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Author Topic: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)  (Read 14871 times)

MarkoS

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Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« on: September 06, 2012, 09:19:57 AM »
I finally have a (giant) Australian finger lime coming my way.  I've been doing research for past several weeks and have little luck in getting a handle on what's needed to get it to grow.  Specifically I'm looking to find the sunlight requirements.  I see that Dave's Garden says "Full Sun" and I've read where commercial orchards do this.  But I've also seen sentence from Australia that mention that young plants specifically like partial sun to shade as they are rain forest trees.  I even saw a mention from California that the fruits and pulps color can be effected by weather during flowering.  I have an empty spot that get's full morning sun until noon which is where I want to put it.

I'm tempted to pot the plant and move it around until I find a good spot.  But I'm also tempted to get it in the ground as my freeze warning storage is my living room and I have sandy soil which I've read they like.  Any advice?

I've started doing more international research on plants after a presentation at TCRFC on jaboticabas mentioned doing just that to get the best information.  I've been surprised that I can't get good home gardening advice on finger limes from Austrlia.

nullzero

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2012, 11:24:25 AM »
I would put it in part shade, I had an Australian Finger lime in full sun.. It was not very happy. It seems to be healthier now in 60-70% shade.
Grow mainly fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 05:36:27 PM »
Citrus are naturally understory trees, they do best with some shade.

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 06:12:44 PM »
Here is the best 1 stop shop for info: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/320272/growing-australian-native-finger-limes.pdf

They do like a bit of protection, but there is lots of variabilty in the species and some love full sun, while others will just sit and do nothing for years in full sun. There are cultivars here that I've posted before that do well in full sun, but these robust growers generally have musky fruit with resinous skins. The best ones usually have dark skins and red flesh (v sanguinea) and prefer some shade, but usually grow toward full sun (c.6m tall). The two cultivars that I would reccomend from here are Ricks Red, which is a black skinned deep red fleshed fruit, and Collette, a black skinned kelly green fleshed fruit (one of the only decent green standard austalasica fruits IMHO).

In sandy soils cutting grown finger limes do quite well, but on clay you need careful selection of rootstock or it becomes a real test of patience getting the plant to do a damn thing.

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2012, 10:16:16 PM »
I have one that gets shade till early afternoon (about 1:30ish...then gets sun, a little dappled by other plants, till sunset.  It is very healthy.  Its currently holding three full size fruit (problem is is that I am not sure when they should be picked).  It previously had 4 other 3/4 to full size fruit that were knocked off in various storms.
- Rob

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2012, 10:24:19 PM »
Video at bottom of page has some info on picking:
http://www.daleysfruit.com.au/bushfood/fingerlime.htm

bsbullie

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2012, 10:54:44 PM »
Video at bottom of page has some info on picking:
http://www.daleysfruit.com.au/bushfood/fingerlime.htm

Thanks...well, from that, maybe mine are not full size yet.  They are green (I am not sure what color they are but I suspect they are the green finger lime) and very hard.  In the video it looks as if the ripe fruits are somewhat soft and giving.  Any idea how long the fruit should develop on the tree till they are near ripe?
- Rob

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2012, 11:00:22 PM »
For those who have grown them, are they worth the foodie hype?
Hollywood

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2012, 11:05:24 PM »
For those who have grown them, are they worth the foodie hype?
I cut and tried two of the large ones that were knocked off my tree.  They were very tasty and the texture was really worthy of use in certain foods.  I could see them being used very successfully on seafood, cooked or raw.  I personally like my sushi/sashimi pure with just a bit of wasabi, preferable the real thing, and a very slight use of soy sauce however I could see some people liking the "lime caviar" on top of sushi/sashimi.
- Rob

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2012, 11:18:51 PM »
Would they be good in cocktails or are they too dry? I've heard it tastes like a sugary lime. Accurate?
Hollywood

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2012, 11:51:39 PM »
Would they be good in cocktails or are they too dry? I've heard it tastes like a sugary lime. Accurate?

If you want to put them in cocktails you need to roll them around on their sides for a while to break some cells open, otherwise they dont have any juice to flavour drinks with. The juice stays inside the little vescicles until you burst them with your teeth otherwise. They taste like a lime, some are sweet, some are like a musk lolly corssed with lime, some are a little like a cranberry crossed with lime, some taste like a regular sour lime. They are also good with oysters and seafood, and in dishes where dried green mango powder is used (and spiced mexican) to add an in-mouth lime burst.

MarkoS

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2012, 09:39:35 AM »
Thanks for the answers everyone.  A few things I learned along my way that I can answer some of the question brought up.

On cocktail use
I read on a page to microwave the pearls for 15 seconds to soften them.  Have not tried this though.

On picking
I read that if you can lightly pull it off then it's ripe.  I would think that means the same as if the wind can knock it down, it should be ripe.

