Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers

Citrus => Cold Hardy Citrus => Topic started by: jim VH on December 11, 2020, 11:26:42 AM

Title: Identify this fruit?
Post by: jim VH on December 11, 2020, 11:26:42 AM
I bought the plant this fruit is from about 12 years ago from One Green World Nursery.  It was labeled Citrumelo, but when I asked which variety, they didn't know.  It's clearly not a Swingle- Swingle's are shaped like hand grenades.  One person who tasted it without flinching thinks it might be a misidentified Troyer Citrange.  Myself- I don't know.  I find the presumably Trifoliate flavor to be so nasty that it tends to block out any other flavors for me, and I willingly eat fruit straight from my Flying Dragon bush without flinching.

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Title: Re: Identify this fruit?
Post by: SoCal2warm on December 11, 2020, 01:25:53 PM
I've personally seen Jim VH's tree and tasted one of the fruits.
The fruits seem to be as big as citrumelo (especially in this climate of the PNW where citrus fruits often do not grow as big).

The fruits have a terrible flavor, unedible. Although they look delicious and inviting before you taste them.
I provided a taste test description and another picture in this thread:
bounty of rare cold hardy citrus fruits (

If it is a citrumelo, it seems to taste much worse than a Dunstan should taste. Maybe it could have been grown from a seedling from a Swingle?
Some of these rootstock varieties are often grown from seed. This one could have turned out to be one of the rarer seeds that was not nucellar, and so had a different phenotype.

The fruits seemed larger than any pictures of Troyer citrange I've ever seen.

And it's hard to be completely accurate or objective, but I do think I may have been able to taste a very slight grapefruit flavor to the fruits, although it was subtle. Although overall the flavor was definitely closer to orange than grapefruit. (That might not really mean anything, however)
Title: Re: Identify this fruit?
Post by: SoCal2warm on December 11, 2020, 01:34:50 PM
Oh, one more interesting thing about these fruits, when I cut one open, I found only one seed inside.

But maybe that might have something to do with the climate they are growing in?

Most of these awful hybrid hardy citrus fruits are filled with lots and lots of seeds.
Title: Re: Identify this fruit?
Post by: SoCal2warm on December 11, 2020, 01:53:25 PM
Judging only by the thickness of the rind, it seems to be a little closer to what citrumelo should be rather than citrange, however that's probably a terrible indicator because in this cool climate the rinds of all varieties of citrus fruits tend to grow much thicker.

I've been looking at pictures of both citrumelos and citranges, then comparing that to the picture I took of the mystery fruit cut open, and the rind thickness of the mystery fruit seems to be about somewhere in between what citrange and citrumelo should be. Which of course is not very helpful.
Title: Re: Identify this fruit?
Post by: Sunmicroman on December 11, 2020, 02:59:34 PM
I just got some of this fruit from Jim and I actually like it. It has a sour flavor, yes, but has an orangish flavor mixed with slight grapefruit (but that could just be the bitterness which is slight). Might be good sweetened with sugar, for those that don't like sour. The color of the flesh is orangish and so is the juice (outside skin a little too). Which lead me to believe it might be a citrange and not a citrumelo. Maybe Benton or Morton?

Also, I have recently tasted and eaten and Swingle citrumelo and it is typical yellowish grapefuit flesh color and also taste (with sourness, of course). A friend of mine has a Dunstan citrumelo and from his review, he compared it to Swingle. Jim's fruit isn't like a Swingle at all (Swingle is seedy also). So I am thinking Jim's mystery trifoliate hybrid is either a citrange or possibly some multi hybrid (Poncirus X some variety of sinensis x paradisi or possibly x maxima) of sorts.

I'd really like to grow this variety due to hardiness and I do like it too.
Title: Re: Identify this fruit?
Post by: SoCal2warm on December 11, 2020, 04:40:16 PM
Apparently Morton citrange can also have those ribbed markings on the side on the exterior of the fruit, look at the illustration here: (

The deeper orange color seems right too, for this citrange variety.

