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Phylogenetically speaking, which came first, the lemon or the lime?

Question #99977. Asked by edmund80.
Last updated Jun 24 2021.

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looney_tunes star
Answer has 10 votes
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looney_tunes star
17 year member
3298 replies avatar

Answer has 10 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
Citrus phylogeny is hard to pin down, because there has been so much hybridization over the centuries, but it seems that some lime species are among the original citrus species, while all lemon species have been produced by hybridization. This would make lemons phylogenetically more recent.
link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citrus#cite_note-1

It also appears that there is more diverse phylogenetic development in limes that in lemons, again suggesting that they have been around longer in the citrus gene pool.
springerlink.com/content/tjggcl5wyyu6l69d no longer exists

However, it is stated in another Wikipedia article that lemons grew wild in Asia.
link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon


Response last updated by gtho4 on Jun 24 2021.
Oct 06 2008, 2:59 AM
edmund80
Answer has 9 votes
edmund80
15 year member
864 replies

Answer has 9 votes.
Yes, it seems that limes came first, though table 2 of the last link below indicates that lemons have been as food longer than limes.
Citron medica is the fruit species from which both originated and as you indicated, the diversity of lime species makes it older than the lemon.
I was hoping that somebody had a copy of a (very old) National Geographic in which they featured "Fruits of the World". There, I read that limes were definitely older than lemons and that in fact, lemons were hybridized from limes. It was probably from before 1950, though I bought my copy recently at a library book store and has since disappeared. That feature on fruits was so extensive that it was covered on two consecutive issues of the magazine.

link http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/lemon.html
link http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/mexican_lime.html
link http://www.answers.com/topic/cit-rus

Oct 06 2008, 10:46 AM
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