C. limetta is a small tree up to 8 m (26 ft) in height, with irregular branches and relatively smooth, brownish-grey bark. It has numerous thorns, 15–75 mm (0.59–2.95 in) long. The petioles are narrowly but distinctly winged, and are 8–29 mm (0.31–1.14 in) long. Leaves are compound, with acuminate leaflets 50–170 mm (2.0–6.7 in) long and 28–89 mm (1.1–3.5 in) wide. Flowers are white, 20–30 mm (0.79–1.18 in) wide. Fruits are oval and green, ripening to yellow, with greenish pulp. The pith is white and about 5 mm (0.20 in) thick. Despite the name sweet lime, the fruit is more similar to a greenish orange in appearance.