Finger Lime (Citrus australasica)

Dr Ketah Silvester

Native finger lime. Think citrus caviar! Squeeze it out the tube and enjoy. So good. One of the best Australian natives to cultivate in your edible garden!

  • Native to the coastal, subtropical rainforest border region of Qld and NSW, this thorny, understory shrub slowly grows to 5 m tall.
  • The foliage is strongly citrus scented when crushed.
  • White fragrant flowers in autumn produce green, red or yellow edible fruit to 6 cm long that ripen in summer. The delicious fruits (often called ‘Citrus Caviar’) can be eaten raw with e.g. fish, or made into drinks, marmalade and pickles.
  • The plant thrives in dappled light or full sun in well-drained, moist soil that benefits from mulching and regular, light fertilising.
  • Grafted varieties can fruit within 12 months. Ungrafted varieties may take up to 15 years to fruit.
  • A host plant for the dainty swallowtail butterfly, the flowers attract bees and other insects and the thorny branches provide suitable protection for small, nesting birds.

Pink champagne finger lime.

Blood orange finger lime hybrid from CSIRO.

Another CSIRO finger lime hybrid.

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