Lemon Aspen belongs to the same family as citrus and bears small edible fruits that taste like a cross between a lime and a grapefruit. Being a rainforest species, the fruit may sometimes be referred to as a “rainforest lemon”. This tree is native to Far North Queensland, but will grow as far south as Sydney along the coast.
Berries are 3-4cm in diameter, pale green to white in colour, growing in heavy bunches. They have an intense lemony flavour with herby tones reminiscent of eucalyptus and honey. They may be eaten raw, cooked with seafood and poultry, or made into syrup, jam, sauces, juices, dressings, puddings, cakes and biscuits. Lemon aspen has higher antioxidant capacity than blueberries and is a very good source of folate, zinc and iron.
Small white flowers appear between Summer and early Autumn, with fruiting continuing through Autumn and Winter. Lemon Aspen berries will fall to the ground when ripe, but a firm shake of the branch should dislodge more for a harvest.
This tree prefers a sunny position, sheltered from strong winds and frosts. Ensure a rich soil that is both moist and well-drained – sandy soils will benefit from organic matter, while extremely dry soils should be avoided. Foliage is dense and dark green, with leaves up to 250mm long.
Lemon Aspen is a beautiful addition to a low maintenance garden. In rainforest conditions, it can grow 12-15m in height, but only 6-7m otherwise. Like other citrus trees, this plant may be kept in a pot or grown as a hedge if pruned regularly to maintain size.
How should I prepare my soil for growing a Lemon Aspen?
Lemon Aspen thrives in moist, but well-drained soils. In Western Australia and other regions with sandy soil, add plenty of organic matter beforehand, and mulch the ground before summer. For clay-based soils, till in plenty of compost to improve and condition the texture. Avoid planting in extremely dry soils.
What should I fertilise my Lemon Aspen with?
Use a slow release citrus fertiliser in Spring.
The new leaves on my Lemon Aspen are curled up and covered with wavy white lines. What should I do?
This is caused by an insect called a Citrus Leaf Miner. Remove the affected foliage and spray new leaves with horticultural oil.
What are these bumps on my Lemon Aspen leaves?
These are caused by psyllid bugs, which suck sap from leaves. Psyllids can be treated with neem oil and insecticidal soap according to the product instructions. However, if you’ve only noticed bumps on a few leaves, your Lemon Aspen may no longer require treatment. Simply remove the affected leaves.