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Gardening Articles: Edibles :: Fruit & Nut Trees

Unusual Citrus (page 2 of 2)

by National Gardening Association Editors

Kumquat Hybrids

Kumquat hybrids can be grown in all citrus regions; kumquats are among the hardiest citrus. With this in mind, the USDA crossed kumquats with other popular types of citrus to create hardy kumquat hybrids. Two of these, orangequats and limequats, are beautiful ornamental trees ideal for fruit lovers in cold areas. The orangequat is a hybrid between the 'Satsuma' mandarin and the 'Meiwa' kumquat. It is eaten like a kumquat and has a mildly sweet rind and tart flesh. The fruit is larger than a kumquat, bright orange, and makes excellent marmalade. The tree is small but productive, with handsome foliage. The orangequat is an exceptional ornamental, ideal for containers. 'Nippon' is the only variety. Limequats are equally lovely trees, with light-green-to-yellow fruit borne in abundance. The fruits are juicy, with sweet rinds and tart flesh. They are an excellent lime substitute. 'Eustis' is a commonly available variety.


As a group, the mandarins offer the greatest diversity of varieties among citrus types. Some are available in supermarkets. Home gardeners can grow many more distinctively flavored varieties. Mandarins are usually very attractive trees, sometimes with willowy leaves. They are generally hardier than oranges, although ripe fruit can be damaged at 26° F to 28° F. With wise selection of varieties, you can harvest mandarins from November to June. Three varieties with outstanding flavor are 'Page', 'Encore', and 'Honey'.

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