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Cold Hardy Citrus / Growing rare cold-hardy hybrid
« on: December 19, 2017, 08:17:23 PM »
I'd like to post a quick picture of 3 of a very rare variety of cold-hardy citrus I have. It's a CiTemple 'edible' cross with Ichang papeda, that was then crossed with Minneola tangelo. (Well actually, to be more exact, it's a seedling grown from one of the fruits)

So far the 3 plants haven't fruited yet, and I still reserve a little bit of skepticism that the plants are as claimed, just because the existence of this sort of hybrid is incredibly unusual. I'll fruit them out and report on the fruit quality and cold-hardiness later. There's potential here that this could be the "holy grail" of cold-hardy citrus.

I have two inside a grow tent (to make sure they put on growth over the Winter) and one outside in the greenhouse. So far this cold-hardy hybrid doesn't really have an official name.

(CiTemple is a specific cultivar of citrange, in case anyone reading here was not aware)

Citrus General Discussion / Satsuma mandarins may be related to Yuzu
« on: December 07, 2017, 04:17:49 AM »
This is just a hunch but something I've suspected is that Satsuma mandarins may in fact have ancestry from Yuzu.
There are a couple of things that causes me to think this.

Satsuma mandarins are more yellow in hue than the deep orange of other mandarin fruits.

Satsuma shows significantly more cold hardiness than other mandarins.
The only other mandarin types known to be cold hardier than Satsuma are Keraji and Changsha. Keraji is also fairly yellowish in color, and I suspect has heritage from Nansho Daidai (also I believe descended from Yuzu). Changsha is very reddish orange in color and originates from a drier more interior part of China (and as far as I know it was never brought over to Japan) so I believe Changsha is probably separate and does not have anything to do with the origins of Satsuma. Both these two mandarins are not anywhere near the same level of edibility and deliciousness as Satsuma, and the fruit of both are smaller in size as well.

Although the flavor of Satsuma does not have as much tang as other mandarin varieties, there is something in the aroma of Satsuma that is very aromatic and deep, it reminds me of Yuzu. Other mandarin varieties do not really have this quality.

Under the Japanese system, Satsuma-type mandarins are classified in a completely separate family from the other mandarins, though they are all considered to be mikan.
The Satsuma-type mandarin originally came from China, though it later became far more popular in Japan than China.

Just to clear up a little bit of language naming ambiguity, originally "yuzu" was the Chinese name for sour citrus in particular pomelo, but the Japanese took this word and applied it to the citrus now most commonly known as Yuzu (C. junos). The Chinese refered to this citrus as xiang feng (translates as "fragrant orange").
Some of you might note the similarity here to the name "Shangjuan" (fragrant ball). Shangjuan and Xiang yuan are just alternative romanized spellings of the same Chinese word. Among the cold-hardy growing citrus community in America and Europe, Shangjuan has typically refered to the citrus also known as Ichang Lemon (not quite the same citrus as Ichang papeda). However, in China Xiang yuan more commonly refers to the Chinese citron. The Ichang Lemon and Yuzu (C. junos) still exist in China but are very rare, and most Chinese in these regions don't have any knowledge of them. In contrast, Yuzu is well established in traditional Japanese cuisine, and after declining in popularity for a while, has even made a modern comeback in flavored food and beverage products. Most of these citrus were brought over to Japan during the Tang Dynasty (late 7th Century). (The pomelo reached Japan later, from Taiwan, probably since they were only found in the Southernmost parts of China, and weren't as cold hardy as the more mandarin-type fruits)

Cold Hardy Citrus / Citrumelos in England
« 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.

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).

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.

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.

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

Some of you may be aware that Oroblanco and Melogold grapefruits are triploid, meaning they have 3 sets of chromosomes rather than the normal 2.
So a natural question that arises is what would happen if you tried to breed a triploid citrus with something else? What would you get.
Although Oroblanco is normally considered seedless, I found several fully formed large seeds inside one the fruits I just bought. I'm assuming all/most of these seeds are nucellar (clones of the parent) but it got me thinking.

I've been doing a lot of research, and wanted to present to you what I've found so far, in an attempt to answer the question. I'm no expert in this area.

