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Messages - Pancrazio

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Widespread outside cultivation happens just in zone 9b, you can find folks that grows them outside in zone 9a in good/sheltered spots, but the plants are going to die eventually. Regarding the zone 8, there are basically no plants outside in winter, people grow them in pot and bring them inside. To be fair, most of the historical collection in central italy were grown in pot just because of that, rich people moved lemon in building made exactly for this reason called limonaie, and there they were kept and they could be also heated when needed.
There is an interesting exception to that. Well, the lemons weren't exceptionally cold hardy, but the place is microclimatically interesting: and those are the glacial lakes in nothern Italy, where in a couple of place they grew lemons due the warmer enviroment due the presence of the lake.
I wonder what kind of madman saw a glacial lake and said "i'm going to grow lemons here" but it did work!
I have been there last autumn. Keep in mind that place is 40 miles from Switzerland.  This is the landscape:

Amazing micro/nanoclimate in my opinion.
There's also a place there called "Limone sul garda" ( )which sounds pretty much like "Lemon over the Garda lake" wich coincidentally has a widespread lemon cultivation. Such structure you see in the pics were used to put some trellis on lemons in order to defend them by light frosts in windless nights. If i were to search for an hardy lemon that is a good place to start, i guess, even if i don't know how much of the original clones may be still alive there. AFAIK no especially hardy lemon is widely grown in italy.
USDA zones are not so good for evaluating italian climate because i'm under the impression that our winter days are darker and cooler compared to same USDA zone of the east coast, and our spring/autumn are longer and also on average cooler (in same usda zones i mean). 

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Ancient lemon cultivation?
« on: May 25, 2019, 08:41:52 AM »
AFAIK no compost is used in traditional citrus cultivation. Compost is relatively modern; most of the stuff we used today to make compost back then were fed to chicken/pigs, or, if it was vegetable, was used to pave barns, to help cattle's rest/catch their droppings.
Then this matter was mixed with chicken/cattle feces and left to decompose for months. This lead to manure.
Traditional citrus growing made ample use of aged manure (even years old). Aged manure is a nutritious permeable matter which is a good growing medium. It needs to be left for a very long time outside to be leached by rain/sun by any excess of salt. I cant give more detail on that stuff because i never made it.
For traditional fertilization of potted citrus here i have seen in uses mostly 2 things: ground white lupin seeds ( ) used probably ad nitrogen source, and oxen's blood (I guess this helps with iron and micronutrients). Water can also play a role, but it's pretty rare nowadays to be able to water citrus with something different from faucets.

I can't tell for any nursery in EU but i know for a fact that our phytosanitary service routinely inspect citrus nurseries for CTV, so if someone has it in catalogue, they should have been tested.
I do not think so.

I know it's hard to believe from outside, but what happens in Sicily (or southern italy) doesn't necessarily reflect the situation in Italy as whole (or in Tuscany for that matter). Moreso since our phytosanitary legislation has become a local matter; a senseless decision, which has created enormous damages (I think to xylella infection), but this how it works here now.
BTW, speaking of seeds, does anyone knows if in europe there's any kind of seedless yuzu?

In some private collections in France and Belgium, but there is a problem with CTV.

Oh. Too bad.

Sudachi has the smallest fruit of all basic japan sour fruits

Sudachi すだち Hebesu へべすKabosuかぼす、

I did not eat yuko, but I heard that it is just sour water.

Very interesting thank you for clarification.

Yuzu is common in EU nurseries.
Also Kabosu appeared in nurseries in France, Italy and Czech Republic some times ago, but there are questions about budwood source and if it is clean of ctv.
Tintori sells kabosu, yuzu, oni yuzu.

I can't tell for any nursery in EU but i know for a fact that our phytosanitary service routinely inspect citrus nurseries for CTV, so if someone has it in catalogue, they should have been tested.

Sylvain had a first harvest of his Yuko seedling in 2017, it seems that the fruit was early,quite  sweet but odor was faint, nothing to do with Yuzu.

French forum

Google translation

Amazing. Growing citrus from seeds to get a clone has always surprised me as a huge effort. I'm attempting same with two plants born from a single seed of Haruka. Since both the plants came from a single seed i hope one of them to be the original clone.

