This interesting variety is the result of crossing the key lime with a round kumquat, citrus japonica and citrus aurantifolia, to produce a unique hybrid of the qualities and flavours of both fruits. Now found all over the world, this citrofortunella fusion was first hybridised by the American botanist American Walter Tennyson Swingle in 1909. Each Limequat is named in tribute to the Florida city where it was first grown all those years ago.
In Europe, Lyvia will naturally flower from June and July, producing a bounty of colourful fruit from October to April. This small tree grows fairly slowly, presenting a contained, bushy form of citrus leaves characteristic of its heritage. Lyvia is a versatile plant and is equally at home indoors as an ornamental houseplant or outdoors as dressing for a patio or alcove. Their adaptability offers an excellent opportunity for a novice – being fairly small, easily replanted and comfortable with being pruned to shape. The fruit of Lyvia is a yellowish green, oval and slightly larger than the other varieties of Eustis Limequat. With less seeds than a kumquat, they offer a unique combination of flavour - quite sweet with a subtly acidic flesh. This makes it a perfect ingredient for drinks and seafood dishes. While, in contrast to limes, the fruit can be eaten whole, they remain an interesting twist to cocktails or as a unique garnish item. A healthy one too – as it boasts a very high concentration of vitamin C.