In 1998, David Mabberley of the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, described a new native citrus discovered near Humpty Doo not far from Darwin, in Australia's Northern Territory. Named Citrus gracilis, it is clearly a close relative of the native Australian citrus varieties formerly classified as 'Microcitrus' and 'Eremocitrus'.
twig
The following pictures were kindly sent to me from the  Northern Territory Herbarium in Australia. I believe these were the first pictures of Citrus gracilis on the internet.
Twig growth and leaf form is similar to Citrus glauca, which grows further south in much drier areas. Bark is much rougher than other citrus.
leaves
The fresh fruit are said to be green and up to 10 cms in diameter. At first I thought these brown and toad-like specimens were dried, but in fact they have been pickled to retain shape and texture. The process does, however, destroy the original colour.

bark
Any seeds, photos, or further information about Citrus gracilis, gratefully received.    Click to E-mail me!
dried fruit

split dried fruit
page updated 15th February 2009
The first botanical description of Citrus gracilis was published in the Australian journal Telopea, from which the following quotes are taken:-
"Armed straggling tree to 4m high, often coppicing and suckering; bark cracking into irregular squares."
"Flowers usually solitary."  "Fruit about 8 cm diameter, globose."  "Eucalypt woodland with grassy understory on sandy or gravelly soils."
Drawings by T.G.Hartley
(permission pending)


I have recently been in contact with TENPS, the Australian 'Top End Native Plant Society', which is looking after a small population of Citrus gracilis. The following pictures were taken by their members.
Notice, as in the original description, the suckers and the irregular squares of bark.
citrus gracilis leaves
citrus gracilis tree
citrus gracilis suckers
citrus gracilis bark
a new Australian native
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New pictures at:-