Basically, when a triploid like Oroblanco pollinates another citrus variety (generally a monoembryonic variety) it induces the formation of seed. These seeds will be haploid, having only a single set of chromosomes from the female fruit parent. Most of the gametes produced from a triploid will have unevenly split chromosomes during meiosis, but a smaller portion will also be diploid and haploid. That means that pollen from a triploid parent could contribute either one or two sets of chromosomes. Assuming that the female parent is diploid, this will result in the seed either having 2 or 3 sets of chromosomes. So you could get a normal zygotic seedling, or you could get another triploid. The triploids will have a lower probability of having fully formed seeds, so the majority will not survive. (Embryo rescue techiques are usually employed to be able to grow these underdeveloped seeds, but in a small number of cases the seeds will be well formed enough to be able to germinate on their own)

It is also possible for a triploid parent to produce an unreduced gamete but this is comparatively much more rare, so in that case the gamete would be able to contribute 3 sets of chromosomes.

Haploid citrus plants are normally feeble and slower growing, generally sterile, and right now I cannot find any references to a haploid citrus plant ever having produced fruit. But for breeding purposes, they can be reconstituted back to normal diploids by treating the growth on bud shoots with colchicine, and then later taking a graft from that offshoot.

This still leaves so many questions but it's a start to understanding.

Triploid plants can and do go through meiosis (cite). Of course, their fertility is lowered with most gametes being aneuploids (uneven number of chromosomes), however, triploid plants also produce small numbers of euploids (1x, 2x, 3x)(Fig 1 of the above cited source).

This should make you wonder why we don't often observe seeds in triploid fruit since they can make viable gametes (1x, 2x, 3x). This seems to be purely driven by the number of female gametes (ovules) produced vs. the number of male gametes (pollen grains) produced. Plants produce many more pollen grains than ovules making it much more likely that a euploid pollen grain will be produced. Contrasted by the small number of ovules produce making it very unlikely that a euploid ovule will be produced.

The fertility of triploid plants is the foundation for one of the most used mechanisms for polyploid formation called the triploid bridge. The triploid plant produces 1x, 2x, and 3x gametes that combine with the 1x gametes produced by a diploid plant to form 2x, 3x, and 4x offspring

I could well be wrong about most of the seeds in Oroblanco being nucellar. That would be interesting.

Take a look at this origins of citrus diagram from National Geographic:

And it doesn't even show all the original citrus varieties! I have quite a few varieties that have ancestry from citrus species not shown on that diagram (C. trifoliate, C. ichangensis, C. taiwanica, etc).

There's so much diversity in the citrus family, and the amazing thing is it's possible to hybridize them together.

Finally, a raspberry that can survive in Southern California

Bababerry raspberry is suspected to actually be a hybrid between regular raspberry and the wild California Smoothleaf raspberry. Normally raspberries don't grow too well in the hot dry climate of Southern California (although blackberries do just fine). It's in a spot that gets shaded in the afternoon.

Behind the raspberry you can see a 'Karp's Sweet' quince tree and a Mauritius lychee tree in the background.

Citrus General Discussion / just repotting some of my plants
« on: July 11, 2017, 08:14:36 PM »
Here you can see an Ichang lemon, Bloomsweet grapefruit, and two mangosteen plants in the back.

I can guarantee you those little mangosteen plants won't be sitting outside for long, it's pretty hot dry and sunny, and two days ago it got down to 54°F in the early morning.

Citrus General Discussion / Thread for Citrus Breeders
« on: June 27, 2017, 04:31:21 PM »
Is anyone here attempting to breed new varieties of citrus?
Share your breeding attempts or accomplishments here. Maybe we can exchange seeds.

Citrus General Discussion / breeding - what can I do with citron
« on: June 26, 2017, 11:53:55 PM »
Does anyone have any ideas on what I could do with Etrog citron in terms of breeding?
I have flying dragon poncirus trifoliate and some changsha mandarin seeds. I'm interested in breeding a cold hardy lemon—a true lemon in the sense that it will have citron in its ancestry.

maybe (citron x poncirus) x changsha ?

Common lemons, in case anyone didn't know, are hybrids between citron and sour orange (basically)

Here's a bit of information that will be very useful to anyone trying to breed new varieties of citrus and wants them to be seedless.

