Persian lime (Citrus ×latifolia) or Shiraz Limoo also known as Tahiti lime or Bearss lime (named after John T. Bearss, who developed this seedless variety about 1895 in his nursery at Porterville, California), is a citrus fruit related to the standard lime. It has a nearly thornless tree. The Persian lime is of hybrid origin, most likely from a cross between key lime (Citrus ×aurantiifolia) and either lemon (Citrus ×limon) or citron (Citrus medica).
Although there are numerous citrus species that are referred to as limes—including key lime, kaffir or makrut lime (Citrus hystrix), various Australian limes (Citrus glauca, Citrus australasica, and Citrus australis), Mandarin lime (Citrus ×limonia), sweet lime (Citrus ×limetta), and Palestine sweet lime (Citrus ×limettioides), C. latifolia is the most commonly cultivated lime species for commercial use, and accounts for the largest share of the fruits sold as limes. (The name "lime" may, in the U.K., also refer to the unrelated, non-citrus linden tree, Tilia species.)
It has a uniquely fragrant, spicy aroma. The fruit is about 6 centimetres (2.4 in) in diameter, often with slightly nippled ends, and is usually sold while green, although it yellows as it reaches full ripeness. It is also widely available dried, as it is often used this way in Persian cooking. It is larger, thicker-skinned, with less intense citrus aromatics than the key lime (Citrus aurantifolia). The advantages of the Persian lime in commercial agriculture compared to the key lime are the larger size, absence of seeds, hardiness, absence of thorns on the bushes, and longer fruit shelf life. They are less acidic than key limes and don't have the bitterness that lends to the key lime's unique flavor. Persian limes are commercialized primarily in six sizes, known as 110's, 150's, 175's, 200's, 230's and 250's. Once grown primarily in Florida in the U.S, it rose to prominence after key lime orchards were wiped out there by a hurricane in 1926, according to the American Pomological Society; subsequently Persian lime orchards themselves were devastated by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Large numbers of Persian limes are grown, processed, and exported every year primarily from Mexico to the American, European and Asian markets. U.S. Persian lime imports from Mexico are handled mostly through McAllen, Texas.
Persian limes originate from the Far East, and were first grown on a large scale in Persia (now Iran) and southern Iraq.