Finger lime plant and fruit is quite an unusual and new plant to the UK. It’s grown in a much warmer climate like Australia. From the same family of lemons. It’s making an appearance here in the UK and Europe due to its demand for the flavours of the fruit. It does taste quite usual with little knobbly bits that resemble caviar.
I bought this plant while on holiday in Italy. It is also known as caviar lime tree. I was curious about this tree as I have never tasted them or seen them before. As the name said it does indeed looks like caviar with a strong lime taste. I bought it for 25 Euros at a local garden shop near Albenga a seaside town by the Northern Italian Riviera. I first saw the plant on Sutton’s website £39.99?!! Wow?!! It was fruiting when I bought the tree, harvested them and now fruiting again. I love growing unusual plants as it is rare that one will never get to taste them from the supermarket or shops and it adds variety to one’s diet.
To grow finger lime
It is relatively easy to grow finger lime tree, it will need some lime soil which can be mixed by mixing manure and ericaceous compost about 50:50. Finger lime needs and sunny spot and by a warm wall. It can tolerate a bit of occasional frost but not heavy frost. It is a subtropical plant after all. In the winter they lay dormant and not have much grown therefore they can be a dry shed or garage during this time. If there is a big risk of frost put them indoors or greenhouse during the winter. To mimic its subtropic rainforest condition an unheated greenhouse would be good for it. I have planted a mine under a tree which gets a fair bit of sunlight during the day. The weather in the winter doesn’t get much frost as some other parts of the country so it’s lucky for that. However, it still requires that subtropical climate in order to grow well and fruit.
With its thorny structure, it will a good shrub by the fence to stop predators from entering the garden.
Google search says it is native from Australia grown in the subtropical climate. They are frost tolerant till -5 deg Cel. It’s a foodie delicacy at the moment a bit like Yuzu.
For other lime plants, have a look at my post on calamondin lime/ orange which is much available to buy in garden shops and centres.