Crossing a tetraploid citrus with a regular diploid citrus will result in a triploid citrus. Triploids are generally sterile and seedless. This is a strategy that has been used in many cases to breed seedless citrus varieties (although there are other strategies).

It turns out that most regular citrus varieties—the ones that are polyembryonic producing clonally from seed—will convert to tetraploids at least once in a while. That is, if you grow 300 seeds, at least one of them will likely turn out to be tetraploid, even though it is otherwise a clone of its diploid parent. Tetraploids are often slightly bigger and slightly deeper in color than their corresponding diploid parent.

Some citrus varieties are more likely to convert to tetraploids than others. For example, out of 78 seeds grown from a Duncan grapefruit, 5 turned out to be tetraploids.
'Mapo' tangelo (7 out of 73) and 'Tardivo di Ciaculli' mandarin (2 out of 38) also had high rates of tetraploid seed. For Minneola Tangelo, 3 tetraploids were observed out of 166 seeds.
Something else notable, it appeared that plants producing fruit in colder conditions in marginal climatic areas had an increased likelihood of producing tetraploid seed.

Troyer citrange had very high rates of polyploidy, as high as 10-20 percent of the seedlings. (Carrizo was almost as high too)

Now, you most likely may not be able to know the chromosome count of any individual seedling, but if you grow enough of them, there should be some seedless plants two generations down the line. Assuming you try to prevent self-pollination. A much more convenient strategy is to rely on the blossoms of the tetraploid plants to pollinate other citrus varieties which are known not to be polyembryonic, usually mandarin but also pomelo.

If it's not polyembryonic, that means all the seeds that form inside the fruit are zygotic, formed by sexual recombination. If the variety also happens to be self-incompatible, it will require two different parents for fertilization, seed formation, and most likely fruit formation too. Unless the variety is parthenocarpic, meaning it will be capable of producing fruits without any fertilization, which many citrus varieties are. Yes, the terminology can get a little complicated and there are many aspects to breeding and growing different types of citrus varieties in orchards.

Cold Hardy Citrus / citrus varieties in order of cold-hardiness
« on: June 16, 2017, 04:32:14 PM »
This is a list of different citrus in order of how much cold they can handle:

kumquat > mandarin > orange > grapefruit > pomelo

I might write:

orange > lemon > lime

I don't want to put them with grapefruit because there are different grapefruit varieties spanning the range from being as cold-hardy as orange to being as cold-sensitive as lime. Although kieffer limes are about as cold-hardy as orange (probably since they are believed to have some papeda in their ancestry).

Minneola tangelos are probably somewhere between mandarin and orange. Clementines and tangerines span the range between mandarin and orange.

Not only are pomelos the most vulnerable to cold, they also need a lot of heat to ripen. Despite being a pomelo-grapefruit hybrid, Oroblanco is probably one of the cold-hardier grapefruits, being close to orange in cold-hardiness. (Due to its comparatively smaller fruit size and sweetness it is also as easy to ripen as common grapefruits)

Among the extremely cold-hardy citrus varieties:

trifoliate > Ichang papeda > Thomasville citrangequat > common trifoliate hybrids (citrange) > yuzu > taiwanica lemon

There is in general a trade-off between cold-hardiness and edibility.

I have a theory about the lineage origins of Ichang papeda, Yuzu, and Ichang lemon, which are all probably related.

I believe there was probably an original cold-hardy papeda species, similar in morphology to Ichang papeda, that has now been lost. This original cold-hardy papeda species naturally hybridized with sour mandarin and grew wild in the mountainous interior region of China. This resulting citrus is what the Japanese would later call Yuzu, after the fruit was brought to Japan during the Tang dynasty. Usually producing seed that were clones of the parent, there probably were several interbreeding events that mixed up the genes, making them more uniform and stable, so that Yuzu became like a species.

I believe that Yuzu (it might not be the same cultivar type we know today) may have hybridized again with its original ancestor papeda species resulting in the Ichang papeda.

I believe it likely that Ichang papeda crossed again with Yuzu resulting in the Ichang lemon. Or possibly a primitive Ichang lemon. This Ichang lemon was then identified by humans and selectively bred for bigger size and more pulp.

