Dwarf Lime Key, Kaffir or Bearss

reversethongApril 2, 2009

I want a lime tree for general use. Cooking, drinks, rinds and so on. I've read that Bearss is true lime and this is what I think I'm going to buy for an outdoor potted dwarf. However, Key lime is so coveted famous and Kaffir has the amazing rind an leaves. Can Key Lime be used as an all purpose lime?

Does Kaffir lime work for juice, and recipes where juice is needed?

Basically, I want need to rule out the other two, so I can buy the Bearss.


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Kaffir lime juice and fruit is bitter. Haven't really found a good use for it yet. An indian friend made pickled lime out of it once, interesting but bitter. A little grated zest in a margarita tho' is pretty amazing ; )

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 2:34AM
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I personally would get the Bearss lime (which I usually refer to as the "Persian lime"). "Kaffir" is actually grown more for its leaves than its fruit (at least in Thai cuisine). The fruit of the Kaffir is not particularly attractive and is very bitter. I like key limes but they are very spiny little trees. Still, key lime does have a unique taste and the tree is relatively small so it can be easily containerized. I don't have a true key lime now but may be interested in growing one eventually. I do have the Persian (Bearss) and a limequat (a key lime/kumquat hybrid). The latter has its advantages (more cold hardy and much less prickly). What is your gardening zone??

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 5:34PM
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softmentor(z9/sunset13 CA desert)

I agree that kaffir juice is not very good. Ti women use it as a hair rinse. That's the only use I know of. The leaves are wonderful though.
Key lime is small but the juice is good.
If you can grow Bearss, that's the best.
Remember all limes are VERY frost sensitive.
good luck

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 12:18AM
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Looks like its Bearss lime!!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 10:38AM
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lali(z9, Sunset z18, CA)

That's what we chose as well. Although now that we're into Thai food these days, I'm tempted to get a Kaffir lime tree.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 3:20PM
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Something else to keep in mind is a limequat. It was mentioned a couple of posts ago and seems to have a few upsides over the Key lime (like njoasis said cold hardiness and less thorns). I do not have any lime trees yet but I plan on getting a Bearss soon. Just from a culinary standpoint I perfer to use a Bearss lime over a Key mainly because Keys have so many seeds and you have to use so many to equal the juice of one Bearss.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 5:06PM
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I like the taste of key limes but those thorns are nasty as I recall. I find the limequat to be easy to care for and quite cool tolerant (most limes are very tropical and cold sensitive). Still, my favorite lime is the Persian (Bearss).

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 1:33PM
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Bearss Lime is a great choice for a container citrus. In addition to nice fruit, the plant is compact and attractive.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 8:35PM
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orchidguyftl(z11 FTL FL)

I prefer the Key lime over the others. And the real Key lime, not the thornless. The "thorny" variety, while a bit thorny, isnt as bad as people make it out to be, AND it produces year round. I like them truly ripened, yellow, and they become so juicy and they dont seem to have any more seeds then my other limes. I do like my Persian "Bearss" lime, but its actually thornier then my Key. I use any of my citrus leaves in cooking.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 12:38AM
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I brought a Bearss tree home this weekend. I'm really excited. I may purchase a Kaffir lime with the hope of keeping it very small just for leaf harvest. I now have three dwarf citris trees, so I may be at my end. Key lime, blood orange are still options.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 9:28AM
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hovegator(z9 NorCal)

I was going to ask this same question so I am happy to see the answers. If anyone read my post about my poor frozen lemon tree and my poor history with citrus, you will see that I am incapable of growing a citrus tree.

So to hijack this thread, which I think is finished anyway, can someone PLEASE give me some pointers on HOW to sucessfully grow a dwarf Bearss lime tree??? As in what to look for when shopping for one, what to plant it in, where to plant it, how not to kill it and most importantly..HOW TO GET SOME FRUIT!! :)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 3:53PM
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lali(z9, Sunset z18, CA)


I noticed you're in NorCal. Where in NorCal are you? Do you happen to know your Sunset zone (see the Western Sunset book)? Depending on where you are citrus can do very well in your area. I'm not familiar with growing citrus in pots, but I would imagine they should do well enough in your climate. I would suggest a trip to a local nursery that knows about citrus (not the box type stores) and get some information about planting them in your area. I've seen many citrus trees thrive in large pots / 1/2 barrels and left outside. Depending on how cold it gets in your area, you may want to also consider a more cold hardy citrus like mandarin instead of lime.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 1:44PM
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