Citrus × latifolia
Photos by David Karp and Toni Siebert, CVC, 11/03/2009. Photo rights.
Source: Received as budwood from Willits & Newcomb, Thermal, Ca, 1977.
Parentage/origins: Original source tree came from Hayos Ranch, Indio, Ca. Bearss lime is reported to have originated as a seedling of a tree grown from seed from a fruit of Tahitian origin.
Rootstocks of accession: Citrus macrophylla, Yuma Ponderosa lemon
Season of ripeness at Riverside: October to December
Notes and observations:
C. latifolia, is known by many names such as Tahitian lime, Bearss lime, and Persian lime. The nearly-thornless trees grow vigorously to a medium-large size with a spreading form and have white blossoms. Persian lime trees are more cold-hardy than Mexican lime trees and should do well in areas where lemons are successfully grown. To date, all Persian lime trees are known to carry wood pocket, which can cause serious deterioration of the trees. The fruits of Persian lime are larger than Mexican limes, approximately 2-2 ½ inches in diameter, and have a thin, smooth, light yellow rind at full maturity. The seedless flesh is pale greenish-yellow, acidic, juicy and finely-textured. Once Persian limes reach full maturity, usually late autumn to early winter, they drop from the tree.
1986, EMN: Original source was VI 229 (exoc. positive) which was shoot tip grafted to produce VI 358. VI 229 was: Old budline Bearss, W/N Blk E, R 10W, T13E. W/N source came from Hayos Ranch, Indio. This accession still contains Wood Pocket; neither STG not thermotherapy were effective in removing wood pocket.
11/9/1987, EMN: Fruit compared with CRC 450 (Wilder), 2315 (Page), 391 (Tahiti) and seems to be identical with all these, and probably identical to Ponds (CRC 449) but Ponds was somewhat rougher at this picking.
Description from The Citrus Industry Vol. 1 (1967):
Both tree and fruit of the Bearss variety correspond closely with the Tahiti description. The flowers are devoid of viable pollen also, contain exceedingly few functional ovules, and the fruits are regularly seedless. The Bearss variety is triploid in its genetic constitution (Bacchi, 1940). Moreover, the comparatively rare seeds which occur are highly monoembryonic also.
Availability: Commercially available in California through the Citrus Clonal Protection Program.
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