 I do not want to speculate too much but one thing I think might be possible, the original lemon could have been crossed with an orange, and then the new lemon, which closely resembled the original, was selected as the more desirable one and repeatedly propagated from seed (possibly until its genes became stable).

It is very unlikely a pomelo would have been available in this colder mountainous region of China, so if there are any pomelo genes in Ichang lemon they most likely would have had to come through some sort of orange or orange-mandarin (these type of Citrus unshiu × Citrus sinensis fruits were very common and China and Japan and could be more cold hardy than orange).

However, if Ichang papeda were crossed with yuzu, and then crossed with orange, one would presumably expect the color of the resulting Ichang lemon to be much more orange than it is. There are other hybridization possibilities of course, but I do not think any of them to be too likely. Maybe if the mandarin genes in the original lemon got suppressed from several sexual events (while it was growing in the wild) it could then have been enough papeda-like to later cross with another mandarin-dominant variety without taking on an orange coloration. Or the orange could have been backcrossed into the lemon over two generations. If the resulting Ichang lemon was superior to the previous, the old variety may have simply been discarded, no longer grown by the people living in that area.

Why do I believe this? There was a genetic study done in Japan that showed a very strong connection in Ichang papeda to having a yuzu ancestor (although the presumption was not conclusive).

So the lineage diagram, according to my theory, would basically look like this:

...........papeda ancestor    sour mandarin
papeda ancestor......yuzu
...........Ichang papeda

I'm looking at a map and the Chinese city of Yichang seems just a little further north of Changsha, about 320 km northwest.

That would lead me to believe that, while they may technically constitute separate species, the Changsha mandarin may just effectively be a natural evolutionary progression on the branch off between Ichang papeda and mandarins, which are native to the region a little bit further to the southeast.

I read an article in an old encyclopedia that stated that Ichang lemons [referring to Ichang papeda here, do not want to cause confusion] were actually cultivated (only in personal yards) in that area and sometimes were used by the inhabitants (or sold in markets) as lemons (probably inferior to ordinary lemons but that must have been all they had in that area), although they could also be found in the wild.

It's also possible there could have been genetic introgression at some point into the Changsha species from cultivated mandarin varieties, which also would have contained a small amount of pomelo ancestry.
I do not have any way of convincingly supporting this but I suspect the combination of pomelo genes to mandarins was able to increase the level of cold hardiness (even though pomelos are native to the region much furth south), perhaps because pomelo genes were able to provide more vigor to overcome cold damage. (suggestive evidence being the hardiness of Taiwanica lemon, many varieties of sour orange, and the fact that grapefruit varieties were able to be bred in Florida that were more hardy; furthermore I have grown many types of different seedlings and the Oroblanco pomelo-grapefruit hybrids appear to be the most vigorous and fastest growing, followed by pure pomelo)
I know this is very speculative.

If that's the case, Yuzu might ultimately be an evolutionary progression as well and constitute its own very closely related species.
Ancient Chinese texts refer to "oranges" (thought by modern scholars to be Yuzu) growing on the upper banks of the Yangtze river, and that area runs between the Yichang and Changsha area (much closer to Yichang than Changsha).

I would theorize that this may be a very closely related family of species, that had been developing and evolving in isolation in this area for a long time, and thus are not simple hybrids.
This region of Asia has a lot of localized biodiversity, due in part to the high productivity of the wet Summer season and long growing season.

I found a source selling an unusual citrus variety. They say it was from a seed from a fruit they got at a South Carolina citrus expo, and they were told the fruit was from a cross between Minneola tangelo (itself a Duncan grapefruit x mandarin hybrid) and Ichang papeda, which was then crossed again with a Tangor (a cross between tangerine and sweet orange).

They have no idea how cold-hardy this thing is, but think it should be hardy to zone 8 (presumably, based only on the fact it is an Ichang papeda hybrid).

I don't know if it was carefully bred from each cross (with only the best offspring selected from several seedlings) or whether they were just simple crosses, in which case one has no idea if the final offspring retained any of the original cold-hardy papeda genes. And then that the final plant was grown from a seed from this fruit? Really sounds like it could be luck of the draw with the genes, even if one could be certain it actually did come from Ichang papeda, two (or three) generations back.

