Author Topic: Changsha mandarin opinions  (Read 4494 times)

Pancrazio

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Changsha mandarin opinions
« on: October 21, 2014, 07:03:34 PM »
Hi,
I'd like to hear some opinions on the changsha mandarin. Finally I got my hands on a plant and I'm thinking about grafting it on poncirus. But I haven't decided yet if it will be used as ornamental tree or fruit producer. I'd love to hear what people think about it.
My zone is too cold for high quality citrus so I'm forced to use the more hardy ones.
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Citradia

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2014, 07:42:07 PM »
Is your plant grown from seed or cutting or grafted? A seedling will need to grow tall before it blooms. Changsha fruit is small and full of seeds but supposed to be good. You can see photos of the fruit on internet. I lost a grafted changsha on FD two years ago d/t cold even with protection, but my seedling survived last winter with two nights of 0 degrees F and below freezing all of January inside plastic dome with small desk-type space heater plugged into a "thermo cube" to regulate temperature and a large plastic barrel of water against tree. 

Pancrazio

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2014, 06:53:12 AM »
It's a grafted plant, grafted on alemow. My temperature luckily aren't brutal as yours, so i hope to be able to grow it outside. On very bad years we can get 14F (and even lower on historical data) but they are, as i said, pretty exceptional occurrence.
I did fear it to be bland; seeds don't worry me much, there's a plenty of good seeded citrus that i wouldn't mind to grow.  Thank you for your help and valuable data!
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SoCal2warm

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2017, 02:11:57 AM »
From what I've read, they are sweet and good flavor but a little bland. One person said the ones he grew had a slightly skunky smell inside. But overall not so different from regular mandarins.

SoCal2warm

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2021, 02:18:51 AM »
I visited Jim VH in Vancouver, WA (right across the bridge from Portland) and saw that his Changsha tree was loaded with fruit. Last year it had no fruit. Seems most of his hardy citrus trees are alternate bearing, putting out lots of fruit only every two years. He is in climate zone 8a, the tree is growing closely up against his house. The tree survives there without being covered, might be about 5 feet tall and is very vigorous growing now.
I only tasted one fruit, and it may not have been the most ripe (although it was completely orange), but it was a fresh picked fruit right from the tree.
It tasted like a very low quality mandarin. What I mean by that is, sometimes when you go to the supermarket they might be selling mandarins that are not the freshest, or not very good. Well, this was only just a little bit worse than that.
Which, for cold hardy citrus standards probably is not that bad.
The inside seemed just a little bit dry as well.
Cutting it open, there was a slight fragrance that was rich in terpenes. Jim commented that it smelled a little like marijuana/cannabis, which is probably accurate I think.
I cannot say I really appreciate the flavor of Changsha, but they definitely are edible. It was just like a really subpar variety of ordinary mandarin.
If given to me and I was hungry, I probably would eat them, but I just would not be very enthusiastic about it.
(Again, I am only describing tasting one fruit, one time)

Unlike with Yuzu, the peel of Changsha is definitely not edible. In fact I would say it is even less edible than the peels of Satsuma (even though the peels of Satsuma are not exactly edible).

The tree loaded with orange fruit is very beautiful, when we're talking about a climate where citrus does not normally grow.
As for whether it should be grown for eating, or only has ornamental value, I would draw a comparison here to Arbutus unedo, if anyone is familiar with that.
What I mean is, it's sort of "borderline edible", and you can certainly snack a little bit on the fruits if you like, but you probably will not be very enthusiastic about it, and will probably not be wanting to eat very many of them.

They are just a little more edible than Chinotto sour orange though, in my personal opinion. At least Changsha does not have any bitterness, which Chinotto does a little bit. I don't know if that comparison is helpful. Changsha is a little bit bland though, compared to Chinotto and Yuzu.

Also, of the different type of mandarins, Changsha most reminded me of a Clementine type mandarin.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2021, 02:53:29 AM by SoCal2warm »

jim VH

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2021, 03:17:17 PM »
What happened to the post I made yesterday?

Millet

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2021, 11:24:37 AM »
I think it was lost along with other posts by a hack on this site.

orangedays

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2021, 12:16:21 PM »
I have several mature Changsha that came from a tree growing outside around Aiken SC. In the 80's and 90s, Aiken was probably considered 8a or 7b.  The seedling grew into approximately 15 ft trees that are somewhat weeping. The tangerines are normal sized for a tangerine. Much bigger than clementine but slightly smaller then Owarie and very easy to peal with slightly wrinkly skins.  In my experience they start bearing around 3-4 years if kept in 2 gallon pots and around 6-8 years when grown in the ground.  The fruit are bland and watery when young. People who love tangerines, tell me they are good enough though I thought them hardly worth eating. But when the tree is large and mature the fruit quality is much better and well worth eating.  Regardless, they make great show pieces, they produce copious deep orange fruit in October and look spectacular. If the fruit were as good as they look you would not need to look for any thing else.