BTW, speaking of seeds, does anyone knows if in europe there's any kind of seedless yuzu?

But as far as I know sudachi and yuko are not worth to grow for fruit, only as curiosity.

Hey Radoslav, care to elaborate? Are they insipid/wortless for lack of juice, and/or unpalatable?

Hey Radoslav gotta say, you were right!
Found one here:
So well this is definitively reachable.

Not sure why. What i know is that some guy on the Italian forum attempted to get this one and got declined. Either they had a minimum order unapproachable (like, say, 100 plants) or they don' seel directly to private custumers. If you are interested i may ask.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Lumia lemon hybrid
« on: May 12, 2019, 10:22:58 AM »
Ok i was thinking you were referring to this one:

Wich has a good list of ancient italian cultivar, and it's pretty interesting for those wich are interested to this topic.
Some of the stuff here is weird, and now has gone extinct basically for sure (like for instance the lemon which was 100% albedo).

Lemox is patented, and apparently they don't sell to the public.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Lumia lemon hybrid
« on: May 11, 2019, 09:00:09 AM »
Hey there,
Lumia is another of those words that has a strange story and doesn't seems to refer to a specific lemon clone.
This paper is in italian but abstract is english so maybe you can find here something interesting.
To enter more in details on the text of the paper, they report that the word "lumias" (the final s was due the fact the word was in latin) has been used firstly in 1169 by Falcando to describe lemons and later by other expert in citrus to describe citronsXorange hybrids (i think this is the name which sitcked with common folks here). In Ferrarius (1646) in Capitulo XXVI, page 333, the lumias are described as "Limon, qui dicitur lumia" ("Lemons, which are called lumias". Basically it looks like at such age lemons and limes weren't perceived as different entities; so lemons were the common lemons, limettas were the acid limes, while lumias were the acidless limes. Of course, since they were considered lemons, some confusion may have arised.
Candolle, in 1885, assumed that both lumias and limes where the same stuff and united both under the name citrus limetta
Since lumias was a word referred to several lemon like clones, i guess that some clones have retained the folk's name "lumias"; even when the official taxonomy gave the name "lumia" only to acidless limes. That must be the case for the pear shaped lemons.

Also, lumias  referring to both those pear shaped lemon and acidless limes must be the reason behind:
listing lumias as "acidless" but after tasting it they reported "this is not acidless at all!".
Basically they assumed that lumia meant what it means in scientific literature. Probably they look to import for lumia and got a lumia: but not the one with such scientific name, rather just one of the pear shaped lemons commonly referred by citrus growers here as "lumia". Which surely are not acidless!
In sicily instead lumia refers to plants very similar to palestine sweet lime.

Radoslav what book are you referring to? The 1982 book on citrus paintings by CNR?

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Valentine and Cocktail pomelo cold response
« on: May 10, 2019, 05:19:47 PM »
Interesting! I have a 1-year old valentine in the ground and just grafted cocktail, but not on the same tree... -8C is possible here, but very uncommon, I hope the trees grow big before that happens, if it does.
What frost cover do you use, is that spun polyester or plastic? I can't quite tell from the photo. Also, I wonder whether it would help to keep it a little away from the plant?

Spun polyester! It is cheap and id doesn't has the dowsides of plastic which doesn't really allows air circulation.
I did some measurements with a medium-weight spun poly floating row cover draped over a small banana. The result was the same inside temperature as outside, but those measurements were above freezing. On their own these covers do not increase the minimum temperature.

In my understanding they just avoid (reduce) radiative cooling. That sort of cooling that happens when a flat surface is exposed towards the dark cloudless night sky and the entire infrared radiation of the object doesn't get replenished by radiative heating from sun and atmosphere. In this case, flat surfaces exposed towards the sky gets cooler than air (that's the reason why on nights around 32F you can see cars with frozen roofs even if temperature never got under 32). Covering the plant, you reflect back to the plant part of the infrared radiation, thus keeping the plant at the same temperature of the air, and in several cases this is a net gain.
They are less useful instead in cloudy nights (which incidentally are also warmer on average because of said effect, cloud behave like a giant blanket).

