Australian Rustic butterfly (Cupha prosope) on pink-fruited Lime berry (Glycosmis trifoliata) flowers

Orange Berry

(Glycosmis trifoliata)

KingdomPlantae
PhylumCharophyta
ClassEquisetopsida
OrderSapindales
FamilyRutaceae
GenusGlycosmis
SpeciesG. trifoliata

Distribution

Other Common Names

Pink-fruited Lime Berry, Glycosmis

Description

Orange Berry (Glycosmis trifoliata) is a shrub or small tree that can be found in the coastal regions of Queensland and the Northern Territory. It is a member of the citrus family (Rutaceae) and grows between 2m and 8m tall, however, in cultivation, it generally grows no more than about 4m in height.

Scented, white flowers occur throughout the warmer months of the year, and these are very attractive to butterflies, bees and other pollinators. These are followed by semi-transparent, pink fruit which is edible when ripe.

Due to the long flowering period, Orange Berry can bear both flowers and fruit at the same time. If you can beat the birds to them, the fruit is quite tasty, and have a flavour that has been described as “sweet with resinous overtones”. It apparently makes a jam that tastes like candied honey, too, which sounds like something I must try!

Orange berry - glycosmis trifoliata - flowers and leaves

Orange Berry (Glycosmis trifoliata) – flowers and foliage

As a member of the Rutaceae family, Orange Berry (Glycosmis trifoliata) is also a host plant for the caterpillars of some of Australia’s swallowtail butterflies, including the Orchard Swallowtail, Fuscous Swallowtail and Ambrax Swallowtail.

Orange Berry seems to be a particular favourite with the Fuscous Swallowtail butterflies, which seem to preferentially lay eggs on them in locations where other known host plants are close by.  In contrast, Orchard Swallowtails would lay on Glycosmis but seemed to have a preference for nearby Zieria shrubs.

Orange Berry is best propagated from fresh seed and will grow in full sun or part shade. Fruit can appear as early as the second or third year.It is an excellent choice for tropical and sub-tropical habitat gardens.

Due to its variety of uses, Glycosmis trifoliata makes an excellent choice for tropical and sub-tropical habitat gardens.

Habitat

Can be found in a variety of coastal forests.

Features

  • Bee and Butterfly attracting flowers
  • Bird attracting fruit
  • Bush tucker – Edible fruit
  • Scented flowers
  • Butterfly host plant