses even in many locations where true citrus thrive. In true tropical locations, lime berry may have some promise as a potential commercial fruit crop.
This tree is also considered a weed in other introduced locations.