The Rangpur lime or Mandarin Lime (Citrus limonia Osbeck) is an arboreal species belonging to the Rutaceae family.
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
C. limonia species.
The term Citrus is derived from the Latin name of cedar and lemon, from the Greek Greek κέδρος kédros cedar and κίτρον kítron lemon.
The specific limonia epithet comes from lemon limon: which recalls lemon, due to its appearance, color or scent.
Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Citrus limonia is probably a hybrid between mandarin and cedar, or between mandarin and lemon. Its origin is assumed to be Indian. It was identified by Joseph Dalton Hooker, at the foot of the Himalayas in the second half of the 19th century.
However, its natural habitat is not known.
Citrus limonia is a citrus fruit in the form of a small tree or thorny shrub that reaches an average of 5-6 meters in height.
The leaves are deep green, aromatic.
The flowers are small, with white, fragrant petals.
The fruit is round, about 6 cm in diameter, slightly flattened, but irregular; it has a yellowish-green or yellow skin, which takes on an intense orange color once ripening is complete, but has spots and a coarse appearance, susceptible to attack by fungi and bacteria. The pulp is generally healthy in appearance, orange, with abundant juice, very acidic, tasty and rich in vitamin C.
Citrus limonia is a citrus fruit of Asian origin but which grows in other areas of the planet such as Brazil.
This plant has been introduced in various parts of the world such as in North America (Florida) but it is a plant sensitive to cold so that in the winter it is necessary to keep it away from frost, in a bright place with constant temperatures, watering in moderation.
The plant is often grown as an ornamental in some countries and as a rootstock of citrus fruits: In Costa Rica it is also grown commercially and is preferred to lime and lemon, used in any preparation that requires a lemon and grows in the wild on pastures and close to human settlements.
It is a plant sought after by bees that prefers tropical climates, subtropics with winter rains as in the Mediterranean and semitropics with summer rainfall as found in Florida and southern Brazil.
The optimal temperatures for growing citrus fruits are between 25 and 30 ° C, with the coldest month having an average minimum of at least 15 ° C-
It does not grow below minimum temperatures of 13 ° C and above 38 ° C. If there are periods of drought longer than three months it requires irrigation.
From a pedological point of view, it prefers a deep clayey soil, well drained but which retains moisture in full sun, with a pH between 5 and 6.
Propagation can occur by seed. The seed should be placed in pots or containers as soon as it is ripe, after having carefully rinsed it. Germination usually takes place within 2 – 3 weeks at 13 ° C. The seedlings should be watered carefully and kept well ventilated. The seed is usually polyembryonic, two or more seedlings are born from each seed and are genetically identical to the parent but usually do not carry any viruses that may be present in the mother plant.
As soon as the seedlings reach the manageable size they should be placed in individual pots where they will be developed to a height of 10 cm or more before planting them in the open field.
Propagation can also take place for semi-mature wood cuttings, in the period of July-August in the shade. It is a species that grows easily by cuttings.
Customs and Traditions –
Citrus limonia is an uncommon citrus fruit known by various names; in Brazil: limão-rosa, limão-china and limão-vinagre; in Bangla-Desh: rangpur; in India: sharbati; in China: canton-lime; in Japan: hime-lime, in the USA: mandarin-lime.
Often described as a lemon hybrid, genomic analysis has shown that it is an F1 hybrid of a female cedar (Citrus medica) and a male mandarin (Citrus reticulata).
The raw fruits of this plant are consumed, also used to make juices.
The fruit serves to impart a sour taste to foods and is also used in the production of limes, jams and sweets, and can be used as a spice.
It has a very sour, lemon-like flavor.
In the medicinal field, fruits and peel are used.
The leaves, roots and peels of the fruits have antibacterial and emollient properties. They are used in decoction to treat cough, sore throat, dyspnoea, headache, ophthalmicgia, mastitis, galactophoritis, anorexia, vomiting and snakebite.
The steam from a boiling decoction of the fresh leaves is inhaled as a cure for coryza and flu.
This citrus fruit contains a wide range of active ingredients and research is still ongoing to find a use for them. They are rich in vitamin C, flavonoids, acids and volatile oils. They also contain coumarins such as bergapten which sensitizes the skin to sunlight. Bergapten is sometimes added to tanning preparations as it promotes skin pigmentation, although it can cause dermatitis or allergic reactions in some people.
Some of the newer applications of plants are used as sources of antioxidants and chemical exfoliants in specialized cosmetic products.
Furthermore, in agriculture, the plant is used as rootstock for other citrus species, exploiting its qualities of resistance to drought and favoring the productivity of grafted plants.
Preparation Method –
Citrus limonia is a plant that is used both in the food and in the medicinal and cosmetic fields.
The fruits are eaten raw but with these juices are also prepared or used to acidify other foods.
Limandarin juice serves as a condiment or as a refreshing drink, but it is hardly marketed.
The leaves are used as a condiment.
In the medicinal field, fruits, peel, roots and leaves are used for their antibacterial and emollient properties.
They are used in the form of decoctions.
– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
– Useful Tropical Plants Database.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (ed.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Advice and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore.
Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not represent in any way a medical prescription; therefore no responsibility is taken for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.