Why don’t Limes have Seeds?- Nope They Do have Seeds. Limes have seeds like any other citrus fruit. Only specially grown limes lack their seeds. Those limes are grown especially for their seedless characters. They are just a type of limes without seed. This does not mean that all limes are seedless. Natural garden limes have seeds viable to germinate and grow. You can buy these Lime Seeds on Amazon. Although Lime plants are better to grow for cultivation. They yield faster and better than any seed-grown lime plant. Have you ever thought about how these seedless lime reproduce? If not then read my previous post about How Do Limes Reproduce Without Seeds?
Are Limes seedless?
Every lime variety is not seedless. Only a few varieties can produce fruits without any seeds. These varieties are developed especially for their commercial demand. Seedless Fruits have become very popular these days. This change has no benefit for the plant. Therefore losing the ability to produce seed is not natural for any lime tree.
Cultivators develop these seedless lime by repetitive hybridization for a particular character. Their goal was to achieve a perfect seedless lime. Although it is not 100% possible. So they approach the problem differently. Instead of entirely removing the seed from limes they try to reduce its size and quantity from one generation to another. finally, they get the result in the form of juicy seedless lime.
Some varieties of seedless limes still contain traces of seed as tiny marks inside the lime pulp. Others have lost it completely.
Where to find Seedless Limes?
You can find seedless limes in any grocery market. Fruit and vegetable sellers also sell these popular limes. If you are looking for live plants for your garden then must visit a local nursery or plant store. The spring to the early summer season is the best time to buy these plants. This is the blooming season so you can confirm that these plants bloom and produce fruits. It is quite difficult to confirm the maturity of a grafted or layered lime plant without seeing the flower or fruit.
The history of these seedless limes dates back to the 17th century. Similar records show their early variants from Rome to the Colonial era. In the US it was first introduced in 1800 in the southern parts. In the early days, it was just a mutation that affects an ordinary lime plant to produce seedless fruits in one branch. Latter this single branch contributes to the entire family of seedless limes in the country.
So if you need some of these seedless limes then visit your nearest grocery store or vegetable market. They are not so hard to find these days.
Check out: How to Propagate a Lime or Lemon Tree by Air Layering?
Factors that result in Seedless Limes
There are quite a few factors that initially result in the development of seedless limes. The first and most important factor is the commercial benefit that we get from these seedless limes. The popularity of seedless fruits raises their demand and the rise in demand directly impacts the prices. So to fulfill the market needs and to gain more profit cultivators develop seedless limes.
The commercial aspect is always a big contributor in the encouragement to anomalies as permanent traits in gardening. Not having a seed is a flaw in the natural biology of the lime plant. Although this anomaly is profitable for their cultivators so they decide to encourage it as a permanent trait for new lime varieties. This compulsion gives birth to a variety of new seedless limes.
Sometimes a sudden change in natural factors including soil and air composition also leads to a mutation in some plants. The change in growth conditions compels the plants to adapt as soon as possible. Natural mutation can happen due to these changes. Although these natural mutations are not permanent or widespread. Usually, only a few plants in the group show signs of natural mutation, and eventually, they may die without contributing to their character heredity. Cultivators select and preserve these mutated varieties to grow their offspring and hence encouraging new traits. Overall human intervention is somehow responsible for the development of seedless limes.
Regular Limes Vs Seedless Limes
Seedless limes are similar to any ordinary lime only without their seeds. The absence of seed is the only significant difference between these two citrus fruits.
You can barely notice any difference in their shape, size, or color unless they are an entirely different breed or variety. Early varieties of seedless limes were much smaller than their regular variants. The absence of their seed reduces their size. Latter with subsequent hybridization they inherit natural size relative to their regular varieties. Some of these new variants of seedless limes are much larger and juicier than their ancestors.
The modern seedless limes are not so different from seeded limes. Although their plants may differ a lot. Regular lime plants are much denser with more thorns or needles than new seedless varieties. Their leaf structure and fragrance have also changed a bit with new characters. Some of these new characters are by-products of continuous hybridization and others are intentionally introduced. Altogether they develop entirely new lime varieties that are completely different from those they are originated from.
Also read: How many seeds does a Strawberry Contain?
Why Don’t Limes have Seeds?
Limes do have seeds. Only special seedless lime varieties don’t have any seeds. These fruits are grown to fulfill the market demand. They are not natural instead developed from selective hybridization. Seedless limes don’t have seeds coz we don’t want those seeds.
The need for clean juicy lime fruit without any seed has led to the development of these seedless limes. It is more of a commercial demand than the natural selection that gives us a new lime species.
Even some seedless limes also have tiny seeds that we never notice. They are developed to reduce the seed size such that it never bothers those who consume them.
Overall I can only say the limes do have seeds. There are a few lime varieties available that don’t have any seed. Having a seedless lime variety doesn’t mean there are no limes with seed. In fact, the number of lime varieties with natural seeds is still much higher than those seedless lime varieties.
Accidental mutation and commercial benefits have led to the development of seedless limes. Seedless limes have high market demand and much higher commercial value that’s why most limes don’t have any seed.