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Topics - SoCal2warm

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These two trees are growing in someone's backyard in Federal Way, Washington, right next to Decatur High School. (Federal Way is just south of Seattle)
The owners are a Vietnamese couple.

One tree is grapefruit and the other tree is a lemon. They are both pretty big, about 6 feet high.

They said they grew both from seed. They are not on rootstock.

I asked them whether it was a Meyer lemon or a special lemon. They said no, it was just a regular lemon like what you buy in a supermarket, not special. Their language skills were not the best though, maybe they did not know.

They kept it inside the garage for 12 years during each winter before planting it outside. The woman said the trees have only gone through one winter outside so far. Both trees have a frame over them, which they cover during the winter. But they do not use any Christmas string lights.

They also have several small fig trees in their backyard.

The first picture is the grapefruit, the second one is the lemon.

pictures taken October 23, 2021

The location is not too far away from the water of the Puget Sound, and it's in a built-up suburban neighborhood, which probably helps keep the temperatures from dropping too low.

Citrus Buy, Sell, & Trade / Ichang papeda pollen available
« on: May 01, 2021, 03:06:04 PM »
If any of you are interested in attempting to make a cold hardy hybrid.

I'm not sure exactly when, but a large Ichang papeda tree here will soon be in bloom. This is your chance to get some pollen.

Remember, pollen tends to have a short viability time, maybe only a few days, maybe a week or two in a refrigerator. If you are interested, please give me some time estimate of when your citrus will be in bloom, so I can try to send it at the closest time.

Remember, citrus varieties that have the highest rates of zygotic seed and which are most suitable for using as the female parent in breeding include most types of mandarins, citron, kumquat, and pomelo. Regular lemons and grapefruit have lower percentages of zygotic seeds (maybe 15-30 percent) and regular oranges have very low percentages of zygotic seed and are usually not practical to use as the female parent in attempted crosses. You can ask me about the specific variety that you're thinking about using and I can try to look it up, if you're not sure.

You can private message me.
You will probably need to contact me within the next 2 or 3 weeks.

Typical Ichang papeda hybrids are likely to turn out suitable to climate zone 8b, 8a, or possibly even 7b if the female parent is something very hardy like a trifoliate hybrid. (You can give me your location if you're not sure what climate zone designation you are in)

Even if you live in a warmer climate, you could still try to develop a new hybrid that might be useful to other people who are in colder climates.
(In fact it will probably be much easier to try to breed and create a new variety if it is done in a warmer climate)

You might want to put a little label on the branch area of the tree that you attempt to pollinate, so you know which specific fruits to harvest for seeds later.

Cold Hardy Citrus / hardy citrus fried
« on: April 12, 2021, 06:02:00 PM »
This seedling from an N1tri (poncirus x ichang papeda) hybrid was planted out in late September last year.
It's now April, and you can see that it is fried.

This is very surprising because many of my other hardy citrus look good, kept their leaves and the leaves still look green now. Varieties that should have been less hardy than this one.

This was also planted right up against the side of the house, so that should have helped too.

What I think the explanation is, this was growing under artificial light indoors before I transferred it out. The leaves had not experienced cold yet and were not adapted to it. Even though the plant had several weeks time of cold before any freeze came.

What I think this demonstrates is that plant tissues adapt to cold as they are growing. If a plant's tissues have not experienced any cold yet, those tissues will be vulnerable to cold. Even cold that never goes below freezing. And even if it is a hardy variety of citrus that otherwise should have a very high cold tolerance. Hardy citrus require a long period of time to adapt themselves to colder temperatures.

Suddenly transferring the plants from warm growing areas to outside colder areas can be problematic.

It is of course also possible that these particular seedling did not get very good genes for hardiness, since there is some randomness when one grows from a seed, but it's hard to imagine that being the case here.

zone 8a, Pacific Northwest, relatively mild winter in terms of how low temperatures dropped, maybe 22 to 24 °F (-4 to -5 °C ) was the lowest point.

Ichang papeda

another Ichang papeda

This one came from a rooted cutting.

The leaves on both Ichang papeda plants have turned a very pale yellowish color.
They did this after the last winter too, but were later able to start putting out some new leaf growth at the start of June.

Dunstan citrumelo

Looks moderately okay. Leaves are still green but a little bit of a yellowish hue. The leaves will probably start to green up more later into the year.
I notice the trunk has gotten thicker than it was last year, so it is getting bigger.


This one is on rootstock.

Changsha mandarin

Leaves look a yellowish hue of green. This one is in a very protected location, so I'm surprised the leaves don't look more of a healthy color.

Keraji mandarin


Both the Keraji and Bloomsweet were covered with a paper grocery bag, with a one gallon water container up against them inside, just during the several coldest days of winter in mid February. They are also planted in an optimal location, not too far from the house, on the south-facing side.
You will notice the leaves on both look a surprising dark green color, a good sign because normally the leaves turn yellowish from the cold.

All pictures taken April 1, 2021
Olympia, WA, climate zone 8a

The plants are not too big, most of them I would say are around a foot and half tall, some more or less.

This might help give some of you a better idea of how these different varieties do in the Pacific Northwest climate.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Yuzu seedling growing in Washington state
« on: March 11, 2021, 05:17:10 PM »
Yuzu seedling in Olympia, WA, in Yashiro Japanese garden.

The seedling is growing on its own roots, and is not covered during winter. The plant is a little over two and a half feet high. Still has its leaves, which don't look too bad.

