Post by pepperhead212 on May 5, 2019 18:54:23 GMT -5
Mumsey That plant is actually a citrus plant - Citrus hystrix - the same genus as our usual citrus fruits. The larger one that I have is about 15 years old; the smaller one is about 7 years old, and that was an experiment, when I air layered a large branch of the first plant, and in 7 months, I had roots! The place that I got the first one from said that it was a "dwarf", only getting to 4 feet, but that wasn't true, for sure! The large one I keep in a 12 gal fabric pot, small one in a 7 gal, but that will be a 10 gal, when I re-pot it, and that is something I have to do about every 3 years, giving them a generous root trimming. I use about half promix, plus some coir and perlite, for good drainage, along And they have to be brought inside as soon as the temps get into the low 40s. That's when I have to trim them way back, as the large one gets as tall as I am in the summer. I keep it in front of a south facing window, and that seems enough. As for pests, the strange thing is that outside I never have a problem. It's indoors, where, like with a lot of things indoors, I have to watch closely for spider mites, and, especially toward the end of the off season, scale insects are a problem. But the last time I re-potted, I put some diatomaceous earth in the soil mix, and mixed even more in the upper inch or so, plus, I put some tanglefoot on the first 3" or so of the trunk. I had no problems for the first two years, and only toward the very end the scale showed up, along with that sticky substance on the leaves - I think it's a natural tanglefoot! Once I took them out, I hosed it all off, and killed the scale with an oil spray.
I have never gotten a fruit on these trees, which doesn't bother me, since it is the leaves that are used the most. Kaffir lime juice is not used in cooking, and the zest is about the same as on regular limes.
Its definitely a useful tree. I think I'd disagree with you on the fruit though. I find them very much more aromatic than regular limes almost perfumed. I've tried them in drinks before now but they aren't that great for that as it smells pretty overpowering and quite different from regular limes both Persian and Mexican. I do use the fruit a fair bit to make curry pastes and they do a good job of that.
Post by pepperhead212 on May 5, 2019 21:19:24 GMT -5
davidjp I only tried the fruits once, and they were probably a little old, so maybe that's why I wasn't impressed. Those leaves, OTOH, when fresh off the tree, are so intense, that I reduce the amount called for in recipes by a little, otherwise, they can be overpowering.
Post by pepperhead212 on May 5, 2019 23:25:25 GMT -5
SpringRain The plants get large - up to 35 feet! I have to keep it small with a lot of trimming. When I cut off large stems, I put pruning paint on them - in the beginning I noticed that if I just left them as is, the stem would start turning brown, and the brown would just work its way up the stem. So I first started putting New Skin on it, because I happened to have that on hand! That black pruning paint is better, as I can see what I've treated. I've also used that liquid electrical tape, when I had misplaced the pruning paint, and it worked fine.
I've often read that with this, and other citrus in containers, you should let them dry out quite a bit, before watering again, but when I'd do this, the plants would start dropping leaves - the way I could always tell I'd been neglecting. They probably like it wetter than others, since they are from the monsoon regions in SE Asia.
Only one plant is more than 1 person needs; I originally had two, from an order, figuring that I'd try different approaches, and both of them grew like crazy! Instructions said not to use any leaves from them until they were a year old, but at about 8 months, they had around 85 leaves each, so I started using them. Eventually I sold one on Craigslist, to a guy with a sort of fusion oriental restaurant. That's when I did the experiment, to air layer the one I had left, and I had two again! I'll have to do that again...
Somebody I know made some ice cream with them! He said that he had to experiment to get it right, so they weren't overpowering. I forgot what he put in with them; if pandanus was a traditional combo, then a little vanilla would be a good sub.
This is one of the best descriptions I've read about them. Theres a trend to move away from the name kaffir lime although that's what they are still widely sold as. Kaffir is a south African word rather similar to our N word for non white residents of south Africa.
'Purut Lime' (a.k.a. 'Kieffer Lime,' 'Kaffir Lime,' 'Kuffre Lime,' 'Makrut Lime') fruit young leaf detail mature foliage mature plant (left) this is a straight, unhybridized species, botanically Citrus hystrix, though over time certainly there must have been some selection for a better tasting or more heavily producing strain. We like best the name from the country of its largest natural distribution and certainly its greatest use by volume, Indonesia, where it is called "jeruk purut" (jeruk means citrus). The attractive mature-phase leaf is large, broad, rather strange and tropical looking, being divided into two almost even pieces: a proximal petiole lobe and larger distal lobe. It has value as a foliage plant as well as for culinary use. The leaf is used as a spice in cuisines of Southeast Asia, pmarily Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, though almost always limited to what my interns call "wet" dishes, meaning soupy or stew-like. The leaf smell is distinctly and strongly lime, cleaner and less musky than the foliage of 'Mexican' Lime. It bears knobby, convoluted, deep green fruit with green interiors, from 1 1/2 - 2 1/2" across, that ripen to lemon yellow, often borne in clusters, but not produced very heavily, at least in our climate. The fruits are quite attractive and ornamental as table decorations, especially when mixed with a variety of other citrus. The rind has more of that intense aroma. The fruit is sour and authentically lime in flavor, with a touch of grapefruit, moderately juicy, seedy, and intensely and persistently and quite memorably bitter, leaving the inside of your mouth coated with an obnoxious oily residue that doesn't go away for a good four hours if you make the sad mistake of actually putting it into your mouth. Supposedly the juice is quite good at removing leeches, or for treating hair lice. I believe it. My interns have straightened me out on how this variety is used, and say the fruit of this plant is never used in Indonesian cooking (makes sense from my experience), just the leaves, and that the leaves. Jeruk purut is a large, somewhat open, ropy grower if unpruned, to 6-8' tall, sprawling, and mature foliage gets at least 6-7" long, with a tough, leathery texture. This seems about as hardy as a 'Bearss' lime. A plant did survive at Gene Lester's during the freezes of 1998 and 1990, with temperatures at 25F and 20F (or lower!) respectively. But protect it if you can. Zones 8-9, 13, 16-17, 19-24