They are cold hardy in zone 8b and so have have been cold hardy in 2 gallon pots in zone 8a here in the South East.  If you can get a fruit you will have enough seed to plant an orchard.  They are poly-embryonic, and produce mainly nucellar seedlings but estimating from a few crosses I made with them, they produce zygotic embryos in low numbers.

Ilya11

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2021, 12:36:37 PM »
Could you tell us what kind of hybrids you managed to produce with them, please.
Best regards,
                       Ilya

jim VH

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2021, 03:21:15 PM »
Thanks Millet.  I guess I'll retype it this weekend when I have time, then save the text in case it happens again.

I would also be interested in what crosses you've had; I may try a few myself.  The few zygotic offspring are what's interesting to me in terms of further improving cold hardiness, as well as hybridization.  But, how do you tell them apart from the nucellar, if there are no hybrids?

orangedays

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2021, 10:03:42 AM »
Last spring I took the anthers off about 50 changsha flowers and when the stigmas looked mature, placed pollen from a citrumelo I grew from seed. I refer to it as Swingle but I have no clue what citumelo it came from. For a time, I thought Swingle was the only citrumelo.   I am watching the seedling germinate now and I see about 8 have the trifoliate leaves.  I read somewhere that the trifoliate form is controlled by a single dominate gene. In that case there should be some additional hybrids that I have not yet detected.  Anyway not a large number but enough to work with.  I also hybridized changsha with tangelo pollen. A tangello I grew from a seed way back in the 90's. The changsha has a shorter and narrower petiole while the tangello a a broad wide petiole (most of the time) and a much larger leaf. But there is so much variation on the tangelo tree when it comes to petiole shape I can not be certain of these crosses. Even so I am seeing some seedling that are so markedly different in leaf shape from the changsha that I am betting they are hybrids. When they get to be a foot tall, it will be more obvious because the changsha leaf is pretty consistent once the plant is few feet tall. Also under the changsha which is planted next to a citrange, there are occasional seedling popping up from fallen fruit that have trifoliate leaves. I mean the seedlings sprout a few trifoliate leaves along with the normal leaves and have a much more angular thorny growth pattern.  I am assuming a changsha x citrange cross has occurred.  I never see such seedling under the citrange or citrumelo, but I after reading such crosses happen, I hope to try placing changsha on the citrumelo this spring. Given the larger citrumelo flower it should be much easier to make the crosses.  its very frustrating to pull anthers off the changsha flower because its so small that I often pull the whole flower off along with the anthers.  When all the seedlings are bigger I will  give a count of trifoliate leafed seedlings to single leafed seedlings.

Ilya11

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2021, 10:15:32 AM »
Thank you. Actually trifoliate leaf form is determined by several codominant genes.
Best regards,
                       Ilya

jim VH

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2021, 09:45:16 AM »
This is a repost of one I made January 9th, and which apparently was lost when Go Daddy rehosted the web site. 
This time, I'll save the post so it doesn't get lost again.  For some reason the images get stuck at the end of the post, rather than at the desired locations.

The post is about the  Changsha tangerine I grew from seed.  Originally there were 36 seeds graciously supplied
by Stan McKenzie.  24  of the seeds produced viable offspring, which were placed in one gallon pots in the ground
and left unprotected as 1 year seedlings in 2008 in order to winnow out the less cold hardy plants and ultimately
obtain the hardiest seedling of the 24.

In December of 2008 we had an Arctic event where the temperature briefly rose above freezing only once during a
180 hour period and the nightime low dropped as low as 15F (-9.4C)  20 of the seedlings perished during that
event.

In December of 2009 the remaining four seedlings experienced an Arctic event where the temperature never rose
above freezing for 114 hours and there were four nightime lows between 10F-12F (-12.2C to -11.1C).  Only one
seedling survived that event.  That seedling was subsequently grafted onto a Flying Dragon rootstock, and both the
original seedling and the graft were placed in the ground.  Also placed in the ground was a random Changsha
grafted onto a PT rootstock.  Both grafted Changshas were protected until they came of a good size.

