Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers

Citrus => Cold Hardy Citrus => Topic started by: SoCal2warm on December 05, 2017, 06:41:46 PM

Title: Citrumelos in England
Post by: SoCal2warm on December 05, 2017, 06:41:46 PM
This is a small tree growing at the back of a house in the Wollaton area of Nottingham.
(https://s2.postimg.org/6u1stkbp1/Nottingham_Citrange.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/6u1stkbp1/)

The owner planted it about 29 years ago, and having obtained the plant from a nursery in Lincolnshire. When contacted, the now retired owner of the nursery stated he had received cold-hardy citrus seeds from the USA and was told they came from a citrumelo, the particular variety being 'Dunstan'.

This tree does have trifoliate leaves and the fruits were observed to be bigger than those of Poncirus. It's possible this tree may be a hybrid of Dunstan citrumelo with something else.


The grower of this tree believed at first that the plant was from seeds of Troyer Citrange. However, 13 years before this picture was taken he had also been sent Swingle citrumelo seeds, so he now believes that is what this is, since the fruits look a lot more like Citrumelo than Citrange. The tree is in the county of Buckinghamshire, and regularly experiences frosts from late September to early May, and in more recent years experienced minimum temperatures down to -12 C (10.4 F).

(https://s2.postimg.org/9161hewdx/citrumelo1.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/9161hewdx/)(https://s2.postimg.org/l31fbksrp/citrumelo2.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/l31fbksrp/)
The tree is more like a rounded shrub about 2m (6ft) tall and wide. It is growing close to a rhododendron, and the fruits developed quite low down and hidden by the rhododendron leaves. The owner never noticed flowers or developing fruit until December when, to his great surprise, he noticed eight fully formed yellow fruits growing at the very bottom of the tree.

(https://s2.postimg.org/gh5b38mo5/citrumelo3.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/gh5b38mo5/)(https://s2.postimg.org/b5qeijnqt/citrumelo4.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/b5qeijnqt/)
Unfortunately the taste was completely awful, even worse than poncirus.
The fruit shows a very thick pith. This does sometimes happen when growing citrus in cool climates. Seeds appeared to be poorly formed.

The next specimen is not a citrumelo at all but is believed to be a grapefruit, growing outside in London!
A seedling was sown in 1948 and kept in a pot until 1990, when the original owner died. It is now growing in the Chelsea Physic Garden, and has fruited regularly since 1998. It's in the corner of a sheltered walled garden.

(https://s2.postimg.org/jcie9zvs5/grapefruit1.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/jcie9zvs5/)

(https://s2.postimg.org/562nes0cl/grapefruit2.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/562nes0cl/)(https://s2.postimg.org/tmkt99o8l/grapefruit3.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/tmkt99o8l/)

It's worth noting that being located in the center of a large city probably has an effect on the localized climate, and the garden is located next to the Thames river.


credit: all pictures and above information come from http://www.homecitrusgrowers.co.uk/ (http://www.homecitrusgrowers.co.uk/)
Title: Re: Citrumelos in England
Post by: Citradia on December 05, 2017, 07:29:33 PM
Neat! I'm sure their Dunstan does well with lows of 10 degrees F.  Mine didn't drop leaves last winter with low of 7 degrees F. Glad to hear they produced fruit too.