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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Citrus aurantifolia ( Lemon or Key lime )

Lemon or Key Lime or Citrus aurantifolia, is a herbaceous plant which has many branches and twigs, approximately 0.5 to 3.5 m high. Included in the group of citrus plants, this plant originated from South East Asia, spread to the Middle East, North Africa, then to Spain and Andalusia. Before reaching the sub tropical areas in American countries such as Mexico, Florida and California.

Characteristic of the tree:

Woody trunk tenacious, thorny, and hard. Medium colored outer skin surface of dark gray and dull greenish. The leaves are compound, with elliptical base rounded, blunt tip, and the jagged edge. The leaves can reach 2.5 to 9 cm long and 2-5 cm wide. While bone pinnate leaves with winged stalks, green and 5-25 mm wide. 

Lime plant has a taproot. In common with types of citrus, the lemon tree also likes places that can get direct sunlight.

Type of flowers, can be a compound or single flowers that grow in axillary or at the end of the stem, flower diameter between 1,5 - 2,5 cm. Petals shaped like a bowl to share 4-5 with a diameter of 0.4 to 0.7 cm, and a beige colored pistils cylindrical stalk. Corolla numbered 4-5, oval or oblong with a long 0.7 to 1.25 cm wide and 0.25 to 0.5 cm white. Lime plant usually begins to bear fruit at the age of 2 1/2 years.

The Fruit: 

This kind of orange tasted very sour, almost no sweetness at all. Largest form of lime reached a maximum of only as big as a ping-pong ball, green when young, and turns yellow when ripe. When opened it will be very pronounced sour flavor. In terms of food or drink, the fruit is usually used water, almost no one eating it directly. However, orange juice can be part of a very refreshing drink. For tropical countries, fruit and its leaves are also used as a spice in cooking them.

Lime juice is the best material to eliminate the fishy odor coming from the egg. In addition, lemon juice is also beneficial because it contains a substance - the following substances:

Lime fruit contains elements of chemical compounds that are useful , for example : citric acid , amino acids ( tryptophan , lysine ) , essential oils ( citral , limonene , felandren , lemon camphor , kadinen , Gerani - lasetat , linali - lasetat , aktilaldehid , nonildehid ) , resin , glycosides , citric acid, fat , calcium , phosphorus , iron , sulfur, vitamin B1 and C. In addition , lemon also contains saponins and flavonoids compounds hesperidin ( hesperetin 7 - rutinosida ) , tangeretin , naringin , eriocitrin , eriocitrocide . Hesperidin useful for anti-inflammatory , antioxidant , and inhibits prostaglandin synthesis .

Hesperidin also inhibited azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colon carcinogenesis in the rabbit, and also inhibits N-butyl-N-(4-hydroxy-butyl) nitrosamine-induced urinary bladder carcinogenesis in rats (Chang, 2001). Lemon juice also contains 7% essential oil containing citral, limonene, fenchon, terpineol, bisabolene, and other terpenoids. Guo, et al. (2006) have observed that D-Limonene can inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis in HL-60 cells and K562 cells.


Terms growth, ideally require 6-9 wet months (rainy season), rainfall 1000-2000 mm / yr evenly throughout the year, have enough water, especially in the month of July-August. Optimal temperature between 25-30 ° C and optimum humidity around 70-80%. Wind speed of more than 40-48% would destroy flowers and fruit. Optimum elevation between 1-1200 m asl. Orange juice is not like a place protected from sunlight. Latosol Andosol soil types and is perfect, the degree of acidity of the soil (soil pH) is 5.5-6.5. Optimum soil water at a depth of 150-200 cm below the soil surface. In the dry season, 150 cm and 50 cm in the rainy season. Lime plants like salt water containing approximately 10%.

Seeding: Seeding can be done by generative and vegetative:

A. Generative Method:

Seeds extracted from fruits by squeezing the fruit that has been cut. Dried beans in a place that is not exposed for 2-3 days until the mucus is lost. Then deployed in the nursery yag already prepared. However, breeding in this way will require a very long time to bear fruit, it needs about 5-6 years before the tree can bear fruit.

B. Vegetative Methods:

There are two methods applying on vegetative: transplanting or grafting. Grafting is a method of seed multiplication by shoot tip grafting and attachment of the eye patch. For both these ways need to be prepared root stock  were selected from the type of lime with strong roots and a broad, high environmental adaptability, drought resistant, resistant / tolerant to viral diseases, root rot and nematodes. Rootstock varieties commonly used is Japanese citroen, Rough lemon, Cleopatra, Troyer citrange Citrange and Carizzo. After the shoot tip grafting or attachment of the eye patch.

Time to start fruiting will be shorter than generative method, seed that made by grafting or transplanting will began to bear fruit on about 2 ½ year since planting time.

Planting: Lime seedlings can be planted in the rainy season or dry season when the water available for watering, but better to be planted early in the rainy season. Before planting, necessary to: (a) Reduction of excessive leaves and branches; (b) Reduction of the root; (c) Setting the root position lest there folded.

Scientific classification:
    • Kingdom                : Plantae (Plants)
    • Subkingdom           : Tracheobionta (Vascular Plants)
    • Super Division       : Spermatophyta (Produces seeds)
    • Division                 : Magnoliophyta (flowering plants)
    • Class                      : Magnoliopsida (dashed two / dicots)
    • Sub Class              : Rosidae
    • Order                    : Sapindales
    • Family                  : Rutaceae (citrus tribe)
    • Genus                   : Citrus
    • Species                  : Citrus aurantifolia