A UF/IFAS researcher is studying the feasibility of growing finger limes in Florida for citrus growers struggling with citrus greening.

UF/IFAS research scientist, Manjul Dutt, is studying finger limes to explore their feasibility for a new crop for Florida citrus growers and other interested parties, according to a Citrus Industry article. Finger limes are “oblong, finger-shaped fruit about 4 inches long with red, pink or green-yellow pulp filled with tangy juice.” They are primarily utilized as garnish at high-end restaurants. Dutt is exploring the possibilities for growing and marketing the fruit in The Sunshine State.

Finger Limes in Florida

With funding from the UF/IFAS Support for Emerging Enterprise Development Integration Teams program, the 18-month project is studying a number of areas. Finger lime plots will be planted at UF/IFAS facilities to study how the plant grows in different conditions; scientists will also study production methods to explore which methods are best. Additionally, Dutt’s research will also study the marketing and distribution of the crop.

Finger limes offer attractive advantages as a crop for citrus growers. “An added benefit is that finger limes have the potential to tolerate huanglongbing (HLB), use less fertilizer and require less pesticide than other forms of citrus,” said Dutt said in the article. Researchers will also be studying the finger lime’s citrus greening (HLB) tolerance and sequence the finger lime’s DNA to see if it can offer insight for tolerance in other, more traditional citrus varieties.

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