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  • Limes are a natural hybrid
    between domesticated citrons
    and a wild species of Papeda,
    a non-commercial citrus subgenus.

    Citrus aurantifolia, the true lime that originated in Malaysia,
    is now commonly known as Mexican lime or key lime (Florida Keys).

    Molecular data indicates that the lime's female parent was Citrus micrantha
    a Pepeda, native to the Philippines,
    while the male parent was Citrus medica,
    a juiceless citron but with thick aromatic rind.

    DNA studies suggest a phylogeny that places C. medica
    in close relationship with wild citrus from New Guinea, Australia and New Caledonia.
    From Malaysia to India, north into Persia & via Alexander the Great
    4th century B.C. citrus had reached Greece.
    Rome enjoyed limes, lemons and citron, but not oranges.

    Spanish colonization of the Caribbean introduced lime cultivation to the islands in the 1500s.
    Not until the 1800s did the great naval powers begin provisioning their ships with citrus.
    Sailors often received citrus juice preserved with 15 percent rum.
    Lime growing reached south Florida from the Caribbean during the 1830s.
    Key limes were widely distributed by the late 1950s.

    Such a tiny wonder, the lime. Powerful punch for a little thing.
    Just today, it took me round the globe.

    Post scripta:

    A day early but intended to celebrate the 13th of August
    for at least one who might have it as a birth day.
    I came upon this information out of a curiosity about the name & origin of Lime.

    Reading about the origin of the fruit prompted me to consider (again)
    the hybrid result of our own geneologies
    & how we are inextricably, part of what has gone before us.

    Hybridism & the by-products of generational blending (in all things) has always fascinated me.
    Particularly, humanity's aural tradition & the linguistics we inherit, borrow & invent
    in order to shape & give substance to the story unfolding chez nous.

    photo: The Cobb, harbour & low tide at Lyme Regis

    etymology for “lime”: via Sp. lima, from Arabic limah "citrus fruit," from Farsi limun "lemon". English spelling from French.
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