Rangpur lime is one of the more unusual fruits at the Redland Organics tent. The fruit is round and greenish-orange, bigger than a persian lime and about the size of a golf ball. Its flavor is both tart and sweet, similar to tangerine. These limes don’t look like limes, but they are. You could use this instead of the usual lime for a different twist on flavor, and once you taste the fruit, you’re hooked. Recently, I had the chance to taste pie made with rangpur instead of key lime, and it was amazingly delicious, with an almost orange-y flavor but still tart, making key lime pie taste almost too sour by comparison.
If you want to try some of these unusual limes, I saw Farmer Margie had a bin full of them at the Roots in the City Farmers Market on Wednesday. If she didn’t sell out, there might be some available on Sunday at the Pinecrest market.
These rangpur limes were grown at Possum Trot Tropical Fruit Nursery but originate from Rangpur, India, thus the name. Robert Barnum says he has a couple trees which he’s been growing for about 30 years. He claims these lime trees seem to resist canker and “tolerate” greening, two afflictions that have had quite an impact on Florida citrus. He said that most of the citrus he has on his property have died from greening, but rangpur lime is about the only one that still stands up to it.
If you are interested in growing your own rangpur lime, Robert has a few seedlings available for sale. To propogate this tree, you can air layer or grow from seed. This lime is fairly sturdy and will tolerate heat up to 130 degrees, along with too much sun, rain, or salt air. The tree reaches a height of 6 to 8 feet and spreads about 12 feet wide. It can be trained or pruned, and grows well in a container on a patio or balcony. It takes about 3 to 5 years to come to fruit when planted from seed.