This small tree (average 10-20 feet tall) likes full sun and regular water, though it can be quite drought tolerant. Grown in USDA Zone: 9-12. In areas with colder climates, the tree can be grown in a container and brought indoors during cold snaps. Pruning is recommended when young to give it a strong framework.
The Melicoccus bijugatus, or Spanish Lime, is a native to Northern South America and is a close relative of the Lychee and Longan fruit. It is a tall, stately tree with smooth, gray bark and unusual leaves. Spanish Limes are available in two main varieties- Queen and Montgomery- and are typically harvested for their sweet and tart fruits from July to September.
The fruits of the Melicoccus bijugatus tree grow in large clusters, and are nearly round with a small protruding tip. The fruit is green in color, with a yellowish-salmon colored, gelatinous, and juicy pulp. Though the pulp is scant, it is quite sweet and delicious when eaten fresh. The pulp also clings tenaciously to the seed, which is edible and can be eaten after being roasted.
The Spanish Lime tree requires full sun and regular water to grow in optimal conditions, though it is also quite drought tolerant. This small tree typically grows to a height of 10-20 feet and is able to produce heavy fruit clusters. The fruits are also quite versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes- from jellies to ice cream.
The Melicoccus bijugatus tree is relatively cold hardy, down to the upper 20s for a short period of time. To accommodate for colder climates, it can be grown in a container and brought indoors for a few days during cold snaps. In addition, it is recommended to prune the tree when young to give it a strong framework.
Not only is the Spanish Lime tree a delicious snack, it also has many healthy benefits. Its fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals that may help to reduce inflammation and protect against oxidative stress. The tree also produces a large crop of fruit, often times yielding over 300 fruits per season. With its sweet and tart flavor, the Spanish Lime is sure to be an exciting addition to any home garden.