Seeds to Success

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Known as "Gulalung"in the Bundjalung language, Citrus australasica (Finger Lime) is an Aussie bush food that's taking the world by storm. And yet so few of us grow it in our own gardens. Finger Lime has the appearance of caviar so is highly decorative as a garnish for a range of dishes both sweet and savoury. Early colonial settlers made marmalade from them. Finger Lime can grow to 6 metres but usually grows 2 to 2.5 metres tall when growing out of its range. The leaves are very aromatic and they can be used to make teas or dried and crushed and used in a similar fashion to dry Backhousia leaves (eg Lemon Myrtle). The fragrant flowers are white to pink. Finger Limes are native to south-east Queensland through to northern New South Wales in tropical to subtropical rainforest so they handle part shade and filtered light conditions but do best in full sun with 6 hours of light. They prefer deep loam soils, regular watering and mulching and fertilising a few times a year (no fertilising between flowering and fruiting period). They are moderately frost tolerant once established. Like all citrus, it prefers soils that are slightly more acidic so for more reliable fruiting, add sulphur to your soil to raise soil pH if you have alkaline soil. Fruiting occurs within 3 years when grown from seed. Finger Lime is a vital habitat for small birds such as the Superb Fairywren which are attracted to all the insects its sweet smelling fowers bring to your garden with its thorny habit being the perfect place to hide from predators and to build a nest. If you notice caterpillars munching on the leaves, these may be the larval stage of the Capaneus Swallowtail, Orchard Swallowtail and Checkered Swallowtail butterfly species so let them have their fill as the damage is minimal. Planted as a hedge or screen, Finger Limes cope well with light pruning. 



Citrus austalasica (Finger Lime - Ungrafted)

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