Lime bush is a small tree with a dense, rounded crown to 8 m high. Young plants have long thorns on stems and branches. Bark is dark brown or grey, hard and deeply grooved; outer branches are smooth and grey. The leaves are a dull green, to 60 mm long by 5–8 mm wide; oil glands are obvious when held to the light; tips are rounded with a shallow notch. Leaves have a citrus smell when crushed.
Flowers are cream, with four or five petals, about 15 mm in diameter and sweetly perfumed. The fruit are round or oblong, 15–20 mm long by 15 mm wide, yellow when ripe, fleshy and dimpled. The flowering period is from August to October.
The lime bush suckers profusely and young plants form dense thickets. Fruit is edible and popular among the Australian bush food industry. Flowers are attractive to butterflies, bees, flies and wasps. Foliage is browsed by livestock and the fruit are eaten by sheep.
Lime bush occurs throughout south-western Queensland on heavy or light clay and loamy red earth. It is associated with poplar box, myall, silver-leaved ironbark, brigalow, belah or in open downs country.
Controlling Lime Bush
The best time to treat for control of lime bush is from March to October.
Treating isolated patches
In brigalow and 'melon hole' country, the use of a brushcutter then immediately applying Access Herbicide to the cut surface is one method to control isolated clumps of lime bush.
Treating dense infestations in open areas
Where lime bush can be removed mechanically to eliminate the biomass of the plant, the regrowth needs to be at least 1 m high prior to treatment, with Grazon™ Extra Herbicide.
Regrowth in cropping land
Spot spraying with Starane™ Advanced Herbicide is the best option to control lime bush regrowth in cropping land to ensure the flexibility of different cropping options from the short soil residual.
Herbicides for Control of Lime Bush
#Note: Preferred product option in bold. *Consult label for details of growth stage and use, especially where range of rates is given.