Deep Red Citrus Fruit

Citrus fruit is a visually appealing sight.

© Carl Davies / CSIRO

Visual appealing citrus fruit.

Citrus fruit is a visually appealing sight.

© Carl Davies / CSIRO

Blood oranges and red grapefuit are well known, but did you know the lime also has a red doppelganger? The blood lime - also known as red centre lime, Australian lime or citron rouge. The blood lime is a cross between the elongated Australian finger lime and the Burmese Rangpur lime (the Rangpur lime is thought to be a hybrid itself, lemon crossed with mandarin).

Australians  cultivated the blood lime about 30 years ago in order to establish a citrus plant that could survive in the country's salt-rich soils. Success was limited and the research centre closed in 2009, but the blood lime has nevertheless been able to establish itself on the market and has been sold there since 2004. 

Lustrous, tangy and juicy

Lustrous red, the Australian lime is is a wonderful addition to any fruit bowl. The taste of tangerine is in the foreground, it has tangy pink juice and few seeds but its aroma is not as strong as a true lime. Like lemons, the juice tastes sharp, clean and acidic. In Australia, blood limes are often used for sauces, condiments, sliced in beverages or as a garnish for desserts and savoury dishes. 

Visually appealing

However, it is not only the skin of the egg-shaped, kumquat-sized lime that is blood-red in colour; the flesh of the fruit also has the same colour, darkening from the few seeds in the centre to the skin of the fruit. Eye-catching - reddish lime juice!

Edible peel

When the fruit ripens, its skin changes from gold with reddish spots to the rich red colour that gives the lime its name. In addition to its strong colour, the blood lime has another special feature: due to the thinness of its skin, it does not have to be peeled before eating, if grown organically.