21 December 2015

My quest for a finger lime

Have you tasted the fruit of a finger lime? It contains flavour bursts of lime, contained in small pearls that rupture and spurt juice into your mouth. Seriously delicious.

Since I first tasted the fruit earlier this year, I've been seeking to buy one of these Australian natives, Citrus australasica. Last week, success was mine!

I chose a green one, although the plants are also available with pink, red, purple or yellow fruit. You can see the full Citrus Gems range here. This particular range is grafted onto citrus rootstock, which makes them more vigorous in a home garden.

Naturally occurring in the coastal rainforest areas from south-eastern Queensland to north-eastern New South Wales, the plants can grow to up to six metres in the understorey. That's out of the question for my garden, so I'll be growing my plant in a large tub and lightly pruning it regularly to stay as a large shrub. Sydney is possibly the southern-most part of the country where finger limes can be grown, so I'll be nurturing my plant carefully.

I took this photo before I repotted it, to show you the shape of the glossy leaves. Can you also see the thorns? I'm sincerely hoping they will deter my neighbourhood possums from getting too close. 

Flowering is from late summer to autumn, with fruits appearing and ripening through winter. I'm hoping I don't have to wait for too many years for fruit!

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