The city is in climate zone 8a but the garden is in the downtown area, so it might get a little less cold.

picture taken March 11, 2021
47 degrees latitude north

I found this article, hopefully some of you may enjoy.


Growing citrus -- in Orangeburg! It takes work, but he has made it happen
T&D Staff Report
Oct 31, 2020

Steve Katzberg has been growing citrus plants in Orangeburg for years now, even though the area is not known for such.

"The plants I have were collected over several years. I have been growing these in Orangeburg since I moved back to S.C., where I was born," Katzberg said.

"The stories of attempts to grow citrus in the Charleston area plantations were further impetus to do a bit of research. While commercial attempts at citrus, even in the Lowcountry, failed as a result of the occasional cold snap, some oranges, kumquats and tangerines can be found in Charleston and the coastal areas today," he said.

"The citrus that I have collected are from seed given to me by other enthusiasts or purchased from the occasional plantsman who specializes in cold hardy citrus," Katzberg said.

"Before I moved back to South Carolina in 2005, I had been growing some of the specimens, while a few are more recent acquisitions. The transportation of some of the plants was an adventure that might itself be worth retelling. Most of the citrus in my yard have been there for 15 or so years."

Katzberg had more to say about his citrus plants:

"Early efforts to grow citrus commercially were unsuccessful, primarily the result of freezes that destroyed the trees. Still, today, one can find the odd kumquat, orange or tangerine tree growing in Charleston or elsewhere along the coast. Colder areas such as Orangeburg are even less hospitable to growing citrus than Charleston, virtually ensuring even more hopeless results than in the coastal regions, hence, end of story," he said.

Well, not quite.

Over time the accumulation of plant material brought back by plant explorers or produced by hybridizers greatly expanded the universe of citrus to choose from. The United States Department of Agriculture diligently attempted to find cold, hardy citrus that could be grown commercially outside the citrus regions of Florida, southern Texas and California.

"Most of these ended up in the curiosity department or the trash heap," Katzberg said. "A few, however, showed potential, if you accept them as they are and realize that grocery store citrus is limited to the area south of central Florida. Let me repeat this: No commercial citrus variety such as orange, lime, grapefruit or pummelo can long survive outside in the Orangeburg area without heroic protection effort."

"So, what characteristics does a citrus plant have to have to find a home and be welcome in the Garden City?" Katzberg asked. " Well, for starters, let’s look at the environmental restrictions that need to be met. First, the plant must be cold-hardy enough. For commercial citrus, the minimum winter survival temperatures are lower 20s for some oranges, most tangerines, and some grapefruit. For most grapefruit and many oranges, mid-20s is all that can be tolerated. Limes and citron can only survive with cold temperatures in the 20s to lower 30s.

He said, "Orangeburg, named for the Prince of Orange and not the citrus, has a USDA zone 8B climate. That means we can expect minimum temperatures of between 15 degrees Fahrenheit and 20 degrees Fahrenheit over the long haul. Our temperatures have been through cold cycles that lasted for years. The USDA zone map was rocked in the 1980s by several years in a row of extreme minimum temperatures, down to the single digits. The zone map underwent a major revision, which nearly moved Orangeburg into zone 7B. Lately, however, we have been warming up. Global warming? Hard to tell, but it has pushed Orangeburg back into zone 8 again, and upper zone 8B at that."

Citrus fruit freezes considerably above the temperature at which there is wood damage. So hardy tree or not, the fruit could suffer catastrophically every winter with no crop. Late frosts can destroy the flowers as a further torment. Therefore, our second requirement is that the fruit gets ripe before the hard frosts of late November.

Finally, the fruit must be good to eat. Many of the cold-hardy citrus developed by the USDA are so bad that they are, as one man said, "not worth throwing at someone." Some are beautiful in flower, intensely citrus-fragrant and attractive as evergreen landscape plants. One such plant is the Morton Citrange, a cross between a very hardy bush from China called Trifoliate Orange and the extremely desirable Navel Orange. Unfortunately the trifoliate orange has an acrid taste imparted to the resulting hybrid fruit, making it worse than inedible."

"But there are a number of plants that are dynamite to grow in our area," Katzberg said. "Some are as sweet as anything from the grocery store, as useful as a lemon and as exotic as sushi. Let’s start with the sweet ones:

First, originating in China, is the Changsha tangerine (Citrus reticulata). Hardy to well below 15 degrees, the plant grows to a height of about 10 feet with glossy, evergreen leaves. A specimen is known to have survived and fruited for several years in Laurens County. The fruit ripens in mid-October to spectacular deep reddish orange about the size of a standard tangerine. The fruit is extremely sweet with several seeds. It is great eating out of hand, juiced, or made into liqueur; the ripening season extends into November, making possible fresh-squeezed tangerine juice for weeks. The fruit can be stored in the refrigerator for about months, to extend the season.

Second is the Kumquat (Fortunella crassifolia, "Meiwa" and F. margarita, "Nagami"), a smallish fruit that is eaten skin and all. Historically grown in Orangeburg, the Meiwa variety has sweet skin and sweet pulp, while Nagami has sweet skin and tart pulp. The Nagami is also a strong natural antihistamine. Got a cold or hay fever? Pop one into your mouth and feel your nasal passages start to open up. The pulp can be easily scooped out, added to Cool Whip and cream cheese to make the filling for an easy-to-make dessert. A small tree, kumquats grow to about eight to 10 feet in height.