Does anyone know anything about this variety or does it seem familiar to anything else you have ever read about?

Do you think it's worthwhile to buy it?
(Sorry, I'm going to have to keep the source secret for now because I want it to sell out to someone else)

These are two rare (and very expensive) Thai durian varieties.

ก้านยาว gâan yaao "long stem"
ชะนี chá-nee , main meaning "gibbon" but side meaning "prostitute"

And while we're on the topic, take a look at these Vietnamese "milk melons" (actually gourds)

Has anyone here ever been successful sprouting citrus seeds that they ordered through the mail?

Am I just being stupid? Are there any chances these things can germinate? I see loads of citrus seeds being sold in online market places. Are the sellers and buyers just ignorant, or do most people actually get their seeds to sprout??

I read somewhere citrus seeds may not be viable unless you get them directly from the fruit.

Citrus General Discussion / whole new subcategories of citrus
« on: June 12, 2017, 10:01:11 PM »
Like a color palette, from just a handful of original citrus species has resulted all sorts of new families, each with their own unique character.

Repeatedly backcrossing a pomelo with mandarin resulted in the common Orange. And the flavor is not quite the same as either of its original ancestors. All that selective inbreeding eliminated nuances in flavor and resulted in high levels of Valencene.
Cross an Orange again with a tangerine (mandarin) and you get a Tangor.

When a Pomelo that had been brought to Jamaica inadvertently hybridized with Orange and the resulting offspring, which had small sour fruits that grew in clusters like grapes, began spreading in the wild, that was the start of the lineage that today is known as grapefruit. And grapefruit, while similar to pomelo in many respects, also has its own unique flavor differences. It developed very high levels of the pungent sweet compound thioterpineol, the most characteristic component of grapefruit aroma.

Cross a grapefruit with a mandarin and you get a Tangelo (which really does taste like a cross between mandarin and pomelo).
Cross a tangelo with a pomelo again and you get a Tangelolo.
These are all just varying combinations on a spectrum between mandarin and pomelo, yet each family is unique and has its own taste.
Cocktail Grapefruit was a hybrid between grapefruit and mandarin, but is still considered a grapefruit.
And what if you cross a grapefruit with a pomelo? Oro Blanco is conveniently easy to categorize as a grapefruit because its pomelo parent happened to be Siamese Sweet, which did not have much flavor of its own to contribute. So Oro Blanco mostly takes on the grapefruit flavor of its Duncan parent.

There are so many potential combinations. What other new families could be possible?

Cold Hardy Citrus / breeding cold hardy pomelo
« on: June 12, 2017, 08:26:46 PM »
I'm going to embark on an attempt to breed a cold-hardy pomelo that can grow in zone 8 and that is eating quality (or very close to it).

...yuzu........Thai pomelo.....Ichang Lemon.........Thai pomelo.......Bloomsweet
..................................."Fragrant Wind" pomelo

The breeding will take 3 generations. The goal of zone 8 would mean it would have substantially more cold-hardiness than most cold-hardy citrus varieties, but not as much as the extremely cold-hardy citrus species (Poncirus and its hybrids). Basically this pomelo should be about as hardy as kumquat.

For the sake of reducing time, the next generation of seeds will have to be grown before the traits of its parents can be fully examined. This will entail growing a very large number of seedlings.

All the origin varieties have a very high degree of edibility, considering the level of their cold tolerance. Hopefully this results in a highly optimal ratio of edibility to cold-hardiness.

Anyone here from Malaysia who can buy Manggis Masta (Master Mangosteen) and send me seeds?
Willing to pay

Citrus General Discussion / Any hybrids between Lemon and Grapefruit?
« on: June 07, 2017, 01:59:55 PM »
Is anyone here aware of any hybrids between lemon and grapefruit ?
Or citron and pomelo (or any other of these type of combination) ? I thought I would ask the citrus experts here.

I know that orange has a little bit of pomelo in its genome, and lemons are descended from sour orange and citron, so technically a lemon is sort of like a cross between these two (citron and pomelo), but that's not really what I mean, since the pomelo heredity is so low, and it has more C. reticula (mandarin) heritage mixed in than the other two.

