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Citrus x hystrix (Kaffir Lime)

Life: Perennial

Size: 8-20'

Light: Full Sun

Water: Average to Slightly Moisty

Soil: Rich, Acidic Loam

An Indonesian native, this Citrus is now grown worldwide as a backyard shrub under the names Kaffir Lime, Kieffer Lime, Makrut, or Magrood. The entire bush or small tree is covered in thorns, and is small enough to be successfully grown in a container as well as the ground. While many Citrus are grown for their fruit, Kaffir Limes are grown for both their 2", bumpy-skinned green fruits and their aromatic leaves that are pinched in the center like an hour glass. Cambodian, Thai and Laotian dishes make excellent use of the leaves, which may be fresh, dried, or frozen and later thawed for use. Creole cuisine uses the fruit zest for flavoring in both its food and its rum, and the juice of the fruit may be used medicinally or as a flavoring. The aromatic oil from the peeling is also insecticidal. It is hardy to 28-32°F, but should be covered if temperatures drop below that or stay down for very long.