Third is the Ichang Lemon. Actually a cross between exotic Chinese citrus varieties, Ichang lemon produces huge lemon-like fruit, bigger than a softball on trees to over 15 feet tall. In April, the trees are covered with huge citrus blooms that fill the air with fragrance. The plants are extremely hardy, to the low teens, while the fruit ripens in late September to October. Useful from the time they first color up until they fall to the ground naturally in late November, these fruit produce a juice that works great for lemonade, lemontinis [lemon martinis] and pies. For the more adventuresome, the jumbo lemon peel can easily be made into limoncello liqueur as good as any you’ll find at Fulton Five in Charleston. And they can be salt-cured. Moroccans cure lemons as part of their cuisine and you can do the same. Pick some of your jumbo lemons or just shake the huge tree; they’ll come to you. Layered in a glass jar with sea salt, they will last months. Cook with skin-on chicken thighs.

[Note: I think the writer of this article got a little confused here. It seems what they are actually referring to here are the "Ichang lemons" which are hybrids with pomelo, not the pure species Citrus ichangensis]

Fourth, we have the Yuzu (Citrus junos). Highly prized in Japan, these rarely found tart lemon-lime fruit are used to make ponzu dipping sauce, yuzu vinegar and yuzu sours. The plant is about 11 to 12 feet tall, hardy to about 10 degrees and very thorny. Like its cousins, the small tree blossoms in early April.
Fifth is the Thomasville Citrangequat. This plant originated in Thomasville, Georgia, at around the turn of the 20th century and it is rock solid hardy. There have probably never been temperatures in the lower part of the Palmetto State cold enough to kill this tree. Bushy and robust here, the plant is covered a couple times a year with tons of small but fragrant flowers. The fruit ripens in November and sometimes gets hit with a frost. The fruit does not freeze until the low 20s, so generally it is unhurt. If the fruit makes it until late in the year, it can be eaten like a small orange-kumquat. The fruit goes great to cook with pork or, best of all, to make as good an English marmalade as in the "Olde Country." Just slice the fruit, soak overnight, add a little sugar, cook it down and put in a jar. Add a tot of Scotch whiskey to it to make Scottish marmalade. No sipping the Scotch while making the jam. Maybe bourbon would work too. Stuff keeps and tastes great on a biscuit or toast for years.

Finally, the Keraji tangerine. On its own roots, this small tree is like the others in the family but is not reliably hardy here. The fruit is small orange-yellow, extremely sweet and with few seeds. It has a tangerine-mild lemon flavor and makes a great fresh-squeezed juice. Oddly enough, Kerajis grafted onto trifoliate orange root-stock is cold hardy here. Getting it grafted is not all that hard to do, but is a bit outside our lane here.

"As another happy surprise, the plants listed here are 'pass-along.' The flowers are self-pollinating and the plant comes true from seed. Give your friends a seed or seedling from the plants above and they will be harvesting the same delicious citrus in a very few short years," Katzberg said.

"Planting these vitamin- and mineral-packed fruit trees or seedlings is easy. Pretty much any soil that doesn’t stand in water will do fine. A yard with trees off to the northwest or north side helps to keep winter cold off the trees, and a south facing side of the house adds extra protection," he added.

"Since these plants, except Keraji, are not grafted, the odd cold snap or late spring frost might freeze them back, but they will likely bounce back in the summer and be back ripping and snorting in a couple years. Oh, did I mention that pretty much all citrus is thorny? I have the wounds to prove it, so be careful when harvesting."

Katzberg said this guide is meant to acquaint the amateur horticulturist and gardening enthusiast with citrus varieties that can be expected to thrive in the Orangeburg region. Citrus is an abundant source of healthful nutrition as well as adding fragrance and beauty to the garden. The specially selected citrus discussed here are easy to grow, easy to maintain, and reliable for carefree planting.

Cold Hardy Citrus / some old references to Ichang lemon
« on: December 25, 2020, 03:14:54 PM »
Here are some old references to "Ichang lemon" I was able to find. I hope some of you find it interesting, and it may help shed a little more light on the origins of this variety.

The entries do seem to say a lot without really giving much useful information about them.

46931. CITRUS ICHANGENSIS Swingle.      Ichang lemon.
   "(No. 1288. Changyang, Hupeh, China. December 10, 1917.) Hsiang yuan. A large variety of Ichang lemon, mostly shipped to Shasi, a run of a few days down the river. The fruits sell wholesale at 1 cent (Mexican) apiece and retail at 2 to 3 cents (Mexican), according to size and supply. The Chinese, with their great dislike to sour fruits, never use these lemons in beverages, but employ them only as room perfumers or carry them about to take an occasional smell at them, especially when passing malodorous places. Locally the rind is candied in a limited way and resembles orange peel in flavor and appearance. The fruits ripen during the month of October; since they do not possess long-keeping qualities, they disappear very quickly. In fruit stores in Ichang they all have disappeared during December. The trees grow to medium large size and resemble pummelos in general appearance, though they are less massive in outline and the foliage is of a lighter hue of green. The trees are densely branched and have large spines on the main branches and small ones even on the bearing branchlets. The foliage suffers a good deal from caterpillars. the trunks are attacked by borers, and maggots are occasionally found in the fruit. Foreign residents in and around Ichang make from these lemons a very fine lemonade, which is of a more refreshing quality than the ordinary kind; they are also used in pastry, sauces, and preserves. On the whole it seems that this Ichang lemon is a very desirable home fruit for those sections of the United States that are adapted to its culture, especially the South Atlantic and Gulf States. It may also prove to be hardier than any other citrus fruit of economic importance. Around Ichang trees have withstood temperatures of 19 °F."

