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Finger Limes

Australian Finger Lime varieties

Australian Finger Lime Bonsai Diaries

Ever since seeing an odd post on G+ by Bruce Goren, I've been on the hunt for these trees.  I've been having such a hard time finding a reasonably priced finger lime tree in our area, but patience may have paid off.

I did purchase a clamshell of these odd little fruits just to see if they would be worth the maintenance in the yarden.  

I did like them. They taste much like any other lime, perhaps ever so slightly more floral.  The satisfying pop of the gemmy beads of pulp was exactly like the little tiny crab eggs my son and I used to share on some California Sunshine rolls.

I tried growing these from seed, but as with most of the seeds I'm after they are no good if they dry out.  A bit of a waste. We were told by our local Home Depot garden center that they would have them in some time in February or March...  We check every time we go there.

Lets Get Growin

SUN: Filtered 
WATER: Water Regularly
SOIL PH: 6.0 - 7
FERTILIZER: Finger limes may only need about 25–30% of the total annual amount of fertilizer used for other citrus varieties.

Australian Finger Lime

October 29, 2017 - Trees Looking Lush!

We had a bunch of flowers, and some fruit managed to hang on.  This year is a small harvest year probably because the trees are so young.  The trees are looking really full and lush now that they have been getting watered regularly and are on the citrus fertilizer cycle. So much better than when we got them.

They have a bunch of new stems poking up around the tops which are a bit odd looking, but they should fill out well enough eventually.  Maybe next year we can look forward to a more abundant harvest of finger limes.

These trees were quite a sad sight when we first bought them.  Very scraggly and scrubby looking. We may do the pruning similar to the brittle desert trees - cut the lower limbs gradually to get a nice looking trunk.  Or, we can just let them be bushy looking - they seem to look pretty nice like this anyway.

August 27, 2017 - Bushy Trees!
Australian Finger Lime Tree

The little finger lime trees look so much better than they did on arrival.  They are growing really well, getting so many leaves we cannot see the branches and have a hard time finding the fruits.

The leaves look a lot more like our desert climate trees, like the palo verdes, texas ebony trees.  They should end up being great companions in the future with the moderately shading desert trees giving the finger lime trees just the right amount of sun exposure for their liking.

We give them citrus fertilizer and companioned them with some red and white clover, which seems to be working well for them.

June 10, 2017 - Fruits Maturing 
Australian Finger Lime

Hooray!  We have some buds, flowers and various stages of fruits maturing on the trees.  So, the next logical question to ask is when is it ripe?

I found a post that explains how to discern if the fruit is ripe and then their fruit became red in color.  I have no idea what type of finger limes I have, other than they are just finger limes.  Boo.

Based on the time frames of the referenced post, it seems the fruits may take up to a year to ripen?  Possibly the same as any other citrus which blooms and sets in spring and summer, then can be harvested in winter.  However the finger limes required a little more time.

April 15, 2017 Pollinators Caught In The Act
Anthophora californica (digger bee)

I don't have photos of the bees actually pollinating the finger lime blossoms... they are much too fast in the heat of the day. I have a previous image from a cool morning photoshoot when the bees are much more sluggish and slower to react.

The image is of a boy bee, I believe.  They sleep on the plants at night. This bee could actually still be sleeping. These bees normally make their appearance in April. I think the females appear first and then the males appear in June.

Australian finger lime blossoms

April 14, 2017 More Flower Shots

I enjoy documenting the process of growth from flower to mature fruits.  I haven't seen anything actually pollinating the blossoms.  Most of the time I can find at least one pollinator knee deep in the blossoms.

Australian Finger Lime Buds
After watering the trees, the photos turn out awesome, if I say so myself.  The morning light is optimal for photography and the water droplets just really set of the subject matter.

Australian Finger Lime Starts

Finger lime pollination seems to be quite a mystery. Some suggest using a brush to help the pollination process along.

However, we have these pregnant looking styles which may have just been taken over by the ovaries.  I tried to see if these little flowers had a scent, but I could not discern any scent.

April 8, 2017 More Buds And New Growth
Australian Finger Limes

When we took the trees from the nursery, they were pretty scrubby looking. After repotting them and watering them regularly, they have favorably responded with some really nice new leaf and stem growth and even more buds.

We're hoping to get some rather lush looking finger lime trees with bunches of leaves rather than the scrappy looking lime trees we brought home. It looks like we're off to a good start, at least.

This variety is in company with our Bearss lime tree, which also seems to be loaded with tons of little fruit starts this year.

Australian Finger Lime

April 2, 2017 Australian Finger Limes No Trauma

The scrubby lime trees seem to have experienced no trauma with transplanting and have, in fact, responded with multiple new buds and hanging on to the immature fruits.

The little buds appear as dark purple spots under the thorns, then
Australian Finger Lime Buds
become increasingly pink and white as the buds develop and open. I'm looking forward to the multiple blossoms we can find on the tree soon - it shouldn't be too far off.

The buds are so tiny, they are initially hard to spot, but as they get bigger the color grabs the attention and lets you know something good is on the way.

March 20, 2017 Australian Finger Limes, No Waiting

Australian Finger Lime blossom

The finger limes arrived at Home Depot this weekend, so we grabbed up the three best looking trees of the bunch.  To my surprise, they were budding, blooming and had some small fruit starts as well!

Australian Finger Lime bud
The tiny blossoms are very cute.  About the cutest part of these scrubby little trees.   Interestingly the blossoms of this lime tree has more of the purple coloration exhibited by our bearss lime tree in comparison the to the lemon and orange trees.

Among the tiny leaves, some little fruits are visible upon close inspection.  This was a bit of a surprise as I had fully expected to wait a few years before getting anything remotely exciting from these trees.  We stopped at Costco and picked up some half barrel planters and potting soil for
Australian Finger Lime fruit
repotting these trees.

We're a bit concerned about losing fruit if we transplant them before the fruit matures this year, but it will be more important to give the roots plenty of space to keep the root balls from getting too warm.  We will need to put up a shade for many of our understory trees.

Top view of the three finger limes with the import tag.

Australian Finger Limes, As Purchased

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