One Green World also sells Morton Citrange, so there could have been a mix-up.

That nursery doesn't really have the best organizing of their citrus specimens. I've been inside their greenhouse area and many of the citrus plants are not even labeled, they are just organized in groups placed next to a few other citrus plants of the same variety which are.

Another picture of a Morton citrange (posted on the archived copy of the Citrus Growers Forum) shows the ribbed markings here: (
Title: Re: Identify this fruit?
Post by: Citradia on December 11, 2020, 08:02:12 PM
That looks like a citrange of some sort. Iíve seen Benton citrange and Citradia fruit bright orange with ribbed shape , but they definitely tasted better than poncirus. The Mortan citranges Iíve seen were large and round and yellow, not bright orange.
Title: Re: Identify this fruit?
Post by: jim VH on December 12, 2020, 10:04:35 AM
I would like to thank all of you for your detailed expertise on this matter.

I'd been laboring under the misapprehension that this was a citrumelo, but now I'm convinced it was a mislabeled citrange.  One Green World did not have citranges for sale at the time I bought this, but they likely had a specimen plant in back, since -according to Sunmicroman-they used to sell Troyer Citranges at a time when the were called Northridge nursery.  Now it's only a matter of determining which Citrange it is.

The ribbing is one of the notable features of this fruit, so I chose a specimen with the most striking striations.  Also, the color is even more orange than shown in the picture- the camera washed it out a bit in the light setting used.  Also, there is usually a higher seed count than seems to be observed this year.  Perhaps the cold wet weather that occurred during this last summers bloom time had something to do with it; Possibly reducing the number of pollinators.

The flavor appears to be a like it or hate it.  I, Socal and my sister appear to detest it, but Sunmicroman and my nephew like it .  Perhaps it has something to do with the supertaster phenomenon. 

Again, I appreciate all of you input.
Title: Re: Identify this fruit?
Post by: Sunmicroman on December 15, 2020, 12:37:19 PM
Take a look at the pics in this forum on the old Citrus Grower's forum of a guy with a Morton citrange. One Green World used to sell Morton a long time ago when they were Northwoods still (I bought one back in '94, I believe. Never got fruit from it unfortunately before I had to leave it when I moved. It was in a pot and I was living in Albuquerque, NM at the time back in '97). I think this looks a lot like what you have Jim: (

What do you think?
Title: Re: Identify this fruit?
Post by: Ilya11 on December 15, 2020, 04:38:34 PM
Here is a second harvest of one of the  Morton seedlings from 2011 fruits described above

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Most fruits are round without distortions, but this variety is a magnet for citrus bud mite giving occasionally very strange forms

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Title: Re: Identify this fruit?
Post by: Sunmicroman on December 15, 2020, 05:16:34 PM
Looks like yours are mainly seedless? Jim's are as well.
Title: Re: Identify this fruit?
Post by: Ilya11 on December 16, 2020, 04:24:33 AM
In order to get its seeds it is necessary to artificially pollinate with a lot of foreign pollen. The best is that of Meyer. The resulting seeds are nucellar  with many embryos. 
Title: Re: Identify this fruit?
Post by: jim VH on December 16, 2020, 11:10:03 AM
I do believe you are correct that it is a Morton.  I did an image search a  few days ago and the Morton images were the only ones that showed the ridging that characterizes this fruit.

That's an interesting comment about foreign pollination.  Last year the Citranges were full of seeds- I sent some to a person in Southern Oregon. This year apparently not so much.  According to my log book, the difference may be that this year man of my citrus had far fewer blooms than the year prior, and the three citrus closest to the Citrange had almost no blooms at all.  Combine this with the fact that the Citrange blooms a couple weeks earlier than most of the rest of my citrus, so the bloom seasons only partially overlap.  Then combine that with the fact that the overlap period was unusually cold and wet this year, suppressing the number of bees out and about, and that could explain the relative seedlessness Sunmicroman observes.