Those who can grow Mexican lime, Citrus aurantifolia, get to brag to their friends who cannot, even if they are only a few miles away in slightly cooler spots.

It really is marginal here. If it gets too cool in winter, it can defoliate. Frost can damage or kill the stems.

Because it stays smaller than other citrus, Mexican lime happens to do well in large pots that can be moved to shelter for winter.

Mature trees can get taller than 6 feet, but not much higher than first-floor eaves. The limber stems have small but sharp thorns. The 2-inch-long evergreen leaves are glossy and nicely aromatic. The small white flowers are actually less fragrant.

The round 1- or 2-inch-wide fruits ripen from rich green to pale greenish yellow. The peel is very thin and tough, which is ideal for squeezing the juice from the very juicy and aromatic, but potentially seedy, greenish yellow pulp within. -- Tony Tomeo