HOME

TheInfoList




''Citrus australasica'', the Australian finger lime or caviar lime, is a thorny
understorey In forestry Forestry is the science and craft of creating, managing, planting, using, conserving and repairing forest A forest is an area of land dominated by tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elonga ...
shrub A shrub (often called a bush) is a small- to medium-sized perennial A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, the p ...

shrub
or small
tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including only wood plants with se ...

tree
of lowland subtropical
rainforest Rainforests are characterized by a closed and continuous tree canopy Canopy may refer to: Plants * Canopy (biology), aboveground portion of plant community or crop (including forests) * Canopy (grape), aboveground portion of grapevine Religi ...

rainforest
and rainforest in the coastal border region of
Queensland Queensland ( ) is a state situated in northeastern Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the ...

Queensland
and
New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
. It has edible fruits which are under development as a commercial crop.


Description

The plant is in height. Leaves are small, long and wide,
glabrous Glabrousness refers to hairless skin. Glabrousness may also refer to: * Glabrousness (botany), smooth parts of plants * Glabrousness (entomology), parts of insects without hair or scales See also

* {{disambiguation ...
, with a notched tip and
crenate A leaf (plural leaves) is the principal lateral appendage of the vascular plant Vascular plants (from Latin ''vasculum'': duct), also known as Tracheophyta (the tracheophytes , from Greek τραχεῖα ἀρτηρία ''trācheia art ...
towards the apex.
Flowers A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom Image:Cerisier du Japon Prunus serrulata.jpg, Cherry blossoms in Paris in full bloom. In botany, blossoms are the flowers of stone fruit fruit tree, trees (genus ''Prunus'') and of some other plan ...

Flowers
are white with
petals Petals are modified leaves A leaf (plural leaves) is the principal lateral appendage of the vascular plant plant stem, stem, usually borne above ground and specialized for photosynthesis. The leaves, stem, flower and fruit together fo ...

petals
long. The
fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the ...

fruit
is cylindrical, long, sometimes slightly curved, coming in different colours, including pink and green.


Cultivation and uses


History

Early settlers consumed the fruitLow, Tim, ''Wild Food Plants of Australia'', and retained the trees when clearing for agriculture. Colonial botanists suggested that they should be cultivated, due to the lack of citrus alternatives.


Rising demand

The finger lime has been recently popularised as a gourmet bushfood. The globular
juice vesicles The juice vesicles, also known as citrus kernels, (in aggregate, citrus pulp) of a citrus fruit are the membranous content of the fruit's endocarp. All fruits from the Citranae subtribe, subfamily Aurantioideae, and family Rutaceae have juice vesic ...
(also known as pearls) have been likened to a "lime caviar", which can be used as a garnish or added to various recipes. The fresh vesicles have the effect of a burst of effervescent tangy flavour as they are chewed. The fruit juice is acidic and similar to that of a lime.
Marmalade Marmalade is a fruit preserve Fruit preserves are preparations of fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytol ...

Marmalade
and
pickles Pickles may refer to: Food * Pickles, a name for a pickled cucumber A pickled cucumber (commonly known as a pickle in the United States and Canada, and a gherkin in Britain, Ireland, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand) is a cucumbe ...
are also made from finger lime. Finger lime peel can be dried and used as a flavouring
spice A spice is a seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's first double album, it was releas ...

spice
. Commercial use of finger lime fruit started in the mid-1990s with
boutique A boutique () is "a small store that sells stylish clothing, jewellery, or other usually luxury goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics ...

boutique
marmalades made from wild harvested fruit. By 2000 the finger lime was being sold in restaurants, and exported fresh. The finger lime has been recently grown on a commercial basis in Australia in response to high demand for the fruit. There is an increasing range of genetic selections which are budded onto
citrus rootstock ''Citrus'' is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circums ...
. With the sudden high market demand for the fruit the primary source of genetic material for propagation has been selections from wild stock.


Diseases

In cultivation, the finger lime plant is grown in much the same way as other citrus species. It may be subject to some pests and diseases requiring pest control in cropping situations. This includes scale, caterpillars,
gall-wasp Gall wasps, also incorrectly called gallflies, are hymenopterans of the family Cynipidae in the wasp superfamily Cynipoidea. Their common name comes from the galls they induce on plants for larval development. About 1,300 species of this generall ...
, and limb dieback. Research into fruit fly has concluded that finger limes are a non-host plant to fruit flies and as such are not a quarantine risk to importing countries. Research conducted since the 1970s indicated that a wild selection of ''C. australasica'' was highly resistant to ''
Phytophthora citrophthora ''Phytophthora citrophthora'', also known as brown rot of citrus, is a soil borne oomycete that infects several economically important citrus crops. A diagnostic symptom of ''P. citrophthora'' is gummosis, wherein lesions around the base of the t ...
'' root disease, which has resulted in a cross-breeding program with finger lime to develop disease-resistant citrus
rootstock A rootstock is part of a plant, often an underground part, from which new above-ground growth can be produced. It could also be described as a stem with a well developed root system, to which a bud from another plant is grafted. It can refer to a ...
. In 2020, researchers began working with ''C. australasica'' to develop solutions for
Citrus greening disease Citrus greening disease (; or HLB) is a disease of citrus caused by a vector (epidemiology), vector-transmitted pathogen. The causative agents are motile bacteria, Candidatus Liberibacter, ''Candidatus'' Liberibacter spp. The disease is vectored ...
. The
CSIRO The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is an Australian Government The Australian Government, also known as the Commonwealth Government, is the national government of Australia Australia, offici ...

CSIRO
has also developed several ''Citrus'' hybrids by crossing the finger lime with standard ''Citrus'' species. These hybrids have created many
cultivars A cultivar is a type of plant that people have bred for desired traits, which are reproduced in each new generation by a method such as grafting, tissue culture or carefully controlled seed production. Most cultivars arise from purposeful human ...
which generate finger limes in many different colors ranging from light pink to deep blue-green. Finger lime is thought to have the widest range of color variation within any ''
Citrus ''Citrus'' is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circums ...

Citrus
'' species. The color of the pulp (juice vesicles) comes in shades of green or pink including pale lime-green, pale pink, coral, and scarlet.


Taxonomy

Historically the finger lime was viewed as a member of the genus ''Citrus''. The Swingle system of taxonomy instead divided the historical true citrus into seven genera, placing the finger lime along with the round lime in a novel genus, ''
Microcitrus Citrus taxonomy refers to the botanical classification of the species, variety (botany), varieties, cultivars, and Graft-chimaera, graft hybrids within the genus ''Citrus'' and related genera, found in cultivation and in the wild. Citrus taxonomy ...
''. However, subsequent studies have favored a broader concept of ''Citrus'' that reunites the genera separated by Swingle, restoring the finger lime to ''Citrus''.


References


External links

* * * {{taxonbar, from=Q141953 Australian Aboriginal bushcraft Australian cuisine Bushfood australasica Crops originating from Australia Edible fruits Flora of New South Wales Flora of Queensland australasica Plants described in 1858 Sapindales of Australia Taxa named by Ferdinand von Mueller