45936 and 45937. CITRUS ICHANGENSIS Swingle.      Ichang lemon.
45936. " (No. 1293. Ichang, China. December 20, 1917.) A coarse variety of Ichang lemon, with a thick, dark-yellow skin, and containing very many larges seeds. Possibly a hybrid with a pummelo. Obtained from the garden of the British Consulate at Ichang."
45937. "(No. 1294. Ichang, Hupeh, China. December 30, 1917.) An especially fine variety of Ichang lemon, very juicy and having a delightful fragrance. It makes a superior lemonade. The tree is a of a somewhat drooping habit, and the foliage is a very dense. Obtained from the garden of the British Consulate at Ichang."

45939 CITRUS ICHANGENSIS Swingle.     Ichang lemon.
"(No. 1296. Ichang, China. December 28, 1917.) A large variety of Ichang lemon, said to be a very heavy bearer; fruits medium large. Obtained from the garden of the Church of Scotland Mission."

Inventory of Seeds and Plants Imported, Issue No. 54, 1922
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry. William A. Taylor, Chief of Bureau. Government Printing Office.
pages 43, 44, 45

Hupeh refers to Hubei, Ichang refers to the city of Yichang, and Hsiang yuan is an old romanization for Xiang yuan, translates literally as "fragrant ball", which happens to be the same word used for Chinese citron.
In these old times, the name "Ichang lemon" was used to refer to ordinary C. ichangensis, not specifically this hybrid variety with bigger fruits. Hope that helps clarify things.

Also realize that I did go to the trouble of typing all these entries out, since it was not possible to copy and paste.

Cold Hardy Citrus / bounty of rare cold hardy citrus fruits
« on: November 04, 2020, 02:04:02 AM »
These are the "fruits" of my expedition to Portland...

The largest one, more orange and to the left, is a citrumelo (probable variety 'Swingle').
The two smaller ones in the front are Poncirus trifoliata, but apparently a special variety that can be eaten and does not have the bad poncirus taste inside.
The two smaller yellow ones in the back are Ichang papeda.
The medium sized one on the right is a Kabosu.

These were all picked today (November 3) from trees growing outside and unprotected.

The poncirus fruits are surprisingly fragrant. The smell is very hard to accurately describe, but I am really going to try and be precise. It smells like raw fresh quince fruit, maybe almost something like peach and ripe apricot, definitely just a little bit of guava, cheap laundry fragrance or something like mock orange (Pittosporum tobira), a little bit of the rubbery smell of tulips and floral lily, alcohol baby wipes (phenethyl alcohol), and somewhat skunky lemon.
Something about them almost reminds me of orris butter or an old fashioned perfume satchet.

The Ichang papeda fruits are moderately fragrant, in the wet air. They smell resinous woody (in the best way possible), mixed with fresh lemon. Also there is something very slightly deep and pungent to them, but that part is not very noticeable without cutting into it.

The surface of the Kabosu smells like Satsuma mandarin, the strong deep smell of a very aromatic Satsuma mandarin, mixed with a little Yuzu, and some aromatic Valencia orange. It smells wonderful. (I think this might even contend for my favorite variety of citrus smell)

The Citrumelo is nothing remarkable.

Note the descriptions of all these fruits are before cutting them or tasting them.

It's an eclectic little assortment of cold hardy citrus fruits.

Citrus General Discussion / How to deal with Leaf Miner
« on: October 31, 2020, 11:27:09 AM »
This question has repeatedly risen again and again and again.
Rather than attempt to repeatedly answer it in multiple different threads, I am just going to answer it here, and then whenever someone asks this question, someone can just simply link back to this page.

Leaf Miner is a very common problem, and is caused by the larvae of a very small insect burrowing inside the leaves. Typical signs are many of the leaves looking twisted and deformed. But upon closer inspection, one can often see maze-like patterns on the undersides of some of the leaves.

Since the insect larvae is actually burrowed inside the leaves, typical treatment focuses on interrupting this pest's life cycle rather than trying to kill the larvae itself.
The life cycle of the pest, from larvae to little adult moth, is about 2 weeks. If you continuously kill all the adult moths, eventually it will eliminate the larvae.

Getting rid of leaf miner is not easy and takes some work and dedication.

One of the best combinations is a mix of insecticidal soap combined with spinosad.

Thoroughly spray the leaves of the entire tree, making sure especially to thoroughly spray all the undersides of the leaves. Newer younger leaves are the ones most vulnerable to leaf miner, they do prefer younger leaves, so make sure those are sprayed well.

The best time to spray is early in the morning, or in the evening when temperatures have cooled off. This will help prevent the spray from evaporating away too fast.

After spraying, you will need to re-spray the tree again, 7 to 10 days later. This is important, because after the first spray, the larvae will emerge from the leaves and become moths, which will then lay eggs again.
After this, you might even need to spray a third time, just to be sure.

Adequately spraying all the leaves is not easy and can be very labor-intensive for a large tree. Every leaf needs to be sprayed.

If you see any leaves that look very infested, you can just pluck (or cut) them off. You only need to do this if almost the entire underside of the leaf is covered in a maze pattern.