I'm assuming that's in climate zone 8b. Citrus fruits have long been grown in Italy (with some difficultly in Italy's North).
I don't think pomelos would ever survive outside like that in my zone 8a Pacific Northwest climate. My Bloomsweet barely survived (with a cover, in a warm spot up against the south-facing side of the house) and right now it looks like it could go either way, I wouldn't be surprised if it dies. (Although temperatures have warmed up by now so any damage should have fully manifested itself by now, I would think)

Oh. USDA climate zone shouldn't be taken seriously in consideration when describing european climate. Sure, the mathematical calculation still works and as general rule, you can get an idea of what kind of winter you can expect, but they are aimed to tie a plant to a particular climate and as general rule they fail in taking in account the effect of consistent low temperature on some tropical and subtropical plant. This has been a major topic of people on italian forums. I think is important to point this!
Over the years i have found pretty big discrepancies from what you people from US tell us about citrus and when i see from other italian members.Because of that i calculate a usda map zone for italy based on several weather stations, and as you can see i'm between zone 9a and 8b (Florence).

However a lot of the stuff people says it works for usda zone 9a at my place doesn't grow. Like bananas: i have been growing bananas for quite some times and attempted them in ground for several winter but more often than not they die to the corm (dwarf namwah).
Besides, I'm a little bit further North of you, about the same latitude as Northern France.
I'm not that surprised that pomelos could manage to survive in Florence, Italy with a cover over them.
The fact that you appear to be in the middle of a city and they are up against a fence probably helps as well. That fence acts like a windbreak. The concrete bottom of that fence probably helps store a little heat too.

Well, keep in mind that the citrus growing zone in Italy starts around naples, and in Tuscany there isn't even a single plantation of citrus. Definitively citrus has been grown historically all over Italy but northern than Rome, it took quite some effort,and it was reserved to nobles who could afford to heat them in winter in ages when common folk had to endure the frost. Definitively in some places of Italy citrus aren't at home.

Luckily not yet, but if you ask me it's just a matter of time. But, as for now, we also lack the asian psyllid, so any infection should remain contained. But the citrus psyllid arrived in spain so eventually will reach also here.
Also awareness in Italy is super-low.  :-[

Cold Hardy Citrus / Valentine and Cocktail pomelo cold response
« on: May 09, 2019, 07:11:39 PM »
I'm thinking to drop few lines about an experience i made last winter regarding those two plants.
Is hard to fine accurate comparision between two clones because one never knows how they were spaced and especially how much their rootstock/nutrition can vary.
Well, in my case, i guess, i have kept as close as possible two varieties in rigorously the same environment.
I grated both valentine and coctail on same rootstock, at the same height in the same spot, so everithing they got was rigorously equal. Just... i'm not sure what rootstock it is since i reused a failed clementine which i'm not sure about the origin, but i guess it must be citrumelo.

They grew nicely during summer then winter hit.

In the first column you have the average temperature in celsius and in the second the minimum temperature in celsius. As you can see we got till 17F with about two weeks of sub freezing nights (and i mean, not just light frosts).
During all this time both the valentine and the cocktail were outside with just a light frost cloth.
Well somehow they manage to survive with just little dieback and not becoming completely defoliated. No flowering this year but they bounced back.

Here a picture of them just after the frost at the end of january (the right part of the plant is cocktail and the left part is valentine, frost cloth moved up to show leaf damage):

They managed to survive! Pretty beaten but alive. Of course some degree of defoliation was to be expected and so happened (BTW you can see on right bottom corner of the pic a twig of ilya11's voss bloomsweet grapefruit completely unfazed by the cold)
This is them a month later:

The cocktail grapefruit got beaten a little harden than Valentine, even if i have to admit that on a small sized plant like this one is hard to make conclusive statements.
What can be said is that Valentine and Cocktail when dormant are pretty cold tolerant. Also im not completely sure but i suspect that keeping some leaves alive on more exposed twigs may be useful to help the plant in avoiding entire twig dieback. It's just a thought though.
Right now coctail has also a flower while valentine is a little more shy, but they completely recovered.

Pancrazio, its been a while, awesome having you posting of the citrus forum again.

Oh I'm glad to be here too, i just have so little time these days, and most of it goes to my plants and the italian forum!

Interesting. If only getting scions from acireale weren't so hard!