In 2013 there were two Arctic events.  The first in early December with a low of 10.5F (-11.9C) and 117 consecutive
hours where the temperature never rose above freezing.  The second in early February was short, but had temperatures 
that ranged between 18F (-7.8C) and 22F (-5.6C) for 36 consecutive hours. The original Changsha on it's own roots
perished that winter because it was not dormant in early December, due to a preceding warm November.  The sap froze,
the bark split and it bled to death come spring. The two grafted Changsha were still being protected at that time.

Finally, in January 2017  both now unprotected grafted Changsha experienced an Arctic event where the temperature
stayed below freezing for 316 hours except for a twelve hour break mid freeze when the temperature rose to 35F (1.7C)
During that event there were four nights with low temperatures between 12.5F and 16.1F (-10.8C to 8.8C) and one night
where the low was 8F (-13.3C).  The nearby Pearson Airport recorded an official temperature of 6F (-14.4C) that night.
My seed grown Changsha sailed through that even virtually undamaged; In fact, it had less damage than the Yuzu and
Sudachi and only slightly more damage than the Morton Citrange.  The random Changsha on PT rootstock completely died
with no grow-back- the PT rootstock itself was undamaged.

It appears that I've successfully selected for a hardier Changsha, with one caveat.  As seen in the picture below, my
Changsha is only six feet away from the NW corner of my cottage, and there are two 55 gallon rainbarrels next to it.
While the rainbarrels had frozen solid by the time the 8F night arrived, the combination of house and barrels may have
locally modified the temperature.





The grafted tree had its first large fruit along with half a dozen pithballs in 2019, twelve years after the seedling
sprouted.  It's possible that grafting delayed the fruiting by a year or two.  This year there were 23 full sized fruit
two of which were shared with board members at different times.  The first one was shared in mid-November and was very
juicy with a very good bright spritely tangerine flavor.  The peel removed easily and had an aroma reminiscent of
Marijuana (how do I know that?) or, more properly said, some kinds of Marijuana smells like the peel.  The second fruit
was shared with SoCal about a month later and is described in his post above.  It had lost some of its juice by then.
The remainder of the fruit were harvested in early January, at which point they were quite dry and had lost most of their
flavor and 'zing'.  Some of these fruit are shown below with a ruler.



Because they had lost so much juice, it took eleven fruit to obtain the 90 ml of juice needed to measure the Brix level
using a calibrated hygrometer.  15 ml of that juice was then titrated using 0.2N NaOh solution to obtain an acid level.
The results:

Brix=10.7%
Acid=0.8%
Sugar to acid ratio (S/A)=13.37
There were 102 seeds in the eleven fruit, an average of just over 9 seeds per fruit.  Some had more, a couple were seedless.
This is a higher S/A level than any of my Satsumas, but then, the acid level is substantially lower than any of my citrus.

I drank the remaining 75 ml of juice.  It was quite bland and insipid, likely due to the low acid level.  It reminded me
somewhat of the texture and blandness of apricot juice, but with a mild tangerine flavor.

In retrospect, I made a mistake by waiting so long to harvest the fruit.  Changsha's, it seems, do not hold well on the tree
unlike my Satsumas and Ichandrins.

Some additional takeaways from this 13 year experiment.

It's possible to grow some Changsha without protection in zone 8a in the American Pacific Northwest, at least in sheltered
areas.
At least in SW Washington and the Williamette valley Changsha ripens early enough for quality fruit.  This actually surprised
me.  I knew that Changsha's were earlier than Owari, but I didn't expect them to be that much earlier.  Owari does not reach full size or maturity  in the PNW

While I think my Changsha is hardier than average, the proximity to my cottage cast uncertainty on that.  Therefore, this
year I plan to graft it onto my two available rootstocks, then put them out in more exposed location; Protecting them until
They become large enough to withstand Arctic events- two or three years of protection typically.  If they survive, this will
confirm my suspicion.

In response to a comment made the first time I posted this- a comment also deleted by Go Daddy- I do indeed plan to plant the
seeds I get from this years crop, then perform a mass selection to attempt to obtain an even hardier Changsha.  Horrible
things will be done with a freezer in a first cull, rather than waiting for an Arctic blast.  I'm brutal-you betcha I am.

I was surprised how low the seed count was.  I remember reading that Changshas more typically have 20-30 seeds per fruit.  It's
possible that it's the plant, but actually I think it was a pollination issue.  This year was rather cold and wet during bloom
time, which probably hindered the bees.  Several other of my citrus also had lower than usual seed counts.   In fact, it may be
that the copius number of sugar ants that suck the nectar may play a minor role in pollination,  This raises an interesting
possibility which I may explore this coming summer.

