What is a Lemon?
Lemons are ancient, aromatic fruits that grow on evergreen trees reaching between 3 to 10 meters in height, belonging to the Rutaceae family. The name Lemon is a descriptor used to encompass many different varieties of flowering plants with fruits, and true Lemons, or Lemons that are primarily found in modern-day markets, are botanically classified as Citrus limon. Lemons are among the most common types of citrus commercially produced and grown in home gardens worldwide, highly favored for their acidic, sour flavoring and sweet, aromatic scent.
Lemons are small to medium fruits, averaging 5 to 12 centimeters in length, and have an ovate to oblong shape with pointed, curved ends. The rind, also known as the peel, is generally pale to bright yellow and bears many small, fragrant oil glands, creating a textured and glossy, finely pitted surface. Underneath the rind, there is a semi-thin, white pith with a spongy, cotton-like consistency, encasing 8 to 11 segments of soft, tender flesh. The pale-yellow flesh is comprised of translucent sacs filled with juice and pulp, and some Lemon varieties contain a few seeds, while other cultivars are found seedless. Lemons will vary in texture and flavor, depending on the variety, but the fruits are known for their complex, bright, and acidic flavors with floral, sweet-tart, and tangy undertones.
What is a Lime?
Limes are small, sour hybrid fruits that grow on trees or shrubs that can reach up to five meters in height and are botanically a part of the Rutaceae or citrus family. Native to the tropical climates of Asia, there are two main types of Limes including the Mexican lime, Citrus aurantifolia, and the Persian lime, Citrus latifolia. Mexican limes, also known as Key limes and West Indian limes, are smaller than Persian limes and are known for their floral forward aroma and taste.
Limes are small in size, measuring 5-7 centimeters in height and 4-6 centimeters in diameter, and are globular to oblong in shape. The rind, also known as the peel, is thin, smooth and slightly bumpy with many small oil glands visible across the surface, and glossy green transitioning into a yellow hue with maturity. Underneath the rind, the flesh is soft, juicy, pale green, seedless or may contain a few small inedible seeds, and is divided into 10-12 sections by thin white membranes. Limes, depending on the variety, have an aromatic, floral scent with an acidic, tangy, and bright flavor with notes of pine and spice.
What you need to Know About Lemon And Lime
- Lemons are typically bigger, oval-shaped, and bright yellow in color, whereas limes are smaller, spherical, and green.
- Ripe lemons generally have a ridged or bumpy surface. Ripe limes are generally dark green but some varieties, such as Key Limes, are pale yellow when they ripen. Ripe limes tend to have smooth skin.
- Lemons are larger and more oval, about 2 to 4 inches in diameter. Limes tend to be smaller than lemons, and are often much more rounded. They usually only reach between 1 and 2 inches in diameter.
- Difference between lime and lemon tree is that the fullest height the lime tree can achieve is 13 ft whereas lemon tree can reach upto 20 feet.
- Lemon trees’ leaves tend to be oblong, elliptical and can grow up to 5 inches long. Lime trees’ leaves are smaller and generally aren’t more than 2 inches long.
- Lemon trees’ fruit will smell like lemons, while limes will display a strong lime scent.
- Lemons tend to have a thicker peel, while lime peels are quite thin.
- Both fruits are acidic and sour, but lemons have a sweeter flavor than limes, which have a bitterer flavor than lemons.
- Limes are considered to be healthier since they contain higher levels of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A and C, calcium, folate, and phosphorus than other fruits and vegetables. Lemons have a higher acidity than other fruits and include nutrients such as potassium and magnesium.
- Lemons are hardier and can be found growing in moderate climates around the globe. Limes need a warmer temperature to grow and are often grown in tropical and subtropical climates.
- There are several species of limes such as the Key lime, Persian lime, makrut lime, and desert lime etc. Various species of lemon include: Verna lemon, Primofiori lemon, Bearss lemon, Dorshapo lemon, Lisbon lemon, Baboon lemon etc.
- When it comes to nutrition, lemons can be a bit on the more nutritious side compared to limes. Lemons contain 29 calories, 9 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. Limes contain 30 calories, 11 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat.
- While lemons have more and are more citric, they also are an excellent source of potassium and magnesium. However, limes contain higher amounts of phosphorus, vitamins A and C, calcium, and folate.
- Limes are often used for more savory dishes, whereas lemons are used in both savory and sweet dishes.
- Lime has a very fine and smooth skin, which is not allowed to be stored even in the most ideal conditions for more than two weeks. Lemon does not need so demanding storage conditions. It can be kept in the refrigerator for about two months.
Also Read: Different Types of Lemons
Limes vs Lemons: Tree, Fruit, Size & Nutritional Value
|1||Limes tend to be smaller, usually only reach between 1 and 2 inches in diameter.||Lemons are larger about 2 to 4 inches in diameter.|
|2||Lime tree grows Upto 13 feet tall.||Lemon tree grows Upto 20 feet tall.|
|3||Ripe limes tend to have smooth skin.||Ripe lemons generally have a ridged or bumpy surface.|
|4||Limes are more oval.||Lemons, and are often much more rounded.|
Lime trees’ leaves are smaller and generally aren’t more than 2 inches long.
|Lemon trees’ leaves tend to be oblong, elliptical and can grow up to 5 inches long.|
|6||Limes will display a strong lime scent.||Lemon trees’ fruit will smell like lemons|
|7||Lime peels are quite thin.||Lemons tend to have a thicker peel|
|8||Limes have a bitterer flavor than lemons||Lemons have a sweeter flavor than limes.|
|9||Limes have higher levels of vitamins and minerals.||Lemons have a higher nutrients such as potassium and magnesium.|
|10||Limes need are often grown in tropical and subtropical climates.||Lemons grow in moderate climates around the globe.|
|11||Key lime, Persian lime, makrut lime, and desert lime etc||Verna lemon, Primofiori lemon, Bearss lemon, Dorshapo lemon, Lisbon lemon, Baboon lemon etc|
|12||Limes contain 30 calories, 11 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat.||Lemons contain 29 calories, 9 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat.|
|13||Limes contain higher amounts of phosphorus, vitamins A and C, calcium, and folate.||Lemons have more and are more citric, they also are an excellent source of potassium and magnesium.|
|14||Limes are often used for more savory dishes.||Lemons are used in both savory and sweet dishes.|
|16||Lime cannot be stored even in the most ideal conditions for more than two weeks.||Lemon can be kept in the refrigerator for about two months.|
Also Read: Different Types of Kale Varieties
Lime’s Nutritional Value
Limes are an excellent source of vitamin C as well as a good source of dietary fiber. They also contain minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus. Both the rind and the pulp contain phytochemical polyphenols and terpenes, specifically limonene, which gives the fruit its citrusy aroma. The volatile oils extracted from the peel are used in aromatherapy, skin products, and in perfumes.
Lemon’s Nutritional Value
Lemons are an excellent source of fiber to stimulate the digestive tract and vitamin C to strengthen the immune system, boost collagen production within the skin, and reduce inflammation. The fruits are also a good source of potassium, copper, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, and iron. In addition to vitamins and minerals, Lemons have been used in traditional medicines as a natural diuretic, bleaching agent, and as a protective medicine against some infections and diseases such as scurvy.