As to varieties
Unfortunately here in the US we have citrus bans in California, Arizona, Texas and Florida.  It seems that our propagation of finger limes across the US has followed that ban line with California getting them first.  I was told by growers here in Florida that we only got them in 2009.  My specific variety has been named the Giant Finger Lime as the fruits are larger than the regular finger lime.  What I was told exactly was, "that all trees propagated in our state since March 2009 are this variety and not the true Australian Finger Lime."  I'm told it's the same flavor and texture just larger.  For $20, I was willing to give it a try while I keep my eyes open for "true" finger limes.

Has anyone seen any other varieties in the US?  I think we all are jealous of the rainbow of colors available in Australia.

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2012, 03:00:37 PM »
Are we allowed to import citrus seeds? or is that banned too?
- David Antonio Garcia

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2012, 08:55:35 AM »
I recently purchased a finger lime from Excalibur. The tag says "Swingle." Googling results in a wonderful page on finger limes...it looks like Australia has dozens of varieties. It does say that in Australia, the limes are an understory tree. Here is what it says about Swingle finger limes:

Microcitrus maideniana (Domin.) Swingle
   
  Commonly known as Maidenís Australian lime, Swingle's Microcitrus maideniana is often described as a variety or subspecies of the Russel River lime. The two species have a similar distribution, limited to a small area in far North Queensland. The deeply depressed apex of the fruit is the only clearly distinctive character known. Fruit is not commercially traded.

Some botanists today consider Russel River lime and Maiden's Australian wild lime to be one and the same species and the name Citrus inodora valid for both.


Here is the link: http://users.kymp.net/citruspages/australian.html

Erica

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2012, 04:53:15 AM »
If I recall the tree you had Rob, was from record buck nursery, in central FL area, (I believe they were the original producers of your tree).

As is a specimen that I have at my house. 

I recently got to taste a nicely ripened fruit for the first time about a week ago, and found it to be strikingly dissimilar to the ones I've tasted at the citrus arboretum in Lake Alfred, FL.

The ones at the arboretum would fall off the tree, and turn yellow...and they had a shape that was more slender and elongated, than the fruits of the tree I have (and you have, I think) from Record Buck.

The fruits produced by the trees we have, seem to contain pulp that is not caviar like in appearance, instead presenting a more angular pulp shape.  The fruits are much more tart, and round shaped than the ones I've sampled at the arboretum...and also they seem to stay more green, never turning yellow quite like the other ones I've had in Lake Alfred.

Fruits produced by the fingerlime tree at the citrus arboretum had a delicious taste and an amazingly unique citrus aroma, I was surprised that this variety was quite palatable all by itself (as opposed to the fruits of the record buck plants, which were too sour to nibble on out of hand, and more bitter tasting).  At the arboretum I must have eaten about 4 fingerlimes, the size of cocktail sausages...with no ill effects from too much acid.

In a nutshell...if you can get seeds or a seedling from the fingerlime tree at the arboretum in Lake Alfred, I would recommend that type instead of the one offered now in FL, by most nurserys (plants which all come from Record buck pretty much)...The fruits from the arboretum tree are much more tasty, with a true caviar pulp (like I've seen in pictures!!) and they seem harder to find than the variety being commonly offered now.


 

For those who have grown them, are they worth the foodie hype?
I cut and tried two of the large ones that were knocked off my tree.  They were very tasty and the texture was really worthy of use in certain foods.  I could see them being used very successfully on seafood, cooked or raw.  I personally like my sushi/sashimi pure with just a bit of wasabi, preferable the real thing, and a very slight use of soy sauce however I could see some people liking the "lime caviar" on top of sushi/sashimi.

Mike T

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2012, 05:27:10 AM »
ericalynne I have seen a few russell river limes in the wild but could only recognize them because the fruits were on the ground.It would be hard to copy their natural habitat as they are in the rainiest partof Australia being mostly around the Bellenden Ker Range.The foothills get almost 200 inches of rain a year and the only rain guage on the mountain range gets well over 300 inches a year.The plants love water and the ones higher on the mountain range should handle cool weather pretty well.I don't know of anyone growing them locally. 

FlyingFoxFruits

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2012, 05:32:33 AM »
MarkoS,

I think I may have been present during the day that guy spoke about jaboticaba to your club (in Tampa, around mid August?)

Not to be a name caller, and I'm not naming names, but to be honest...the guest speaker seemed to be a bona fide ignoramus, and maybe not the optimal candidate to discuss Jaboticaba.  To me, the speech was painful and depressing to sit through, being reminiscent of a slipshod eulogists handy work.

I'm curious if this was the same speech? and same club?

Was the speaker a younger looking fella, with a large head, and unkempt bushy hair? Who was full of 1/2 ass answers and information?

