MAKRUT LIME* Cit­rus hys­trix

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Plants With A Purpose -

Makrut lime leaves have a fresh and vi­brant, cit­rusy aroma. The deep green leaves are chopped or torn into laksa soups and curry pastes, and also served raw in Viet­namese and Thai sal­ads.

Makrut lime can be distin­guished from other cit­rus by the hour-glass shaped leaves – the top, more pointed half of the leaf is joined to a rounded bot­tom half. The green fruits have a cu­ri­ous bumpy sur­face.

We man­aged to source a plant and my cook-hus­band uses it ex­ten­sively in chicken and fish dishes, and south-east Asian-themed cook­ing. We grow ours in in­land Can­ter­bury in a large tub and bring it in­doors over win­ter as it is very frost ten­der. In the un­heated green­house it is usu­ally nipped back by frost but shoots away in late spring.

In the grow­ing sea­son, sup­ply wa­ter, hu­mid­ity and cit­rus fer­tiliser; in win­ter, keep it on the dry side as it is prone to root rot. *Makrut is the com­mon name in Asia for the kaf­fir lime, and an in­of­fen­sive one.

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