Citrus gracilis 2019 .... fruit photos
page created 21st September 2019
These are the three fruits collected at The Pines. The first was found on the ground and was covered in black mould. The middle one had been picked a few weeks ago and was already very hard and leathery. The pale green fruit was freshly picked and about 6 cms diameter. The protruding neck and knobbly surface are distinctive features of the species.
The lower picture includes the same fruit on the right. The others were all found at Lakefield Station and, athough picked straight from the trees, were all somewhat dried out from the prolonged drought.
The neutral 'Whibal' card allows you to check the colour balance of your screen.
Here are the dry fruit and the fresh fruit cut open. The interior of the dry fruit had become brown and sticky. The fresh fruit was moist but a taste test gave a very strong resinous flavour which required an immediate mouth wash to remove! Note the large vesicles, unlike most of the other native Australian citrus species.
No-one has yet reported finding seeds of Citrus gracilis, so I was hoping this was about to change. But at first sight there were no signs of seeds. However, I then noticed rows of tiny 'seeds' about 1mm diameter along the core of the fruit.
You can see them in the photo below. I assume these are undeveloped due to lack of the correct pollination, but just in case they are the smallest known seeds of any citrus species, I have brought them home and kept them warm and moist. Sadly, as yet - after two weeks - there is absolutely no sign of growth.
More photos of the tiny seeds in situ.
My theory is that the trees at each site may be genetically identical trees developed from their frequent suckers. Perhaps they require cross-pollination from another group - which are too far away for this to occur naturally. The seeds therefore remain unviable.
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