Australian Finger Lime
Incredible Lime Caviar Australian Finger Lime Tree
- Amazing Lime “Prills” Like Caviar Pearls
- Naturally Dwarf Plant
- Hot Seller at the Farmer's Market
- Fragrant, Tropical White Blooms
- Great in Containers
- Beautiful Edible Ornamental
- Very Hard to Source Trees in the United States
To say the Australian Caviar Finger Lime Tree (Citrus australasica) is not your typical lime is an understatement. It looks nothing like a lime, in fact, some say it looks like a small pickle. Each fruit is a short, green cylinder shape that can be anywhere from 2 to 5 inches long.
Have you heard of Citrus caviar? The flesh of this citrus Lime variety isn’t your standard, either. Instead, hundreds of round “prills” literally spill out once the skin is cut.
This unique fruit is where Australian Finger Lime gets its nickname, "the caviar Lime." Each round little lime caviar bursts in your mouth like a fine wine.
Enjoy how the intense lime flavor lingers on the back palate and lasts well into the next bite. Can you imagine the wonderful meals you’ll season (and the yummy drinks you’ll spritz) with these delicious little Lime pearls?
In addition to the wonderful taste, the small leaves and dainty flowers gave this plant a real ornamental appeal. Grow it as a shrub, a multi trunk tree or a single trunked tree. This natural dwarf is a great indoor potted plant, as well.
Australian Caviar Finger Lime Tree is native to Australia and is only recently being discovered by the citrus-loving masses worldwide. Although there are a number of different colors of finger limes such as yellow, pink and red; only the green ones are currently available in the United States at this time.
Nature Hills is one of the few places where you can purchase this tree in the United States.
As you can imagine, these fabulous citrus plants are in high demand. If it’s in stock, and you “gotta have one”, order it today! We will sell out.
How to Use Australian Finger Lime Fruit
Nothing about the Australian Caviar Finger Lime is expected. You don't slice these fruits, you cut them open to retrieve the caviar-like pulp inside.
Cooks love the caviar lime not just for its flavor, but because it reduces prep time, letting them get to the "good stuff" with a simple cut.
Bartenders around that world are the ones that are the most inspired by this incredible fruit, substituting it for the traditional Bearss or Mexican Lime or just creating exciting new drinks that are adorned with decorative prills floated on top or mixed in well to add quick bursts of lime flavor through the whole glass.
You'll find lots of culinary uses for the Australian Caviar Finger Lime. Use them to add zing to seafood entrees, from sushi to scallops and oysters.
Sprinkle the pulp of the finger lime on fruit or green salads or replace citrus juice in your homemade vinaigrette or other salad dressing with lime pulp.
Top slices of cheesecake with a citrusy burst of pulp. You'll be proud to add prills from your very own Limes to a pitcher of mojitos to serve at your next get-together.
#ProPlantTips for Care
If you live in a Zone where citrus trees thrive, then the Australian Caviar Finger Lime Tree is a good choice for growing in the ground at your property. If not, think about growing one in a container placed in a sunny window.
The Australian Finger Lime is one of the few Citrus or for that matter edible trees that can and needs to be grown in partial shade. Plant the Finger Lime where it gets plenty of morning sun and is entirely protected from the hot afternoon sun.
Traditionally grown as a bush or thicket, this is a great barrier plant as it does have thorns. Use this hard-working, valuable plant to protect your property in the right location.
The Australian Finger Lime is adapted to a wide range of soil and climates in citrus growing regions. Provide good drainage and regular water and increase the water during extreme heat periods.
Being an understory plant means it naturally grows beneath the canopies of tall eucalyptus trees. The duff of the forest floor protects the plants roots and provides nutrient. Give it a layer of mulch at least 3 to 4 inches deep and 3 to 4 feet beyond the outside of the canopy. This will help to keep the root system cool and nourished.
The natural habitat of this citrus variety would suggest it is a prime candidate for successfully growing and cropping in marginal citrus areas. This is also true wherever citrus trees are brought indoors during the winter time.