This strategy can be successful in getting rid of leaf miner, which can be difficult to get rid off.
It is possible the leaf miner could come back to the same tree, in which case you will need to spray again.

Make sure to check any nearby citrus trees for any signs of leaf miner. Carefully look at each leaf. (Or if very large trees, carefully look at several different leaf areas throughout different parts of the tree) If there are any other citrus trees very close by, you should probably give them a very light casual spray. If any of the surrounding trees are harboring leaf miner, the leaf miner will just hop back to the original tree you just treated.

For large trees, or repeated use, it is most economical to mix from concentrate. This will take some basic calculations and rough measurement. There should be instructions on the packaging.

The common advise given by most citrus experts is that (if you can believe this) Leaf Miner does not really need to be treated. I believe this is only somewhat true. If not treated, it can spread. To either other parts of the tree, or to other surrounding trees. Leaf Miner will disfigure many of the leaves, making things not look nice. It can also reduce the health of the tree, resulting in slower growth. For newly planted very small trees, it can even ultimately sometimes lead to the death of the trees, if the tree has very few leaves that are functional. In my opinion, leaf miner should be treated as early as possible.

The only situation where this may not be true is in a large commercial orchard where Leaf Miner has already completely spread and it's a hopeless case.

It's best to wear gloves while mixing and spraying so the liquid does not get on your hands.

Some people might use neem oil as a way to treat leaf miner. It's more "organic", though probably not quite as effective. Neem oil can also sometimes lead to leaf burn, especially with heavy spray applications.

For very small trees, you might even be able to use your fingers to crush the little larvae inside the leaves. If you look very closely, at the end of the trail on the underside of the leaf, you might be able to spot where it is. A good rinse spray with the hose could blow off any little moths that happen to be on the tree. The little white moths are very small, only about 2 millimeters long. You might have to look very closely, with the right lighting, to even notice them.

A leaf being deformed may look very unsightly, but it will not pose any damage to the tree. It might even still be functional. So there is not necessarily reason to remove it. The twisted deformation is caused by liquid being sucked out of the leaf by the insects while the leaf was still small and growing.
You just want to make sure the insects are gone so new leaves will not become that way too.

This picture was posted by Dave from Northern Virginia, zone 7a, in another forum.

It's pretty subtle but the dark green colored fruit is changing to yellow-green. Eventually, if hard freezes hold off, it will change to orange. The fruits are almost the size of oranges, in the picture.
This is US-582 citrandarin.

US-852 is one of the hardiest cold hardy hybrids. It's a cross between Poncirus trifoliata and Changsha mandarin. (Changsha mandarin is already pretty hardy, can survive and grow vigorously in zone 8a South Carolina). US-852 is also said not to have as much bad poncirus flavor as many of the other poncirus hybrids. (I saw a video of a guy eating them who said he could manage to "enjoy" eating them)

It's growing in the ground, with the wall of the house behind it.
Dave says it is not fully hardy where he is, but it does grow vigorously.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Austin pomegranate - really good!
« on: October 11, 2020, 09:46:54 PM »
The fruits on my 'Austin' variety pomegranate tree began ripening about 10 days ago (maybe the very start of October, Southern California) and they are really really good.
Several were given to friends and neighbors and they raved about them, said they were the best pomegranates they had ever tasted.
They are even better than 'Angel Red', and I would say literally twice as good as the common 'Wonderful' variety.

The 'Austin' pomegranates are sweet and very flavorful and juicy, and soft seeds. There was barely anything in the seed to spit out. (Or maybe it just seemed that way because they were so good)

I would highly recommend this variety.

This is also the first year that the tree has produced.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Ichang papeda tasting / flavor
« on: October 07, 2020, 02:26:03 AM »
I just got the opportunity to try Ichang papeda fruits, off a tree 6 feet high growing outside in Portland.

The fruits are yellow and look ripe in color but the fruit size is small, so these fruits might not be fully grown or all the way ripe.
The fruits I tasted were not much bigger than normal Poncirus trifoliata fruits. Although Ichang papeda fruits are supposed to be bigger than that.

The fruits smell similar to lemon, but deeper smelling, maybe almost a little bit resinous woody smelling (entirely in a good way). It's a beautiful fragrance, at least in my personal opinion.
Something about the fragrance smells just a little "off", in a way that sort of reminds me of kaffir lime. Maybe even almost the slightest bit "skunky" (but I would not say in a bad way).
The fragrance is very similar, in a way, to Yuzu, except without the sour orange type of fragrance and without the "spiciness".

(And some of the deepness almost reminds me a little bit of the deep aspect of the smell in Satsuma mandarins, though it would be a stretch to say it smells like Satsuma)

I can eat the rinds and peel of the fruits with little difficulty. I would say they are about as edible as mandarinquat, but maybe with just slightly more bitterness. Pretty similar to a kumquat hybrid or to citron, more like citron in flavor.

The flavor of the fruits is somewhere between lemon, citron, lime, and kaffir lime. But a little bit of bitterness. Still edible though. (Definitely nothing like the awful flavor of Poncirus trifoliata)

The inside juice segments are not very big, but they are decent enough. It kind of reminds me, not surprisingly, of a Yuzu, a little bit dry, not very juicy. But enough to be edible, if we are talking about foraging or a survival situation.
The inside kind of reminds me of an unripe lime, I would say would be the best description.

