Citrus Hystrix, the Thai Lime, produces green fruit with a nobbly surface texture. Also known as Kaffir or Keiffer lime.
Fruit and leaves are highly aromatic and used in Thai cooking.
This Thai Lime plant has not been one of my outstanding successes. Although I bought it almost 3 years ago, it refuses to grow and stubbornly remains about 20cms tall. However it does flower and produce small fruit.
Perhaps this is because it is a truly tropical variety and the conditions I provide are not hot and humid enough.
I don't know which rootstock it is growing on now, but I hope one day to be able to propagate it on to a vigorous variety and see if it then grows better. At the moment it seems to think it's a bonsai specimen!
Below is the same fruit shown growing on the plant. It fell off in early April when only about 2.5cms(1") across.
page modified 1st November 2005
No, these are not lemons, but a different kind of citrus usually with very thick peel and little flesh inside. They are best known in the UK as the origin of the thick 'candied peel' used in Christmas cakes. Most commercially grown citrons come from Sicily. The Israeli 'Etrog' variety is used in a Jewish religious festival.
Citrus Medica var. Sarcodactylis, the 'Buddha's Hand' or 'Fingered' citron is my special favourite. Some examples of the fruit look completely ridiculous!
Here are two other varieties of citron that I'm growing - but I'm not completely certain of the varieties.
This un-named plant was bought from a nursery in the south of France. The fruit is bumpy, slightly ridged, seedy but acidless. The young fruits grow pointing upwards and the unopened flowers are tinged green.
This un-named plant was bought in Sicily. The fruit is smooth, seedless and acid.
New flowers are tinged purple.
The largest of all citrus fruit. Also known as Pomelo, the name invites confusion in many languages with the grapefruit. Originally known in England as 'Shaddock'. Well known throughout tropical Asia, it is now frequently available as an 'exotic fruit' in UK supermarkets. Many different named varieties, some with pink flesh. Most types need fully tropical conditions, but the Goliath variety is successfully grown in Israel.
This fruit is from a 12-year-old "Goliath" seedling. Although it looks impressive, there wasn't much edible flesh inside, and it was very bitter.
Pummelos are mono-embryonic and do not come true from seed, so maybe this seedling would never produce good fruit. Or perhaps it's because my greenhouse just does not provide adequately tropical conditions.
I have now managed to obtain budwood from the true Goliath pummelo. This picture, taken in February 2001 shows my still small, budded plant growing well on Morton citrange rootstock.
Rivers Nursery, now closed, sold a Pummelo variety which it simply called 'Shaddock'. This was one of the varieties I rescued from their unheated greenhouses in 1987. It is ornamental but in my UK conditions it also produces inedibly bitter fruit. The pictures (right) were taken in February. The fruit shown is 10cms in diameter.
I obtained seeds of this variety in 1987 from the now defunct 'Indoor Citrus Society.' I grafted a bud from one seedling on to Rough Lemon rootstock, and this plant is now producing fruit.
The fruit on my seedling is about 10cms in diameter, yellow and deeply furrowed on the upper surface.
Harvested in late December this first fruit was juicy, with good flavour but a trace of bitterness. Probably, it would become sweeter if left until later in the season. The flesh is a strong orange colour. Seeds were small and not objectionable.
The following text is taken from the 'Indoor Citrus & Rare Fruit Society' newsletter of Spring 1987.
The "Mandalo" is a hybrid between the Frua Mandarin and a Low Acid Pummelo (the same parent of both Oro Blanco and Melogold.) Developed in Riverside, California, it has never been released to the nursery trade and it probably will never qualify as a commercial fruit because of its high seed content and tender rind. However, it might be a unique addition to the home orchard, especially as a juice fruit.
Its good features are the following:
* Ripens early in the season - In Riverside it is palatable in November, improving as the season progresses. It is probably at its best in February and March. (in colder areas it will take longer to reach peak sweetness.)
* Unlike most mandarin types it holds on the tree very well and is still good in June and July.
* Fruit is very juicy and of good and unique flavor, sometimes resembling a watermelon. Its best home use may be as a juice fruit.
* Versatile: can also be used like a grapefruit, cut in half and spooned out, also as salad sections, removing the segments, de-seeding, and using the juice vesicles in a fruit salad.
* The tree is both precocious and prolific, with some tendency to alternate bearing. But even in the off crop years it still seems to have ample fruit for the home grower.
* Attractive tree - well shaped, medium sized. Can be dwarfed and grown in a container. A good-looking addition to the home garden.
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A splendidly bumpy fruit bought from a Thai food shop in London! It is about 8cms (3") in height
A ripe fruit of the Fingered, or Buddha's Hand citron about 15cms long. It's not a green slug crawling on it, but an Australian Finger Lime! For more information and photos click the buttons.
Citrus reticulata x Citrus maxima