Finally next season I plan to start sampling the fruit when the peels just start to turn color.  This usually happens with the
advent of cool nights around mid-October here in Vancouver WA., though that varies from year to year.  Hopefully this will
aid in determining when to harvest for best flavor.










poncirsguy

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2021, 12:43:24 PM »
I had considered growing Changsha here in Cincinnati, Oh but determined out mildest winters would be about like your arctic blast winters.  I would hate to think what our -12F would have done to my trees.

Millet

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2021, 03:12:35 PM »
Jim VH, thank your for a most informational post.  Exceedingly interesting.   Looking forward to your future experimentation with the fruit.

jim VH

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2021, 03:22:39 PM »
Thanks Millet.  One consequence of reposting the earlier post was it got me thinking about some of the things I'd noticed, suggesting future avenues to explore.  So, maybe losing the earlier post was a good thing. 

Poncirsguy, At -12F the Changsha- and any other non-hybridized citrus- would be dead dead dead without protection.  In fact, I suspect any Poncirus hybrid would be as well, though I wonder about the Prague Citsuma, being a Chimera and all.

kumin

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2021, 03:50:01 PM »

Poncirsguy, At -12F the Changsha- and any other non-hybridized citrus- would be dead dead dead without protection.  In fact, I suspect any Poncirus hybrid would be as well, though I wonder about the Prague Citsuma, being a Chimera and all.

Jim, you are likely correct in case of F1 Poncirus hybrids. In the F2 selfed generation there is a very small percentage of zygotic individuals that are hardy to -12°F. There may only be an individual plant per thousand showing that level of hardiness. Additionally, the survivors are likely to be quite close genetically to Poncirus.

This is an F2 Citrange survivor following a late January, 2019 low of -12 deg F. at just under a year of age. This selection has not been cold damaged since that low temperature.

« Last Edit: January 16, 2021, 07:28:13 PM by kumin »

SoCal2warm

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2021, 06:54:28 PM »
I took a picture of Jim VH's Changsha tree.



I believe these pictures were taken at the end of November, sorry I cannot remember and did not keep track.

jim VH

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2021, 03:46:14 PM »
SoCal, thanks for posting those extra images, they enhance the thread.  I believe they were taken in mid-December, when you came to pick up the five Kabosu seeds.  I went to my personal messages and found one dated December 10th saying you'd be by to get the seed, and a few days later you did.

Kumin,

Thanks the interesting information about F2 generation hybrids- I was not aware of such.  My suspicion was clearly wrong, which is a good thing.  I always learn more from my mistakes, as long as I admit to myself.

I now also remember that you were guy who made the post I mentioned above, one that got deleted the same day my first posting was.  In that post I also you remember asking if I thought about hybridizing the Changsha with Poncirus.  My initial response was -Nope.  For one thing,-not to brag- but I'm exceedingly ignorant about hybridization and would have to study a while to 'get' how to do it right.  For another, I've never found a 50% Poncirus hybrid whose flavor didn't aggravate me.    For a third thing, I've been focusing on hardy sweet citrus, which most 50% Poncirus hybrids are not.
But when I saw your -12F (-24.4C) F2 Citrange, I recalled that there are some 25% Poncirus hybrids that I find to be quite good to my taste buds-  The Thomasville Citrangequat being one.  That raises the intriguing possibility of crossing my possibly hardier than average Chansha with your superhardy Citrange to create a subzero Fahrenheit hopefully sweet citrus without any off flavors..  As a bonus, both my Changsha and Citranges seem to ripen early enough to be harvested in the short summers in the PNW prior to the average first  killing freeze.

kumin

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2021, 06:35:50 PM »
Jim VH,
 excellent point regarding the importance of fruit ripening in season. In the Mid-Atlantic states we have hot summers,  but of short duration. Our Winters are much colder than yours. I do have some regrets in having selected citrange as my seed choice for the cold hardiness trial. The juvenile phase may be extended longer, citranges tend to express more of the Poncirus off flavors than Citrandarins do.

 For these reasons I expect that Changsha X Poncirus+ might be good parentage to begin the process. US 852 is a Changsha X Poncirus hybrid that's available with +/- 50 % zygotic seedlings. Perhaps Poncirus+ as a parent could lessen the off flavors in the F1 and more likely in the F2 generation.   