You see citron/lemon hybrids and grapefruit/pomelo hybrids all the time, but they are most often mixed with mandarin. Citron-lemon hybrids exist (Ponderosa lemon) and Grapefruit-pomelo hybrids exist (Oroblanco) but I've never read of a Grapefruit-lemon hybrid.

It seems these two groups are too far on the fringe for anyone to have considered combining them together. Oranges (and to a lesser extent mandarins which are not so dissimilar) are the mainstay of citrus and everything else is an outlier. There are lemons and then there are grapefruits, but no one really thinks about combining these two families together.

Would such a fruit have any desirable attributes, do you think?

Buah Mesta (Garcinia mangoestana) is a special cultivar of mangosteen that is believed to originate from Temerloh, Pahang, in peninsular Malaysia. It is now being propagated commercially by a few growers. Buah Mesta has some differences from standard mangosteen (Manggis) in terms of several morphological characteristics.

According to commercial mesta entrepreneur Mr. Shuabib from Kg Paya Pasir, Maran, Pahang, mesta trees are usually slightly smaller and lower than regular mangosteen trees. Generally there are a greater number of branches on the tree. Mesta fruit are a little bit more oval shaped with a pointy tapering end under them; not a stocky round shape like regular mangosteen.

When looking inside the fruits, it is almost uniformly commented that mesta has nothing like the large seeds found in regular mangosteen. Typically it has 6 cloves of fresh white substance with a very sweet taste. Most special about this fruit is it only has a little resin which can stain your hands or clothes, even from freshly picked fruit. (The resin from a mangosteen fruit is yellow)

Mesta is harvested from the orchards in Maran when the season arrives, and fetches a slightly higher price, despite the season usually being the same as the harvest for ordinary mangosteen. Mesta fruit in 2016 began to ripen in July and were sold at a farm price of around RM 8.00 per kg compared with regular mangosteen at around Rm 4.00 - 5.00 per kg. Mesta fruit is highly favored by those who have purchased it.

Mesta in terms of form generally resembles the overall form of standard mangosteen. If one is less familiar with the particular differences of Mesta, they need to look carefully at the shape of the fruit first. Mesta fruit is more oval-shaped, with a nose at the bottom, and have stacks of white filling inside which are uniform in size and with less seeds. In contrast, standard mangosteen fruit has a mainly flat round shape underneath, and there tend to be large white segments, which contain seeds, next to smaller more flattened segments. The edible segments of flesh inside Mesta are uniform in size.

("bentuk" just means shape)

During the growing season Mesta trees are very uniform and dense in fruit, until a few branches break. This is one of the features of a Mesta tree, at 4 years old there will be a lot of fruit that causes broken branches. Regular mangosteen trees have less cases of branch breakage.

Another feature of Mesta can be found at the bottom of the fruit. There are 6 (sometimes 7) petals on the button, whereas regular mangosteen has 5.

Mesta also has a bit larger brownish-green petals on the top where the stalk comes out, between 1-2cm depending on the size of the fruit.

For those who want to eat the Mesta variety of mangosteen, you can visit Maran, Temerloh, Raub, Lipis, or Jeranut, because the area is reported to have mesta tree planting. The trees in this area can bear fruit after 4 years of growth by merging seedlings, grafting them together into a single tree trunk.

translated from Malay
original article written by M. Anem, senior agronomist at Bukit Goh Agricultural Center, Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia

original source:

Tropical Fruit Discussion / mangosteen seedlings just arrived
« on: June 03, 2017, 10:08:52 PM »

mangosteen seedlings just arrived. so excited!

Citrus General Discussion / Yuzu vinegar hot sauce at Trader Joes
« on: May 30, 2017, 01:42:24 AM »
Just wanted to let you all know, they have Yuzu hot sauce at Trader Joe's. Yummy.
Tastes high quality and good on egg rolls.

For those of you who may never have had the opportunity to taste Yuzu before.
It's kind of has a unique flavor, definitely citrusy but in a way that's not quite like any other citrus.

There are some citrus that are better used in cooking and flavoring than eating out of hand. Yuzu is great for adding flavor to alcohols or vinegar.