I also did not notice seeds in the fruit. There was maybe one shriveled up seed that does not look like it will be viable. But then there are tiny little orange gel spot segments where the seeds should be, in each segment.

Something about the aroma of these fruits seem to go very well with Bombay Sapphire East gin.

I am actually a big fan of these fruits. But that is just my personal opinion. I don't want to get anyone else's hopes too up. I am a huge fan of sour-aromatic things like lemons.
I mostly like these little fruits due to the unique fragrance, which is sort of comparable to Yuzu but more on the lemon or citron side.

I'm pretty sure the majority of you will not like them as much as I, so take that into consideration.

(These are of course like a sour lemon and worse fruit quality than a normal lemon, so many people are not going to find these to be edible, except for the more adventurous types of persons who like tasting strange things)

However, I do have to concede one thing, and that is that after eating a whole fruit, they do not really sit the best in my stomach, and afterwards I am burping up a sort of skunky taste, which I did not really notice so much while I was eating them. It's like they have an "off" flavor that only kicks in a minute or two after you eat it, after you have already swallowed. But I did eat the whole fruits with the peel and rinds.

I know some of you may have been curious about what Ichang papeda tastes like, so I hope this review helps.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Pomelo in the snow
« on: September 03, 2020, 09:02:01 PM »
I was watching a video of wool being harvested in rural part of China, and one of the screen shots in the video caught my eye. There was what appeared to be a pomelo tree with large size yellow fruits that were covered in snow/frost. Two of the fruits were then harvested. The other nature screen shots showed what appeared to be something between snow and frost on the ground, lightly covering everything.

I looked in the comment section of the video and someone asked where this was. Someone responded Chuan Bei, North of Sichuan.

The video can be seen on Twitter here:

It's also one of @cnliziqi 's videos on TikTok.

Video is also on YouTube, "(羊羔毛斗篷)Weave a lamb wool cape for the freezing winter|Liziqi Channel "

Now, the first thing that comes to mind, could those be Ichang lemons?
They appear to look more like pomelos to me, with the oblong pomelo shape. And they are definitely as big as Chinese-style pomelos (youzi 柚子).
The leaf shape shows a very small petiole. Which looks more similar to the leaves of my pomelo than my Ichang lemon plant.

The video is also kind of interesting, although the pomelos are just one quick scene.

I'm looking on a map and Chuanbei appears to be just south of Ziyang, which is a little south of Chengdu.

I'm comparing to the official climate zone map and that appears to be in zone 10a, very close to the border of 9b.
But from the video, it looks like this is up in the mountains, so maybe the plant zone map does not fully take the local elevation into account (it is a very generalized map with wide swaths, probably would not show local variations in small areas).

I don't think zone 10a would have frost like that (unless things are very different in China), so I think we can assume this is more probably in zone 9.

I'm now looking at another climate zone map and Ziyang appears just a little north of the 30 degree parallel line, and that latitude line is just a little north of the border between zone 10a and 9b, putting Ziyang clearly just on the other side in zone 9b.

Citrus General Discussion / Quadrifoliate poncirus
« on: June 07, 2020, 11:25:01 PM »
An acquaintance posted this in another forum.

"Quadrifoliate" poncirus, poncirus leaves with four lobes instead of the normal three.

It's growing on a sucker.

The following three varieties were left outside over the winter, from left to right in the picture: Reinking pomelo, Satsuma, Yuzu.

Notice the hue of the leaf coloration on each of them, there's a clear pattern.
The leaves on the Yuzu are the most green, while the leaves on the pomelo are the most yellowish. The Satsuma, perhaps not surprisingly, is intermediate in leaf color.

I actually have more than one of each of these, but they would have been too much to all show in the picture. They all look consistent within each variety. (So this experimental trial wasn't just one single specimen of each variety)

Obviously the leaf coloration is in line with the expected hardiness level of each of these varieties (with Yuzu being the most tolerant to colder temperatures out of the three).
I think this comparative picture of leaf coloration is very indicative of different levels of hardiness of these different varieties.

they are seedlings growing on their own roots

(Olympia, WA, zone 8a)

Citrus Buy, Sell, & Trade / Ichang papeda available
« on: February 21, 2020, 06:35:16 PM »
Does anyone want an Ichang papeda?
It's a very small little plant and you'll need to take very good care of it to get it bigger to the point it can be planted outside.
Likely you may have to grow it indoors for a year.
I feel there's a good chance it may not survive, so you may only want to accept this if you're really good at growing these things, have lots of experience growing little seedlings.

can give it away for free, only one available
You should live in climate zone 8

I know some of you have been searching for an Ichang papeda for years and couldn't find it available from anywhere.
(Please only inquire if you're one of these people who've been searching for Ichang papeda for a long time)

Also, if you accept this little thing, make sure you offer seeds to other people in this forum in the future. (i.e. be willing to pass the favor along, since this is a difficult to find species)

Cold Hardy Citrus / some pictures from Jim's place in Vancouver, WA
« on: September 23, 2019, 01:52:37 AM »
These are some pictures from jim VH 's place in Vancouver, WA, right across the bridge from Portland, Oregon.

Flying Dragon (A)

Prague Citsuma (B)

close ups of Prague Citsuma




Changsha mandarin (F)

Citrumelo (G)

close up of citrumelo


( I ) this might be citrangequat

bark damage on base of Yuzu caused by prior cold winter (J)
The tree is about 7 feet tall, thick and healthy, with some green smaller underripe fruit on it.

