Tahitian names

Taporo (S), Hitoro (M), Tapogo (A)

Interesting facts

Citrus plants are known for their great diversity and their numerous families. In the Rutaceae there exists 3 primary genres: Citrus, Fortunella (ex: kumquats), and Poncirus (with no edible fruit). In the genre Citrus the number of species to determine is complex and a controversial subject according to botanists. This specie has a great affinity for hybridization by crossing. The lime is split into 2 groups: acidic lime (such as aurantiifolia) and sweet lime. Lime is its own species and not a lemon picked before maturity. The lime tree is a small tree with needles, dark green leaves, and very dense and persistent. Its small fruit are spherical, with seeds, and an acidic and juicy flesh. It is unable to survive in cold temperatures. In Polynesia the lime is heavily used, often in drinks and food. It is also used in traditional medicines and cosmetics as a diuretic, antibacterial, or even antiseptic in case of injury by coral. It was used in dental hygiene and is still used as a natural deodorant.  In the age of explorers, it was used to prevent scurvy.



Biogeographical status

Polynesian introduction

Life form


Abundance on Tetiaroa

Cultivated on Onetahi only

Ecosystem on Tetiaroa


sources & credits

S: Society | T: Tuamotu | M: Marquesas | G: Gambier | A: Australs | FP: French Polynesia