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Why Don’t Limes Have Seeds? The Ultimate Answer

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Limes are hybrid fruits, which implies that they’re made from the fusion of two different citrus fruits, namely the Citrus Latifolia and Citrus aurantifolia trees. So technically, these fruits do have seeds.

Not all of them, however. The most commonly sold type of Lime in the US is the Persian Lime and the Bearss, both of which do not have seeds, explaining why most individuals believe that all limes are seedless.

We’ll elaborate on several other lime types with seeds later in the guide. For now, let’s discuss the question that has left you scratching your head: Why don’t limes have seeds?

Why Dont Limes Have Seeds 1
Limes via Wikimedia

Why Don’t Limes Have Seeds?

The common Lime, the Persian Lime, doesn’t have seeds because it’s parthenocarpic, which implies that its flowers do not need pollen to produce the fruit.

There are many common examples of parthenocarpic fruits, just like Persian limes. Significant examples include Brown Turkey, banana, seedless grapes, seedless watermelons, etc.

People have even been known to induce parthenocarpy in tomatoes by spraying their flowers with hormones. The results are usually juicy tomatoes that do not have seeds.

The only difference between these seedless grapes, watermelons, and tomatoes and seedless limes is that the limes go about their natural production processes without human intervention.

The Persian Limes (The Most Popular Seedless Limes)

The Persian Lime, also known as Bearss or Tahiti Lime, is a huge, green citrus fruit with thick skin and acidic flesh. Measuring approximately 3 inches, this lime variety is commonly grown across subtropical and tropical regions around the world.

Regarding what distinguishes Persian Limes from their counterparts, such as key limes, it’s their shape. Persian Limes have pear-shaped bodies, whereas key limes boast an oval shape.

What’s more? As their name suggests, Persian Limes are believed to have been first cultivated in the Persian Gulf and have been significant cultivars in Persian cuisine.

Popular Types of Limes With Seeds

We’ve already established that while limes are commonly seedless, some varieties do indeed have seeds, so it makes sense that we’d also take a look at several types that do.

Rangpur Limes

Rangpur Limes
Rangpur Limes – via Wikimedia

Rangpur limes are a kind of limes that get their name from a city in Bangladesh, where they’re massively grown. The fruits have green skin and are incredibly sour, making the perfect choice for those who’d love to add just the perfect amount of zest to meals that call for garnishes of lime juice.

Note, though, that rangpur limes tend to be extremely small in size, so you may need to invest in more than one if you’d like to use them to flavour your dishes. Rangpur limes can also be mainly used to make marmalades.

Blood Limes

Blood Limes
Blood Limes – via Wikimedia

Developed to hybrid the Australian and Indian lime varieties, blood limes have a taste that suggests they could be perfect as an ingredient for blood soup. They do not look the part, though.

Blood limes also have pinkish-red flowers and will usually grow as small and round fruits with a lot of seeds inside.

Finger limes

Finger limes
Finger limes – via Wikimedia

Getting their name from their cylindrical shape that looks just like human fingers, Finger limes are mainly used to flavour meals around the world. Finger lime trees are also used as ornamental plants across different cultures.

For dish preparation purposes, the fruit is used either as a flavour in salads or to enhance the flavour while preparing meals like fish.

Also worth noting, unlike all other limes we’ve listed in this section of the guide, finger limes come in two different kinds, seedless and seeded. They also come in a wide array of colours.

Phillippine Limes

This Lime has a highly distinct look you can easily spot after a single glance at the fruit’s skin. The fruits boast green, bumpy, and wrinkled bodies with dark patches. Once the fruit matures, its colour transforms to a yellow one.

Kaffir Limes

Kaffir Limes
Kaffir Limes – via Flickr

Shaped like a football, Kaffir Lime fruits have a somewhat peculiar appearance. That’s topped off by the fact their rinds look kinda hairy. Kaffir Limes can also be easily peeled using either a knife or hand.

That said, for best results, you’re advised to use a knife to punch through the skin then complete the peeling process using your hands.

Yes, these limes also have seeds, and they’re also one of the tiniest lime varieties available in the marketplace.

On your quest to understand why don’t limes have seeds, you might’ve found yourself wondering why lemons have seeds, but limes don’t. That’s what I’d like to answer in this next section of the guide.

Why Do Lemons Have Seeds But Limes Don’t?

Why Dont Limes Have Seeds 2
via Pxhere

Limes and lemons are similar in feel and flavour, as both are juicy, acidic, and tart. Better yet, while some individuals prefer Lime in their margaritas or lemons in their water, the two can be used in almost identical manners.

After all, the reason people use both of them is to add a sour and tangy punch to whatever they’re whisking up, snacking on, or sipping.

Both limes and lemons also work wonders in baked foods like dressings, sauces, fresh-squeezed juice, sorbet, ice cream, pie, and lime bars.

That said, desire these fruits’ matched levels of versatility, there’s one significant distinction between the two, and that’s the fact lemons usually have seeds whereas limes typically don’t.

Since you already know that limes do not commonly have seeds, let’s understand why lemons have them.

Why Lemons Have Seeds

When lemon trees grow to other, similar trees, they can cross-pollinate and develop seedless lemons. While this is rare, it does happen. That said, when lemons are grown next to other trees, expect all of them to end up having seeds.

In addition, lemon trees are generally self-pollinating, and their seeds are needed for reproduction and seed dispersal.

Final Thoughts

To provide detailed answers to the questions “why don’t limes have seeds” I spent hours researching on the internet and consulting with experts online. With that in mind, I hope you’ve found this comprehensive answer guide sufficiently informational and helpful.