Looking for Edible Lime Leaves Tree grows in Ha Noi

ntt_houFebruary 6, 2006

I just added a Kaffir Lime (or Thai Lime) tree to my collection because I love the simple boiled/steamed chicken dish that is garnished with thinly sliced of lemon leaves. Dipping the chicken pieces in ginger fish sauce makes a wonderful, yet simple dish accompanying with steamed rice.

But I'm looking for another lime tree. My mom told me that in Ha Noi, there is a similar lime tree that both the leaves and its fruits are edible. The leaf is also double similar to the Kaffir Lime yet smaller than the Kaffir's leaf.

Would anyone know its Botanical or Common name? Would you know if there is a US nursery that I can purchase online or locally (Houston, Texas)?

Thank you all in advance.


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daai_tou_laam(Hong Kong)

Do you have a Vietnamese name for it?

I've been checking around and all that I'm finding are kaffir limes themselves. And you can use the fruit of the rather gnarled looking kaffir limes.

They've been selling the fruits in local expat groceries as well as the leaves in the Thai shops.

Needless to say that I bought a pack of kaffir limes and now have a couple of week old sprouts just putting on their first tiny leaves.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2006 at 9:33AM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)

Citrus hystrix is the genus and species.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2006 at 4:39PM
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The VNmese name is very general: "cay chanh", which literally translates as lime/lemon tree.

Cady, I did a google search and under "Citrus hystrix" shows the Kaffir/Kieffer lime. So, it's not it.

The lime tree I'm looking for has leaves thinner and softer than the Kaffir/Kieffer lime. As young, I've never seen the fruit since it won't fruit in South Vietnam.

Unless, it's a different specie of the Kaffir lime?

Thanks for your reply.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2006 at 10:13PM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)

From what I found on the 'net, it seems that C. hystrix is the only lime whose leaves have a culinary use. I'm guessing that what your mother referred to may be a variety of C. hystrix. It's possible for trees of the same species to produce varieties that vary in leaf size given different environments and growing conditions.

Could it be that they might even be a hybrid of C. hystrix and another species, such as C. medica "limetta" (a lime-like citron)?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2006 at 9:20AM
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Aren't all lime leaves edible? I have lived both in Saigon and Hanoi and we never cared what kind of lime leaves to put in foods. In Northern VN they use chopped lime leaves for chicken noodle soup but not Southern. I once used lime leaves here in the States to steam with clamp and I didn't see any differences between Hanoi lime or American lime. They all smell good :) I can tell the diff. with kaffir lime but all others are the same to me. TT

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 6:56PM
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Cady, thanks for the info. I'll check it out.

TT, one possible reason why in VN we don't care what kind of lime leaves we put in food is because there aren't many variety grown in VN. However, from my experience, the taste is different, especially from the lime tree that I'm looking for.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 6:25PM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)

YoYo, I believe that lime leaves are all edible, but the C. hystrix leaves have that particular flavor that works so well in Southeast Asian cooking.

Another identifier for Thai lime seems to be the shape of the fruit. It has a bumpy, rough rind compared to the smooth skin of other limes. So, if you see the tree in fruit, that will be a good indicator of whether it's Thai lime or another variety - or hybrid.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 11:48AM
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C hystrix exists in VN and is called "trái thanh-trúc" or "trái trúc" in Vietnamese.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 12:29AM
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Does anyone have fresh Kaffir lime seeds they can send me? I'm in the U.S.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 7:43PM
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johnjsr(9A DeLand)

Citrus hystrix, is given the common name Kaffir lime in this country. It is S African term used like the "N" word there. In the botanical gardens where I have seen it growing it is given the common name Magrud lime; In Thailand and Laos where it is used in almost every dish, it is called Bai magrud. The young leaves are smaller, softer and lighter green, but they have the characteristic hour glass shape. The S.E Asian folks I know use the mature
leaves. The Vietnamese don't use it much. I have two right now, and had another that I let freeze 2-3 years ago. The peel is used in curry paste.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 7:14PM
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Gregory Eleser

Probably Kafir Lime Leaves!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 4:01PM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

This is probably not the one, but the Persian lime tree has very thin leaves and they are incredibly fragrant. More fragrant than most of my other limes tree varieties especially if you crush them with your fingers. I haven't tried to use them in cooking but I might. The limes are great too.

I also have the Kaffir lime which is usually what I use for cooking. I also use the rind from the Kaffir limes.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 3:41PM
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sounds like it could be a cross to me too;

here's an interesting one:



also found out that the papeda family all have the double leaf! so it could be a yuzu (which purportedly also have scented leaves) or perhaps a khasi papeda (which supposedly looks just like a makrut but has more edible fruit!).

i sometimes buy ponzu made with yuzu (the good stuff is made this way) and have seen yuzu trees sometimes in stock at the local home depot; might have to try one!

the khasi is also super intriguing; although seems really rare.

This post was edited by farm96744 on Mon, Mar 3, 14 at 16:09

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 11:09PM
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I recently bought a Kaffir Lime tree and was wondering if it is a true seed? If I am asking incorrectly, I would like to know if the seed from my future fruit will grow into a tree and grow the traditional fruit also.Thank you in advance for your help.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 6:14PM
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