Citrus Buy, Sell, & Trade / Re: Where to buy citrus online (EUROPE)
« on: May 08, 2019, 04:19:05 PM »
Also Agrumi Lenzi, ships outside italy, i'm unsure if outside EU, but i think yes.

As far as I can tell, that Sfusato Amalfitano is not the "limone pane" that is referenced in the cedro salad post... That huge limone pane seems to be Limone di Procida. The Sfusato Amalfitano is what replaced it commercially, I believe, and it's a "femminello", which I assume means smaller in a male chauvinistic world (unless it refers to a smoother skin)... The search continues...

I think this shows how confusing the naming is. Here's Amalfi Bread Lemon: and here's Amalfi Lemon (a much more std lemon): Plus for good measure a Femminello Amalfi Lemon (seedless): I still can't tell from that description whether the Amalfi Bread Lemon is really the huge fruit... The description of the Roman Citron seems much closer to what the recipes mention.
Ok, next search is for "howto smuggle lemons into CA"  :o

The problem with the whole matter is that limone pane is somewhat a folk's name, that means, it doesn't really ties strongly to a variety (or to be more precise, to a single clone) like for istance "cara cara orange". It's more akin to the word "plantain" where you use a word to specify the use of the fruits more than the specie of the plant, and this works pretty well in a farmer's society because things get their value by their immediate use...
(On a unrelated note "Femminello" means "little female" and refers to the many child (lemons) this varieties make)
In the cedro salad post, i think the "Limone cedrato gigante" has been used by the author of the post. You can find it in tintori page. "Limone cedrato" is another category of citrus (like grapefruits, for istance) wich is pretty old (centuries), and not so much widespread anymore, but you can find them here in some collections and some people assure me that they are the best for salads. They are "citron flavoured" lemons (this is the meaning of "limone cedrato" if that makes sense) the word "cedrato" refers to citron but remains ambiguous in what such referece is.
Anyway, there are several varieties of such citrons good for salads. Among the best, you have the "Limone cedrato spadafora", the "Limone piretto" and the "Limone ponzino amalfitano". Each of those will be good in salads.

During the winter- early spring one can buy here these big bumpy lemons from Amalfi region, exceptionally good, moderately soar with sweet albedo.

I got similar lemons from a plant my grandfather left me but i didn't get any name for it from him:

They grow nicely but not as good as the onle in souther italy i guess because i lack of heath. The fruit of mine don't look very similar to the lemon i find at the store from amalfi coast, but then again, i don't even know what those are.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Nice read
« on: May 08, 2019, 03:20:34 PM »
Funny thing is, that place is about 200m away from my work place. Adriano, if you need hints on the opening days drop me a line, in fact the villa isn't opened every day of the year. So be sure to check in advance.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mexicola avocados for sale
« on: February 11, 2018, 06:23:31 PM »
Pancrazio, I have a 25ft Mexicola in my front yard. If you would like seeds from the tree mailed to you i could do that...unfortunately it ripens in November or so. You could get my seeds and overwinter them in tall grow pots and plant them in the Spring. Hit me up if you would like some. My tree is near a busy sidewalk and is usually picked clean of any low hanging fruit, so I would have to get the fruit picker out. Chris

Thank you very much for your kind offer. This forum always prove itself filled with helpful people.

That's a letter showing what was packed.  Dr. Mary Lou Arpaia is a world class U.C.R. fruit developer with a specialty in avocados, breeding for improved varieties.  She is in charge of the extensive U. of California avocado museum or collection along with her curator Julie Frink.  She works with commercial farms across the world like S. Africa, Australia, Israel, etc.  She may be a good source for connections in Spain or may be able to mail you scions.  Kicker is postage.  I hit the ceiling when by surprise they mailed me an overnight FedX package of scions at a cost of near $100 U.S.D.  Shipping is gonna be a stickler, scions are free.

Thank you very much, I'll try to write her. Firstly, I will ask to my local university if they may be interested in backing me up. Maybe with some official role the chance for a positive answer will increase. Yes, i know that shipping overseas, can get pretty expensive especially if done as express package. I won't forget when some years ago i have been asked for 600 for the shipping of 4 plants (i didn't bought them BTW  ;D ). Well i guess that fruit growing is a pretty cheap hobby but it has its expensive moments.