Pisang Ceylon banana growing in Southern California

It's huge, about 8 to 12 feet tall (depending on how you measure it).
still has not fruited yet

Won't give the exact location but will tell you it's a little south of Irvine, about 12 to 15 miles away from the coast. The climate zone is solid zone 10, between 10a/10b.

It was sold as 'Pisang Ceylon', and while I am always skeptical, the exact leaf appearance seems fully consistent with other pictures of Pisang Ceylon I have seen. (i.e. It doesn't look like the average Icecream banana)

I've noticed that Poncirus hybrid seedlings are slower growing than other seedlings.

I've been growing a large number of different seedlings, so I think I can make this observation.
I've grown 2 seedlings from US 852 (Changsha mandarin x trifoliate), 3 seedlings from Tai-tri (taiwanica x trifoliate), 2 seedlings from N1tri (ichangensis x trifoliate), and without exception they have all seemed to grow very slow, certainly relative to other seedlings.
I've also been growing numerous seedlings from Ichangquat (kumquat x ichangensis) and a few cuttings from C. ichangensis. The Ichangquat grows very vigorously, even more vigorously than Yuzu, which also grows vigorously. The C. ichangensis cuttings have grown relatively slow, but reliably, with steady, healthy, and continuous growth. I do also have one seedling from Thomasville citrangequat, it has grown about as fast as kumquat, only about medium vigor. Unfortunately I don't have any pure trifoliate seedlings to compare to.

I think this should not be surprising. When two different plant species are hybridized together that are farther apart from each other in terms of relation, the result is often offspring with a slower growth rate and slightly stunted, or often with generally poorer health. It's presumably due to slight incompatibility between the genetic makeup of the two parents, since they are so distantly related (This is termed outbreeding depression )

Obviously Poncirus trifoliata is less related to the general citrus family than other citrus species are.

For comparison, taiwanica is vigorous and fast growing, and Changsha mandarin is a little slower growing but its growth is very reliable and healthy.
C. ichangensis is also slower growing (slower than Changsha mandarin) yet with very healthy reliable steady growth.
The trifoliate hybrid seedlings are all even slower growing than C. ichangensis, and do not have as healthy reliable robust growth.

What's interesting here is that since I am growing seedlings of hybrids, we are possibly getting to examine the effects in the F2 generation.
I believe some of these seedlings may not be nucellar.
I know citrangequat is said to always have nucellar seed, but my seedling (I harvested it from the fruit myself) seems to have mostly normal unifoliate leaves, with only two malformed bifoliate leaves, reminiscent that it has some trifoliate parentage in its ancestry.
Around half the Ichangquat seedlings appear to have obviously variable leaf morphology, so are almost certainly zygotic.

I do also have a Dimicelli cutting (probably either a citrandarin, F2 citrandarin seedling, or maybe second generation citrandarin cross with the tangor 'Temple Orange' , its exact origins are a little ambiguous) and it has been growing rather slowly, though with steady reliable growth.

The only trifoliate hybrid I have grown with vigorous robust growth is Duncan citrumelo (trifoliate x grapefruit) but even it is not as fast growing as grapefruit (in warm growing conditions).

I know this is hardly a controlled scientific study, but I believe with the number of seedlings I have been growing, this is strongly anecdotal, and this generalized observation may have value.

Maybe someone here (I am sure there are plenty) who has grown Poncirus seedlings can comment on how they grow compared to other citrus seedlings.

If Poncirus hybrids tend to be much slower growing, it may be of particular importance to try to select the most vigorous seedlings in hybridization attempts. I believe there is a strong correlation between level of vigor and ability to recover after cold damage.

This seed came from Ilya, from an Ichangquat.
But I just noticed something, there was a tiny bifurcation in one of the leaves (something I immediately recognized from my mostly monofoliate citrangequat seedling), and when I looked closer I realized there was also a small bifoliate leaf, with two leaves coming out of the petiole. Obviously this isn't characteristic of Ichangquat, so if it came from Ichangquat, it had to have been pollinated by something else. I know Ilya has a big 5* Citrumelo tree in the vicinity.

My Ichangquat seedlings have been quite variable in leaf morphology, so I know the seeds from Ichangquat must be zygotic, at least about half of them. This is the first one that's shown any indication of likely trifoliate leafed parentage though.

Maybe Ilya can shed more light on this.

Citrus General Discussion / unusual seedling with elongated leaves
« on: June 10, 2019, 12:20:01 AM »
This is a seedling from a Shasta Gold mandarin, a triploid variety, which rarely ever has any seeds.
At first I thought something else was growing in there, perhaps a weed, but then I saw on closer inspection that it was citrus. I had planted two germinating seeds in there.

These are both seedlings from Shasta Gold but one has unusually elongated leaves. Perhaps it is aneuploid.
The other has very thick stubby leaves and reminds me of what tetraploid citrus might look like.
Funny things can happen when you grow citrus seedlings from triploid cultivars, and I don't think Shasta Gold produces nucellar seeds.
All of the Shasta Gold seedlings I've tried growing (let's just say I went through a lot of fruits to get those seeds) have turned out weak and slow growing, oftentimes kind of stunted, unusually so. I don't think that's a coincidence.

Cold Hardy Citrus / ichangensis x Satsuma ?
« on: May 07, 2019, 05:45:06 PM »
I found out there is an ichangensis x Satsuma mandarin hybrid in a private collection. The cultivar is named 'Liudmila'.

