This particular species grows as a small, tree-like shrub or small tree to about 6-8′ tall and 5-6′ wide, compactly and slowly. It is easily recognized by its very dense, twiggy habit and tiny, tiny, glossy green leaves closely set along the thin, rather whippy, prickly stems. Flowers are small, pink, and are scattered along the branches. Its fruit are composed of four skinny segments wrapped in a thin, leathery skin, about the thickness and length of your little finger, and green aging to red brown when ripe. The fruit don’t hold long after ripe, they will drop after a short while. You split the skin and the tiny, very firm, caviar-sized vesicles pop out, so you eat it like you do caviar, popping little round flavor kernels shelled from the thin, leathery, membranaceous skin that normally encloses the segment. It is sour and lime-like, comparable to pummelo or grapefruit in some strains, with a rind odor that is heavily lime-like with a strong pine fragrance thrown in. It mostly flowers in spring and bears in late fall to early winter, but it tends to flower and have some fruit almost all year.
Excerpt and photo courtesy of Monterey Bay Nursery.