Pancrazio did you check Viveros Blanco in Spain?

Thank you for your suggestion Jose. Yes, of course i tried. As I tried with Canarius, Aguacate vivai, Frutales tropicale, pepiniere du bosc, and so on. Well, the fact that they don't ship is a big issue, as you imagine since they are thousands of km from me. But even if they are able to ship i won't place an order because as you see and it's clearly stated in their page that they mexicola plants are seed grown. They aren't Mexicola; they are, at best Mexicola's seedlings. But here's the catch: I suspect that by the term "mexicola" they refer just to a mexican race avocado. I talked about that with Solko in one of my previous attempt to locate a source for that plant in the eu and we both agreed on that. So at this point before doing a big effort to get a plant from spain and not being sure that it is actually a mixicola, i prefer to do a relatively smaller effort and try to get a plant for US and be actually sure of its cultivar.
After that hopefully i can become a source of scions for people in the eu.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mexicola avocados for sale
« on: February 10, 2018, 01:27:25 PM »
Thank you for your kind offer.
Also Mark thank you for your addresses and pdf.
It's an interesting list of plants. Personally, i not always find easy to understand the fruit that ripens before winter and those which need to overwinter on the tree. The latter i think is not feasible in my place. Mexicola is attractive for me also for the reason that i can really hope to harvest the fruits before cold weather damages them.
Moreover, Mexicola is the only one for which i have been able to find consistent and reliable scientific paper detailing its cold hardiness. For other cultivars cold hardiness is more an anecdotal matter. But not gonna lie, sure Stewart is interesting.

Mark what is the paper you included? A nursery or a research facility? Do they ship outisde US?

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Cold Hardry Grapefuit/Pommelos
« on: February 10, 2018, 01:02:00 PM »
This is very interesting. Everywhere i have read that such grapefruit was way more tender, but it looks like it is on par with oranges. Since The fruits are already very good in november, at least at mu place, it proves a fine addition to my plants!

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Cold Hardry Grapefuit/Pommelos
« on: February 10, 2018, 07:25:37 AM »
Gotta add to this topic, in my garden a Oroblanco/Sweetie grapefruit has withstand -3C without any adverse effect. It is grafted on PT and grows in the ground.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Mexicola avocados for sale
« on: February 10, 2018, 07:20:34 AM »
Hi everyone.
As usual, in this time of the year i look for the new planting for my garden. Avocado is my objective now.
As much i have been searching in Europe, i haven't been able to find a genuine Mexicola avocado. Part of the problem is that for some mistake, in Europe "Mexicola" is used as the generic name of mexican race avocado, so I get several nurseries that sell mexicola avocados but often they reveals themselves to be just seed grown mexican race avocados. But i want a true, grafted, mexicola avocado.
So, it there anyone here knowing about a nursery selling the true grafted Mexicola avocado, and willing to ship oversea with the necessary documentation?
It's a long shot, i know, but for real, i have been searching for that plant for the last 6-8 years.
Thank you.

If you guys/gals are serious about growing Bannanas in very cold zones, perhaps you would consider indoor culture. Select an excellent tasting dwarf variety and grow it under lights.

We have members growing tropical/subtropicals in places like New York, Ohio and even in areas of Japan where it snows. Members have harvested fruit from Lychees, Mangos, Citrus as it was snowing outside.

This is only feasible if you have enough indoor space but if you are going through all this trouble to grow Bannanas, you might as well grow one with top quality fruit.


I managed to fruit a dwarf namwah outside, with a absolute minimum winter temperature of -6C. Leaves went to be toast but stems survived. I think that some limited success can be obtained also outside, if you are lucky enough to have short cold spells. Also, I'm further north than New York, so my winter nights are pretty long. I say that much depens on how well you plan winter covers and how much care you are willing to give during winters.

Does this happens on new leaves or just on older leaves? I'm asking because this is remarkably similar to my spring leaf loss. Older leaves just turn yellow, show sign of necrosis (black spot) and detach. I think this is part of the normal cycling of leaves, if that's is the case.
If this happens on newer leaves i would be more worried. I that case i would probably go with copper too.

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