Native Finger Lime

Citrus australasica

Aborginal names: Gulalung (Bundjalung)

A native citrus tree prized for its unique caviar-like pulp and attractive colour, which can vary between yellow, green, pale pink and crimson. Finger Lime trees were traditionally found in the sub-tropical rainforests of Northern NSW and Queensland, part of the Bundjalung language nation.

White or pale pink flowers appear in late Summer and Autumn and are followed in Winter and Spring by slow-growing finger-shaped fruit containing glistening ‘citrus pearls’.  When bitten, these pearl explode in a juicy sweet, refreshing burst. This fruit is great in summer drinks and desserts, and may also be used in chutneys, jams and marmalades. Both juice and pulp go well with fresh oysters, fish and calamari.

Finger Lime fruit doesn’t ripen well off the tree, so pick only fully ripe fruit – these will feel full and detach easily. When opening the fruit, avoid getting oil from the rind onto the pearls, as this can affect the flavour.

For the home gardener this tree can grow up to 6m in height, but may be kept small with regular pruning. As a thorny shrub or small tree, it provides suitable protection for nesting birds and attracts bees and insects. 

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