Query-- rare citrus aficionados


#1

is anyone here growing “lime caviar” aka Citrus australasica?
ordered a couple and would appreciate any input


#2

australian finger lime?


#3

precisely!
was hoping you or anyone might have experience with this intriguing citrus. Especially with climate conditions.


#4

Could have sworn that @hoosierquilt had a couple AFL growing. I’ve got to say that I don’t think they are all that rare any more but not entirely common either. Sort of a niche foody trend a few years ago. That’s not meant as a knock.


#5

i want the australian desert lime. there are different variations of the finger lime… red, yellow, i think pink also. my friend brings it in during the winter to keep it from the frost.


#6

yeah, it’s been around, and ogw has been vending it for >3 years, but no one mentions it as much as other citrus. Just that i tried growing many citrus varieties(more common ones) in vegas, but just two are unscathed by our frigid winters…


#7

the reds, yellows, and pinks are not available in usa, but sure hope am wrong… They are quite eye-catching!

if you dont mind, where does your friend grow his/hers? Quite a bummer might have to bring them in too for winter.


#8

sacramento, ca


#9

thanks!
also good to hear someone got it in to cali before the citrus-import-ban into that state.


#10

Exactly, yes, had two. Gave one to my neighbor. Still have one in a pot. More of a novelty. Not rare here in S. California, we have lots of them at about any high quality garden center. The fruits are small, but interesting. The vesicles are very round, almost look like cavier. Lime-tasting and can be used as limes are used. You’ll see them on occasion, in high end restaurants and gastro pub-type restaurants as side garnish. VERY thorny tree, but a very interesting one, and a good specimen for container culture.

Patty S.


#11

am green with envy, if there’s a more apt figure of speech.

sadly, garden centers in our locale are so vanilla…


#12

I’ve got one. It bloomed heavily last year, but no fruit set (and I have other citrus). It’s about 4’feet tall and has grown well for me.

Easy to grow. Very clean foliage. Thorny, but not atypically so.

Scott

Oh, yeah… I’m in Michigan.


#13

thanks for the info @Chills !
that you’re growing yours in MI gives me a great deal of optimism!

on the other hand, now i have no reason to complain about our weather here being ‘too cold’ for citrus lol!


#14

I keep it under lights indoors all winter (in my cool, damp basement)

It doesn’t seem to suffer from it, unlike my Meyer lemon which gets leggy and pushes weirdly big leaves after months down there.

If I get fruit, I’ll post pics. I know it’s grafted, but I do not know what variety it is (I probably have it written down somewhere)

Scott


#15

thanks for the tips and thanks in advance for the future updates. I am quite excited!


#16

The other day I tasted my first finger lime or “Citron Caviar”. I purchased 6 of them for $7.99 at Central foods here in Austin TX.
The total weight was 50 grams which made one kilo if this stuff worth $160.
In Paris the Kilo sells for about 274 Euros.
I had to ask myself, why so expensive. So I took my finger lime with me to my favorite Sushi restaurant and used it with my meal.
In the end, I concluded that it was more of a novelty item than anything else.
The fact that it is rare makes it highly desirable, is there any better tasting lime out there? Definitely.
In any case I decided to get my first plant simply because it is a beautiful plant with all the thorns and hopefully the green fruit, but know that I’d have to bring it inside during the winter.
The colored ones are very hard to find and if anyone knows where we could find the colored plants in San Francisco, please let me know.


#17

i am actually giving our specimen the ‘cold shoulder’ this winter, as am not big on sheltering plants. If it survives our 15-20F winters outdoors and naked, i will definitely update this thread. And likewise if it succumbs. Our finger lime actually bears maroon/brown fruits, not the green ones or the pink ones, and like you , am interested in the other colors, in the hopes that anyone of them might be hardier to cold weather than the cultivar we have.

i agree, it has its own unique flavor and texture but it is probably the rarity which make it so expensive. I linked the following as this thread’s sequel, if you haven’t seen it yet.