LOLOL...because if so...we attended the same meeting...and I'm surprised you were inspired at all by the speaker....also, I can see why no one would be compelled to create a post on this forum to alert growers around FL to come to this speech...better to save your gas money...you didn't miss much.

Am I right?

 ;D ;)


on a different note, it is nice that you've started utilizing the internet/forums to gain some fresh information about your tropical fruit trees...you'll find some very informative and generous people.

Hope you find a true finger lime!   They are out there for sure.


I finally have a (giant) Australian finger lime coming my way.  I've been doing research for past several weeks and have little luck in getting a handle on what's needed to get it to grow.  Specifically I'm looking to find the sunlight requirements.  I see that Dave's Garden says "Full Sun" and I've read where commercial orchards do this.  But I've also seen sentence from Australia that mention that young plants specifically like partial sun to shade as they are rain forest trees.  I even saw a mention from California that the fruits and pulps color can be effected by weather during flowering.  I have an empty spot that get's full morning sun until noon which is where I want to put it.

I'm tempted to pot the plant and move it around until I find a good spot.  But I'm also tempted to get it in the ground as my freeze warning storage is my living room and I have sandy soil which I've read they like.  Any advice?

I've started doing more international research on plants after a presentation at TCRFC on jaboticabas mentioned doing just that to get the best information.  I've been surprised that I can't get good home gardening advice on finger limes from Austrlia.


fruitlovers

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2012, 06:21:16 AM »
Are we allowed to import citrus seeds? or is that banned too?

Citrus seeds, and citrus family seeds, are officially banned into whole of USA. So you cannot get them from outside the country, but ok from within inside USA.
Oscar

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2012, 06:28:46 AM »
.Planted 3 finger limes here in full sun. All 3 sat there, grew very slowly, suffered, and slowly croaked. That was a big mistake, Didn't do my homework.  :'( I got a couple of new plants and will definitely give them dappled light this time around.
Oscar

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2012, 06:54:49 AM »
ericalynne I have seen a few russell river limes in the wild but could only recognize them because the fruits were on the ground.It would be hard to copy their natural habitat as they are in the rainiest partof Australia being mostly around the Bellenden Ker Range.The foothills get almost 200 inches of rain a year and the only rain guage on the mountain range gets well over 300 inches a year.The plants love water and the ones higher on the mountain range should handle cool weather pretty well.I don't know of anyone growing them locally.

inodoora is finnicky, dries out quickly, doesnt like much sun and is the worst of all citrus with regards to its spikes. They are like needles. Finger lime and Dooja have thorns, but they dont 'sting' like a Russell River lime. Yuruga sells them often.

MarkoS

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2012, 10:01:30 AM »
ASaffron,

The presentation I went to was at the Treasure Coast Rare Fruit Club meeting in June.  But I saw the presentation posted on the Tampa site and it was the same one.  I enjoyed the presentation and it really gave me something to think about. 

MarkoS

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2012, 02:35:26 PM »
Citrus seeds, and citrus family seeds, are officially banned into whole of USA. So you cannot get them from outside the country, but ok from within inside USA.

I don't think this is entirely true.  I believe the states that commercially grow citrus (CA, FL, TX) ban unscreened citrus material coming from other states (including seeds).
What's that got to do with Jose Andres $10 brussel sprouts?

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2012, 08:35:57 PM »
Markos,

I was the speaker at both meetings! LOL.

sorry my sense of humor is sometimes a bit strange.

I'm really glad u enjoyed the speech, and that you gained some inspiration from my efforts.

Best wishes!

Adam

ASaffron,

The presentation I went to was at the Treasure Coast Rare Fruit Club meeting in June.  But I saw the presentation posted on the Tampa site and it was the same one.  I enjoyed the presentation and it really gave me something to think about. 

MarkoS

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2018, 08:49:11 AM »
How big do finger lime trees get? Does anyone have pics of their own?

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Re: Advice on Growing Australian Finger Lime - Florida (9B)
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2018, 12:34:02 PM »
i had gotten seeds off Ebay (i think from Australia)
one is about 2ft tall now.
it seems to be fine with full sun.
and FYI... this seedling was left out in our 100yr freeze (20F)
it was on the porch in a container, which may have been 4 or 5 degrees warmer, but
there were several other plants on my porch that died and were frozen solid.

Also, from what ive read, growing from seed, it takes many years to fruit,
and grows fairly slowly.
this spring, this thing shot up a good 12 inches.

another FYI....
i have an orange which only gets about 4 to 5 hours of direct sun.
after i gave it iron and magnesium, the leaves turned a much darker green.
it appeared much more healthy.
i think citrus do OK with some shade, but need the minerals.
the darker the leaves, the more it can convert energy from limited sunlight.
ive seen this effect with several other plants as well.
on all plants i have in the shade (or less than 5-6 hrs sun),
 i give them extra iron and magnesium at least 4 to 5 times a year.
magnesium tends to wash out pretty quick.

 

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