One of the nice things about this lime tree, sometimes called bartender's lime or key lime, is that it flowers on and off throughout the year so it is easy to keep fruit in production. The main crop though will ripen during the early months of the year. The small green to yellow fruits can be left on the tree until they fall. Their rind is perfumed and can be used in small quantities in smoothies for a delicious flavor. And, of course, for Key Lime pie or margaritas. Extra juice can be frozen along with the grated rind for use later in the year.
Last year I had concern over the improperly formed buds on the flowers. The petals never seemed to open and remained in an almost fused condition. Enquiries did not bring any explanation for this. You can see on this one cluster of flowers a similar appearance this year although the superior ovary is popping out above the petals and should fertilize without problem. There are enough normally developed flowers to take care of pollination. To be sure I did a little hand pollinating the other day.
When I was examining the flowers the other day I spotted a tiny yellow inchworm, creeping along the edge of the petal. But for the movement he might have been mistaken for a stamen. I wonder if he is doing the rounds of pollinating.
At the same time I noticed a couple of spots of scale on a nearby leaf. Easily scraped off with a finger nail at this point in time but I must keep a close lookout for citrus scale.
Here are a few more anomalies. These floral clusters are unlikely to develop into true flowers.
I think I may look out for another Mexican lime tree this spring. You can't have too many limes in the fruit bowl.