Gene Lester is an 85-year-old former engineer who has a large private collection of different citrus varieties on a 12 acre property in the hills above Watsonville, California. He has about 250 citrus varieties.

It's not open to private visitors, but if you are a member of the California Rare Fruit Growers organization once in a while they organize tours to visit the collection.

Gene grew up in Alhambra, studied mathematics at the University of California Los Angeles, and worked in software management for IBM for nearly 34 years. He moved to his current orchard in Watsonville in the mid-1980s.
He also supplies Manresa, a high-end restaurant in nearby Los Gatos, with locally grown fruit for its annual citrus themed dinner, which he attends. Volunteers from CRFG help him upkeep the orchard.

Serious About Citrus, Farm & Ranch Living, January 1, 2019, by Jill Gleeson

The plant grows in the Gene Lester citrus collection in California and was named after a friend. It is a beautiful and productive ornamental with a dense shiny foliage of large leaves and plentiful fruit that hang singly or in clusters of 3 to 9.

The flower buds show a hint of purple when quite immature but the flowers have no purple shade. It is also unusual in that new growth is yellowish green.

The friend who gave this plant to Gene says the peel is edible. It lacks the typical acrid oils of most papeda peels. The fruit and taste are quite similar to yuzu but whereas yuzu drops its fruit quite early the fruit of 'Liudmila' stay on for a long time. In the present writer's opinion it is an ideal compact citrus plant for the dooryard and perfect as a pure ornamental.

Ichandarin 'Liudmila', Citrus Pages website, Jorma Koskinen

However, there is some doubt about whether this is actually an ichangensis hybrid.

After consulting a citrus specialist at the UC Riverside Gene Lester later came to the conclusion that because of the sweet edible rind and the vestigial petioles it is more likely to be a citron hybrid, and thus closer to Rough lemon.
The source plant is in a back yard in Redwood City, CA and 'Liudmila' might just be a runaway rootstock hybrid.

Redwood City is on the border of zone 10b/9a but has cooler temperatures.

However, I do know ichangensis was formerly available from Rolling Rivers Nursery in Oakland, just 22 miles away from Redwood City, so the ichangensis possibility may not be completely implausible.

I'm not sure whether this cultivar may be worth investigating.

Not sure whether it's worth posting this here but a passing reference to 'Liudmila' was also made in by Cameron_z6a_N.S. , (location: Halifax, Nova Scotia) , posted May 15, 2013 :
" Some of the hardier types include the Glen Citrangedin, SanCitChang, Liudmila Ichandarin, Yuzu, Yuzvange, Yuko, Tai x Tri Hybrid, (Clem x Tri) x Clem, etc "

which shows that this cultivar was known about at least 6 years ago.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / going to attempt plum x cherry hybrid
« on: May 06, 2019, 01:55:53 PM »
I'm going to attempt to cross Green Gage plum (6n) with Sweet Cherry (2n), which should result in a 4n chromosome offspring.
 Then cross that with sour cherry (4n), in this case Juliet in the Romance series of cherry hybrids.

Citrus General Discussion / Giant citron
« on: April 22, 2019, 03:51:11 PM »
This was grown from seed:

Giant Yemenite Etrog citron probably produces the largest citrus fruits, they can get even bigger than a pomelo.

The inside of the fruits are mostly all pith though (with some seeds), very little to no juice pulp.
This cultivar is a pure species variety of citron, not a hybrid.

From pictures I have seen, the fruit size can get as big as an adult head.

( Banpeiyu is another Japanese pomelo variety that can produce very large fruits, as big as a child's head, but the fruits of Giant citron can get even bigger, even if not consistently so)

It has been a very fast grower.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Ichangquat and Ichang papeda
« on: April 16, 2019, 01:23:00 AM »
My three Ichang papeda cuttings have all begun to show signs of leafing out. Here's one of them:

They are just small cuttings, but the cups are covered with plastic cling wrap to hold in the humidity, and the cups are inside a warm mylar lined grow tent enclosure in a warm room.

These are Ichangquat seedlings:

I have to say most of the Ichanquat seedlings are very vigorous growing, I think even more vigorous than Yuzu.
Now there are a few Ichangquat seedlings that are not as vigorous growing, and it certainly seems the Ichangquat seedlings show more variability than Yuzu seedlings.

The leaf characteristics on the Ichanquat seedlings also show variability. 2 of them looked semi-narrow, a little bit like kumquat, one of them looked narrow like kumquat, a few seem to have slight winged petioles like Yuzu, one of them with a slightly bigger winged petiole maybe more like pomelo, but the remaining six seedlings all seem to display rather ordinary leaf type. It's as if the two leaf characteristic traits of the original species parents cancelled each other out.

These seedlings are of course the second generation from the cross between Ichang papeda x kumquat.

(Much thanks to Ilya for the seeds)

I have been grow very many other types of seedlings and the only ones that are near as vigorous growing as Ichangquat are lemon and Oroblanco grapefruit.
(I've grown a few of each, so I think I have a large enough pool to make some statistical observations)

I have two US 852 (Changsha x trifoliate) and two TaiTri (Taiwanica x trifoliate) seedlings and they haven't seemed to do as well, only moderately vigorous growing and they've all displayed leaf yellowing.

Unfortunately I can't comment on Ichang papeda seedlings since I've never grown them. Vigor is a good sign for cold hardiness, I believe, although obviously not all vigorous citrus are cold hardy.

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