Wild Lime (Zanthoxylum fagara), also known as “Lime Prickly-Ash”, is member of the Citrus Family (Rutaceae), and one of only limited number of species from the Citrus Family native to North America. Wild Lime specimens have been vouchered in most of the southern two-thirds of the state of Florida; from Marion county to Key West. They can also be found in Texas, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Container-sized Wild Lime shrub

Number One Reason to Grow Wild Lime

The number one reason to grow Wild Lime in Florida is that it is a native, hardy, drought-tolerant shrub that can handle full sun, but will also grow, more slowly, in the shade. Heck, it is nearly a cactus; in place of needles are thorns.

Plant Wild Lime anywhere you might plant Japanese Boxwood

As to the one thousand other reasons to grow Wild Lime…Johnny thinks the following photo just about covers them:

Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) laying eggs on Wild Lime

The Wild Lime is a host plant to the larva of not only the Eastern Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes), which is North America’s largest butterfly, but also the endangered Schaus’ Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio aristodemus).

Plant some Wild Lime today. Not only will it help restore Florida’s native ecology, it might help restore endangered butterflies. It will certainly attract more butterflies to your yard or garden.. one day at a time!