Several decades ago I grew Clementine X Poncirus F1 hybrids from pollination to fruiting. The resulting fruit was acidic, but had little of the Poncirus off flavors in the flesh. Unfortunately none of the trees were hardy in zone 6b.

The selections I have at present are much hardier, but haven't flowered/fruited at present as they're only approaching 3 years of age. As these selections mature and flower/fruit I plan on making them available.

Obviously, cold hardy Citrus is little more than a distraction to those able to grow the commonly available cultivars. I enjoy seeing the photos posted by members who's fruit doesn't show the battle scars we Northerners are familiar with.

Artificial hybridization is essentially human intervention of the natural pollination process. Selection of a seed parent tree with an acceptable percentage of zygotic seeds is important, as is the synchronization of flowering time, or pollen storage until the seed parent flowers are receptive.

« Last Edit: January 19, 2021, 12:48:42 PM by kumin »

tedburn

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2021, 03:06:20 AM »
Hello Kumin,
nice post which expresses a lot of the difficult but interesting and complex sides of hybridization work. I'm in regard to citrus cultivation at beginner stage but enjoy it very much, so next spring/ summer I expect some more of my citrus varieties flowering and I will also try some small hybridizations with the plants in my citrus yard. What I don' t really know is which citrus varieties are mono-/ polyembryonic, nucellar or zygotic or steril/pollensteril.
All attributes one should know before thinking of doing hybridization. Could you or other experts in the forum show me a link, where the citrus varieties are described concerning their relevant attributes concerning hybridazation ?
This would be very interesting and helpful if such a description exists.
Thanks and best regards Frank

kumin

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2021, 06:15:35 AM »
tedburn,

This link addresses the nucellar/zygotic characteristics of Citrus species/cultivars:

http://citruspages.free.fr/classification.php#monotypes

Additionally, Meyer lemon is zygotic, as are Sanford and Phelps citranges. US 1279, US 1281, US 1282 citrandarins and Super Sour 1 rootstocks are a few more coming to mind.

https://crec.ifas.ufl.edu/extension/citrus_rootstock/tables.html
« Last Edit: January 18, 2021, 06:59:29 AM by kumin »

jim VH

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2021, 11:04:20 AM »
Thank you for the interesting posts about hybridization.  As a beginner I'll be spending some time studying them.

Kumin, I'm familiar with east coast weather; I lived in Michigan for 13 years.  What I described as Arctic events above, is called shirtsleeve weather in Michigan, and what's called normal winter in my location would be called early spring.  Etched into my brain is trudging to campus during an Alberta clipper (nowadays called a Polar vortex) in January 1982 with a temperature of -22F (-30C) wind gusts of 80 mph and wind driven little ice crystals stinging my face.  Brrrr.  Boy was I glad to get back home.  I don't envy you.

After the discussions above I began to consider the logistics hybridizing my possibly hardier Changsha with my Flying Dragon When I realized I have a timing problem.  Let me explain.

  As I recall from living in Michigan, there are five months of winter - November through March-followed by a month or so of mud season (what the Russians call Rasputitsa) followed by two weeks of spring, where everything blooms all at once, followed by three months of very sultry summer weather, followed by two months of glorious autumn.  An exaggeration, of course, but it gets the point across. 
   Here, springs starts in early February and lasts till the 4th of July, followed by two months of hot dry summer, followed by two months of autumn.  Again an exaggeration, but not by much.  In fact, I've already got Anemone and early Iris blooming a couple weeks early this year.
   As a result of that extended spring, Citrus bloom is spread out over a 3 month period depending on the variety.  My Flying Dragon blooms first , from mid-March to Mid-April.  Then the 50% Poncirus hybrids from mid-April to late May- or late June in the case of the Prague Citsuma.  Then the rest of the citrus from mid-May to Mid-June.  As a result, there is no Poncirus pollen available to pollinate the Changsha.  Maybe some blossoms  or pollen can be frozen?

So, this year, anyway, I'll concentrate on slaughtering second generation seedlings from  my hopefully citrus while contemplating the logistics of hybridization for next year.

tedburn

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2021, 02:42:53 PM »
@Kumin, thank you very much for the two links, they are very much what I looked for 👍👍

hardyvermont

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Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2021, 06:11:30 PM »
tedburn,

This link addresses the nucellar/zygotic characteristics of Citrus species/cultivars:

http://citruspages.free.fr/classification.php#monotypes


Kumin, does that link work for you?  My computer will not open the link, saying it is dangerous.