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The kaffir lime

Citrus hystrix, called the kaffir lime or Mauritius papeda, is a citrus fruit native to tropical Southeast Asia and southern China.

Its fruit and leaves are used in Southeast Asian cuisine and its essential oil is used in perfumery. Its rind and crushed leaves emit an intense citrus fragrance. The etymology of the name "kaffir lime" is uncertain. The Arabic word for non-Muslims is kafir, in South Africa, "kaffir" is an ethnic slur for black African people.A name less well established in English, while in South Africa it is usually simply referred to as Thai lime , therefore we consider its use on the discriminatory site.

C. hystrix is a thorny bush, 2 to 11 metres (6 to 35 ft) tall, with aromatic and distinctively shaped "double" leaves. These hourglass-shaped leaves comprise the leaf blade plus a flattened, leaf-like stalk (or petiole). The fruit is rough and green, and ripens to yellow; it is distinguished by its bumpy exterior and its small size, approximately 4 cm (2 in) wide.

The leaves are the most frequently used part of the plant, fresh, dried, or frozen. The leaves are widely used in Thai. C. hystrix is grown worldwide in suitable climates as a garden shrub for home fruit production. It is well suited to container gardens and for large garden pots on patiosterraces, and in conservatories.

  • Category Citrus
  • Genus Citrus
  • Species hystrix
  • Families Rutaceae
  • Habit Shrub
  • Climatic Zones Sub-tropical, USDA 10 b (Southern Italy and islands)
  • Leaves Evergreen
  • Flower Corymb
  • Geographical Area of Origin South-East Asia
  • Flowering and Fruiting Period December / November / October / September / March / February / January
  • Form Espalier / Inverted cone / Tree / Grown as shrub / bush
  • Colore Fiori Bianco
  • Colore Foglie Verde
  • Colore Frutti Verde   Giallo
  • Parfumed yes
  • Favorite soil Sub-acid / medium acid / Middle-Dough / Medium soil
  • Water needs Medium
  • Light Exposure Full light / Full sun / Medium shade / Half shade
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