Also known as Cluster Berry, this small tree to 4–6 m is found naturally in the understorey of our drier rainforests and is a very important species for our local wildlife. This is a widely distributed species that is used for medicinal purposes in parts of Asia.
The Lime Berry has compound, alternate leaves (which are aromatic when crushed) with scalloped margins. It is a host plant for the stunning Orchard Swallowtail (Papilio aegeus) and Fuscous Swallowtail (Papilio fuscus) butterflies. Clusters of creamy fragrant flowers are produced in autumn and winter and attract a myriad of insects. These are followed by fruits to 10 mm that ripen from green to orange-yellow and finally red, which are relished by a variety of birds.
This is a hardy small tree that will tolerate most soils. It grows best in full sun or semi shade, and benefits from mulching. This species is a must for any wildlife garden.
Article and photo © Peter Storer