...not very finger like!
But I am troubled by the fact these all produce very similar ovoid (egg-shaped) fruit more reminiscent of the original 'Citrus Industry, Vol.1' description of the Sydney hybrid (now Citrus x virgata), rather than the elongated, cylindrical fingerlime.
Pépinières Bachès fingerlimes
UK grown ex
Naples Botanic Garden
All the fruits shown above seem to be closer to the published description of the xSydney than they are to the fingerlime.
So my questions are:
1. Do these egg-shaped fruits exist in the wild in Australia? There are plenty of pictures on the internet of Australian fingerlimes, but all are long and cylindrical. Is this because they are the only ones there are, or perhaps because they are more desirable and therefore get photographed?
2. Do these European specimens all originate from a single source? Could this have been a hybrid rather than a true fingerlime? The fruits I have examined have all been seedless -another quoted feature of the xSydney. But the ripe colour doesn't match the stated yellowish to lime green
fingerlime - 'cylindric-fusiform'
- 'elongate-obovoid or ellipsoid'
Modified from 'The Citrus Industry, Vol.1'
These fruit, usually seedless, from the INRA collection in Corsica, go against the European trend and are much like the Australian fingerlimes. At least one of the two INRA trees originated directly from Australian seeds, so there would have been little chance of hybridization.
Bernhard Voss of AgrumiVoss replies:
"My red fingerlime sometimes shows these egg shaped fruits - always if the fruits do NOT contain seeds! If there are seeds inside (and sometimes there are some) the fruits are much more like a finger in shape! So there is no doubt these plants are real fingerlimes and NOT sydney hybrids!
Also, my sydney hybrid has a different leaf shape."
Prof. David Mabberley, formerly of Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens, now at the University of Washington, replies:
" I have not seen any like that in Australia."
John Dyson, grower of native limes from the Australian Gold Coast says:
"No never a fingerlime... I have seen only one, from one tree, that was a even oval ...in other words fatter and shorter but NOT tear drop."
Any answers or comments welcome!
Please e-mail me!
I would also like to see photos of the fruits from fingerlime trees at IVIA, Spain.
page created 21 Oct 2006, re-built 15Dec2016
I have only managed to find three mature, fruiting specimens of Citrus australasica in Europe, apart from the ones I am growing myself in England.
These are the ones at Naples Botanic Garden, the Tintori Hesperidium in Tuscany, and at the southern French nursery Pépinières Bachès .
AgrumiVoss in Germany and Eisenhut Vivai in Switzerland also supply fruiting plants. All these fruits have some degree of red colouration - I suspect this varies with growing conditions.