Saturday, 10 October 2015

Kaffir Lime flower and fruit
Spring is a splendid time in the Sydney garden and one of the great pleasures is the flowering of citrus trees. Their rich green leaves contrast beautifully with the clean, white flowering buds... and then there is that fragrance!

Kaffir Lime flowers ready to burst
The flowers of the Kaffir Lime (limau purut) last but a few days. Each small group of flowers appears quickly, swells then opens within just two or three days. Unless you are inspecting your Limau Purut daily, you might miss its lovely little blossoms! 

A lovely single Limau Kasturi flower
Our small tree is quite old. For many years it lived in a pot in a warm location in southern New South Wales... not an ideal climate. Then it moved to Sydney living in its pot in a shaded location... Is this lime-abuse? For the past three years it has been in its current garden location, near our kitchen in a raised garden bed. For the first time the plant, now eight years old, is beginning to thrive. It has been "killed with kindness" receiving heavy doses of organic manures, seaweed emulsion, lime and pounded egg-shells, and our own rich kitchen waste compost, along with regular sprays of eco-oil to deter the leaf-munchers. Of course, because of its raised location, it must be watered well on a very regular basis.

A group of developing Kasturi fruit
The Limau Kasturi differs from the Limau Purut. Where the Limau Purut bears groups of flowers, the Kasturi tree bears many single flowers in its dense foliage over a long period of time. For this reason the Kasturi bears throughout the growing season, resting only through the winter months.

It is also a quick-growing tree. Three years in its location, this purchased plant is over two metres high already.

On the other hand, the pink pomelo tree bears great bunches of large pendant flowers. With such an abundance of flower, the plant emits the most remarkable perfume, especially noticeable at night. 

First Kasturi fruits of the season
The individual flowers resemble white bells. They are a particularly beautiful sight being in such profusion. One wonders whether a mature tree will provide such a spectacular floral display.

The pomelo is famously grown in Ipoh where limestone soils are the norm. For this reason, the plant will appreciate regular dressings of lime. Of late we have been pounding our discarded eggshells, which are high in calcium, and side-dressing the citrus trees with this. The pomelo is also a heavy feeder. Feed it well and regularly, and give it plenty of water in dry conditions.
A single bell-like pomelo flower

Our tree, a purchased plant, has been in location for the past three years... This is its third flowering, and we are hoping that it is strong enough to bear its first delicious fruit next year. 

Flowers, fragrance and fruit... Fantastic citrus!

A typical bunch of pomelo flowers

Is there a luscious pomelo in this mass of flowers and juvenile fruit?


  1. Hi Colinas,
    I have been trying to look for the limau kasturi plant and was wondering if you'll be able to send me either one of the fruit or the seeds? I've happy to buy it from you.

    1. Hi Wendy
      I can help... I will contact you through email


  2. Hi Colinas

    A question regarding your limau kasturi. The photo shows a ripe orange fruit. That looks a bit different to the fruit available back home in Singapore. Is the flavour the same? Can I ask where you got it from?



  3. Hi Shaun

    Thanks for your question. Quite simply, we cannot use all the green fruit which the tree produces. It is very prolific, so some of the fruit fully ripen to their brilliant orange colour.

    The tree is not common in Australia but can be purchased at times from the major plant nurseries. Look for the scientific name on the plant label: x Citrofortunella microcarpa. This is the scientific name for Kasturi (Malaysia), Kalamansi (Philippines) and Calamondin (Australia).

    I wish you well in finding one...


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