The flavor, there's something about it that reminds me of bergamot, but also something reminiscent of pomelo. Maybe a tiny bit of grapefruit. And tangerine peel. It's not unlike bitter orange, very fragrant.

For those extreme citrus enthusiasts out there, I definitely recommend.

Something kind of strange (and kind of irrelevant) I seemed to notice.
Oro Blanco grapefruit blossoms seem to almost always have just four petals. But different pomelo varieties I have seen, their blossoms almost always have 5 petals, and it's the same story with every other citrus variety I have seen (including grapefruit of course).
I could be wrong, but is there something special about Oro Blanco? What could be the cause of this strange phenomena and does it have any practical significance?

I also found on Fruitipedia a picture that shows a couple of Ugli Fruit blossoms, all with only 4 petals.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Ten degree Tangerine
« on: May 24, 2017, 05:50:28 PM »
The "Ten Degree Tangerine" is a hybrid between Clementine and Yuzu. It was thought to refer to the cultivar Clem-Yuz 3-3, but there is some confusion and it may also refer to Clem-Yuz 2-2.
Hardy to 10°F (-12°C), to perhaps all the way down to 5°F (-15°C)

Ten-Degree Tangerine may refer to either Clem-Yuz 2-2 or Clem-Yuz 3-3. Clem-Yuz 2-2 is a much earlier ripening fruit and is said to be better tasting by one grower. Clem-Yuz 3-3 can have a kerosene aftertaste. However the originator of this cultivar Dr. John R. Brown of Franklin, Texas, preferred 3-3.

"This plant, otherwise know as Clem-Yuz 3-3 is one of a number of Clementine X Yuzu hybrids produced by Dr. Brown during the late 1960s... semi-deciduous... blooming and fruiting after 80 to 130 hours of continuous subfreezing weather with minimum temperatures of 10 F or lower... Fruit ripens relatively late, in mid-December, in Texas, when it attains quality better than that of supermarket tangerines...the fruit matures into a sprightly flavored tangerine" p. 30

“The rind is orange and smooth...If self pollinated the fruit is nearly seedless.  But otherwise has 8-20 large, plump seeds per fruit, seeds appear to be a mix of monoembryonic and polyembryonic types...unripe fruit has an excellent lime-like flavor... [fruit] will keep for several months under refrigeration.” Fruit Gardener, Ichang Papeda Hybrids, p. 48 

At the Stan Mckenzie orchard in SC in March 2014, Ten-Degree Tangerine looked much better than Owari.  Trees still had their leaves, while Owari was mostly defoliated with stem die back.

Fruit on 3-3.  Small and immature.  Skin color half turned from green to yellow. Interior color pale yellow.  Flavor very good, tastes as good as some store bought, brix 9.5. Fruit was cross-pollinated. 12 seeds.

Fruit on 2-2. Very loose skin.

The fruit is large tangerine size, juice is sweetish with a mild tangerine flavor that has a trace of kerosene; but there is no gum or bitterness. Each segment has 1-2 seeds which are moderately large. Although the peel is corky, it is edible because it lacks the intense acrid bitterness seen in most citrus. Fruit is borne at branch tips near the outside of the tree, and is ripe by mid-October.

At best, fruit is a pale, juicy, seedy, low-flavored mandarin, but in many years it is dry and juiceless. Tree is productive, withstands 5 - 10 degrees F.  

An experienced hobbiest believes this is an excellent flavored fruit, and the early ripening period is an added benefit. Personal observation, pleasant tasting.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / 2 lychee trees in Southern California
« on: May 19, 2017, 03:06:37 PM »

pictures of 2 lychee trees, south of LA, a Mauritius and the little one is a Sweetheart

They don't seem to mind full sun, and only took a lot of water the first year when their root systems were becoming established. I'd say they only require a medium level of water now, and can go for a week without being watered (maybe not in the summer though).

Little lychee seedlings have much more demanding needs though, soil needs to be kept constantly moist, and too much sun will dry them out, while they will not grow with too little sun, very hard to grow a lychee from seed into a tree in this climate (though the seeds do sprout easily).

The lychee trees appear to be very slow growing, so patience will be needed. There are already some tiny little bloom pannicles on the bigger tree.

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