Place it in a sunny greenhouse or sunroom in full sun for best results overwinter. Keep it on the dry side, and supplement with grow lights if needed to keep the tree bearing fruit.
Although this tree has small leaves and a delicate look, it's a tough-as-nails option in your landscape. We can practically guarantee that you will be one of the only houses on your block with this unique fruit tree.
Order one of these today and try this wonderful "new" fruit at your own kitchen table.
Buying Options for Plants
Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.
Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!
Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.
- Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
- Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.
Nature Hills Container Size by Volume
|Young Plants to 18 Months|
|2"x2"x3"||Ranges from||.18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume|
|4.5" Container||Equal to||.655 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume|
|3.5" Container||Equal to||.67 dry quart / .74 dry liter in volume|
|4" Container||Ranges from||.31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume|
|6" Container||Equal to||1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume|
|1 Quart||Equal to||1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume|
|5.5" Container||Equal to||1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x5"||Ranges from||.8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x6"||Ranges from||1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x9"||Ranges from||1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x10"||Ranges from||1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume|
|Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old|
|2 Quart||Equal to||2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume|
|#1 Container||Ranges from||2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume|
|5"x5"x12"||Equal to||3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume|
|Plants 2 - 4 Years Old|
|#2 Container||Ranges from||1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume|
|#3 Container||Ranges from||2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume|
|Plants 3 - 5 Years Old|
|#5 Container||Ranges from||2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume|
|#7 Container||Ranges from||5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume|
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Savored Since Ancient Times
The native Aboriginal tribes have consumed the Australian Finger Lime for thousands of years. But it's only in the last 100 or so years that they become of commercial interest, and only since the 1980's have they become popular.
The Finger Lime is native to Australia where they grow in the rainforest of Southeast Queensland and Northern New Wales, located on the eastern seaboard of Australia. The plant is known as an understory plant because it grows under the shade of the forest canopy.
Used for thousands of years by the native Aboriginal population for both food and medicine, the Finger Limes were not considered that important by the original European colonial settlers. Quite often plants were plowed under to make way for farming, with only a select number being saved for fruit production.
First described and named by noted Australian botanist Ferdinand von Mueller in 1858, he originally called the Finger Lime Citrus australasica, and made the first reference to its commercial potential. In 1913 another noted Australian botanist, Frederick Manson Bailey identified a red-fleshed selection that came true from seed in the wild and called it Citrus australasica var. sanquinea.
It is noted that in 1915 the most famous citrus scientist of the time, Walter T. Swingle; while working for the USDA in Washington, DC., reclassified the Australian Finger Lime as a Microcitrus.
This reclassification recognizes the significant difference with true citrus, of which the most important differences are the very small leaves and flowers, and the elongated fruit of the Finger Lime. It is reported that Swingle worked with the Finger Limes while in Washington, but the program never went any further.
Although there has been attempts to reverse this name reclassification, to date this has not happened, and the debate continues. It is however important to note that both Citrus australasica and Microcitrus australasica are both recognized and used interchangeably.
In more recent times, steady interest has grown in the United States, though the first establishment of Finger Limes in the States did not occur until 1966, when Dr. Joe Furr of the USDCS in Indio, California, sent budwood to UC Riverside.
Primarily recognized by the chefs and bartenders at first, the Finger Lime has now become a regular recommendation for the home garden. This is additionally supported by the fact that it is one of the few edible plants that will tolerate a partial day of shade. More recent adaptations show that it takes well to pruning, making it easy to control its size and is well-adapted to being espaliered.
In the future, the consumer can look forward to the many differently colored varieties of Finger Limes including pink, red, orange, yellow and of course the green that is available today.
|Botanical Name||Citrus australasica|
|Mature Height||6 - 8 feet|
|Mature Spread||4 - 5 feet|
|Soil Type||Well Drained|
|Sun Exposure||Full Sun, Partial Sun|