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Citrus australis, Australian Lime

Citrus australis

Australian Lime
Family: Rutaceae
Origin: Australia
Plant used for bonsaiLarge shrub 5-10 ft tallSmall tree 10-20 ftFull sunModerate waterRegular waterWhite, off-white flowersPink flowersEdible plant

It is native to Australia and is a great choice for bonsai. Citrus australis or Australian Lime can reach a height up to 5 to 10 feet when grown as a shrub, and up to 10 to 20 feet if grown as a tree. It has a moderate growth rate and its leaves are dark green, opposite and ovate in shape. It prefers full sun to partial shade and demands regular watering, so it is important to make sure the chosen spot receives enough water.

Throughout spring the plant will start to flower with the most beautiful hues of pink and white, off-white. The flowers can measure up to 1/4 inch in length.

The fruit is edible and can be used as a substitute for lime in many recipes. It is round, green and contains a slightly acidic juice with a flavor similar to lime. The fruit can grow up to 1 inch and is usually ripe during summer time. It usually grows in clusters and a single Australian Lime tree can produce around 40-50 fruits each year. The fruit is high in vitamin C as well as other nutrients, making it a great health benefit addition to your diet.

Growing Citrus australis in pots is possible and recommended if you live in an area with cold winters as it is hardy in USDA zones 9-11. If planted in a pot make sure to use a deep and heavy one as the root of the plant tend to be rather invasive. When watering give enough water to the pot to make sure the soil is moist, but not soggy. If grown in a pot it might not produce fruit.

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