Kaffir lime tree
My kaffir lime tree is in a pot on the west side of my house, so the blazing sun of Louisiana summer afternoons can make it feel as if it were at home in Indonesia or Malaysia.

Kaffir lime

Citrus hystrix

It took me more than a year to find a Kaffir lime tree. One nurseryman told me that it would not grow in subtropical Louisiana because it needs a true tropical climate and cannot tolerate our occasional predawn freezes. 


But I am stubborn, and I love me some Thai curry, so I persisted and finally found my Kaffir lime tree—at Lowe's, of all places! I planted it in a large pot, so I can bring it in during freezes. 


The kaffir lime, or Citrus hystrix, comes to us from Malaysia and Indonesia. It has a bumpy fruit that is often too acidic for consumption. The Oxford Companion to Food recommends calling the plant makrut lime rather than kaffir lime, because Kaffir is an offensive term in certain cultures, but the name kaffir lime remains more common.


I've never seen any other plants with double, hourglass leaves like the Kaffir lime. 


The leaf miners like the flavor of Kaffir lime leaves as well as I do. The leaf miners inject their larvae into the leaves, and the larvae then have to eat their way out, leaving a serpentine trail on the bottom of the leaves. So far, I have been satisfied to simply remove the affected leaves


"How to Grow Kaffir Lime in a Container"


USDA Plants Database


Three Recipes with Kaffir Lime






Kaffir lime leaves turning green
One interesting thing about kaffir lime leaves is that they emerge purple and gradually turn green. The upright leaves in the center are changing from purple to green.