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Messages - SoCal2warm

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Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Passe Crassane pear
« on: December 01, 2023, 03:07:18 AM »
I finally got to taste a pear off the tree that was more ripe. It seems you can't judge by the first fruits but will have to wait a few years for the tree to mature before the fruits start being able to develop a little bit more. Even after being developed, the fruit needs at least 11 days in storage to be able to ripen a little bit.

It's hard to describe exact taste and flavor but I'll try.

The texture, and a little bit of the flavor, seems half similar to an Asian pear. But other than that, it seems very similar to a Comice or Bartlett pear. But the flavor is a little bit different, still. From what I tasted, it has a little bit more tart sourness, which sort of intensifies the flavor in a way. It tasted a little bit over-ripe, yet paradoxically maybe not all the way fully ripe, a little bit of a more "fermented" flavor of an overripe pear, yet still with the grassiness of an underripe one. The flavor and aroma has a little bit of an ethereal "cotton candy" quality, maybe slightly perfumed like an Asian pear.
I also detected what I would say is a little bit of a ripe watermelon flavor as well, almost maybe a little bit like you would find in some figs.

Overall I would say, from what I tasted, I do prefer a good Comice or Bartlett pear more. But this did have a little bit of unique quality. I could still rate this pear as a 7 or 8 out of 10. It did have some of the "buttery" quality of European pears.

I suspect the flavor would have been better if the pear had been able to have more time to ripen on the tree. But for that, I think the tree will have to get more mature. The fruit I tasted did not really get that big, was rather on the small side for a typical pear.

The seeds in all of the fruits appear very small shriveled up and non-viable.

I do grow three rare varieties of quince that are edible raw (Karp's Sweet, Crimea, Kuganskaya). I cannot say for sure, but from what I am tasting, it does seem possible that this fruit could possibly be a hybrid. When I consider the more tart sourness of these edible quince varieties. I'd say it's at least 70 percent more pear-like than any of these quinces I have tasted. But I do think I can almost detect a little bit of a certain "yellow" quince flavor in there, mostly in the aftertaste.

The most remarkable thing, I would say, is that this tree is even able to produce fruits in climate zone 10. Even if it's obvious the fruits do not have as much vigor as they would if they got more winter chill. So I think the fruits might not be growing as fast or developing all the way or as fully as they would in a different climate with more winter chill. (The Karp's Sweet quince also managed to produce a very big fruit, in this climate, though I can tell the tree is not being very generous with fruit production)

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Ichang Papada Kaviar
« on: November 12, 2023, 01:38:10 PM »
The peel, however, has a horrible aftertaste, much worse than anything I have ever tasted.
Interesting. Because the peel that I tasted (from the Citrus ichangensis tree in the Hoyt Arboretum in Portland, Oregon) seemed very much leaning towards the edible side to me (perhaps just in my personal opinion).
I could easily eat and nibble on some of the peel, although would probably not want to eat more than a third of one fruit. I thought it would be great to flavor gin.
I personally found the peel to be more edible than lemon peel but not as good as citron.

It did get a little "skunky" and did not settle the best in my stomach if I ate the peel from more than about a third of one of the little fruits, but nevertheless I could enjoy eating and nibbling on a little bit of the fruit, and I think lemon lovers would think the same. Interesting flavor, to me almost like halfway between lemon and lime but with a little bit of the pungent character of Yuzu, and also with a little bit of a "woody" aroma. I would say as easy to eat as the peel from Satsuma mandarin, perhaps a little bit easier in some ways. I mean it was more tender, maybe even slightly more tender than the peel of a Yuzu freshly picked off the tree that is completely ripe, but it is very "lemony" and has a hint of bitterness (still a little less than the peel of Satsuma mandarin) and can get kind of "skunky" if you eat more than a small amount of it.

The inside of the Ichang papeda fruits I tasted did not look like finger lime. I wonder if perhaps what you have might actually be a hybrid.

The inside of the Ichang papeda fruits I tried looked like something between Kaffir lime and Yuzu, but slightly worse inside fruit quality than that, with a little less juice than even those have.

But keep in mind in this climate the fruits I tasted might not have been able to fully ripen all the way as much as they would have in a warmer climate further south. Portland does not really have a very long growing season, similar to Germany.

The Ichang papeda fruits from that tree looked different from both the pictures shown by Till, and those shown by Florian, but looked more similar to those shown by Florian.

Here is a picture of the fruits that I took.

Some will claim it looks like Yuzu but I can tell you it is not definitely not Yuzu, since I have picked off the fresh fruits from a Yuzu tree.

None the fruits from that tree that I picked seemed to have any viable or big seeds, but that may probably have been because there was no other nearby citrus variety to pollinate it.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Hardy citrus in PNW
« on: November 07, 2023, 10:21:12 AM »
Khasi might be something to consider. The Khasi Hills are a subtropical rainforest characterized by cool summers and occasionally freezing winters. Which sounds a lot like the PNW. While it may not be able to tolerate the lows that Ichang can, it may be able to tolerate less summer heat than Ichang seems to need.
I'm skeptical. The Khasi Hills have much more moderate temperatures and a much longer growing season than the PNW.
You can compare growing degree days between Olympia and Shillong (India) for example.
In Shillong, by late March, the average high is already 86 and the low 66°F , much warmer than Olympia earlier in the year.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Hardy citrus in PNW
« on: November 05, 2023, 01:49:09 PM »
"It's good where we're not." You can paraphrase this saying for plants as well. While Russians are looking for American varieties, such as “ninth ball” and the like, Americans are getting Russian varieties like “Parfianka” from somewhere.
I considered myself very familiar with rare pomegranate varieties and had never heard of "ninth ball".
I imagine it might perhaps be the same with the variety "Parfianka" in Russia (the limited parts of Russia where hardy pomegranate varieties can grow).

I think the variety "Parfianka" originated from former Soviet botanist Gregory Levin's surveys in Turkmenistan. I do not really know for sure if it has more hardiness (that is only what I heard) but do know that it has survived for me, seems to be doing very well, whereas I know of a regular pomegranate variety that was planted in a park (not too far away from here) that died, apparently unable to survive the winter, and was only able to live 2 or 3 years.

I live in Cincinnati and I can't grow grapes either
It is possible to grow grapes in Ohio but only certain special hardy varieties can be grown easily. I suspect it has as much to do with the summer humidity as the winter cold.
There are several vineyards not too far from Cincinnati.

"American and French hybrid types are better suited to Ohio growing conditions because they tend to be more winter-hardy."

(Though I personally prefer the more pure flavor of "European" vinifera grapes. Concord is representative of flavor of the American family)

In hotter climates, raspberries bake in the heat of direct full sunlight (especially midday afternoon light exposure). They need some shading, and plenty of water during the hotter half of the year. The soil can be an issue too. They do not grow well in very shallow hard limestone soil. Some mulch might be needed to mix with the limestone soil if it is too alkaline. The soil should not be too heavy, hard, or clay-like. They do like soil with a little sand that is fertile, holding moisture but capable of draining.

Caroline, Dorman Red, and Bababerry are the varieties that can take a little more heat, though Caroline is not much more heat tolerant than regular raspberries.
These varieties are still not as heat tolerant as blackberry, however. There is also black raspberry, though some do not find the flavor so raspberry like, and even in hybrids like Brandywine the black raspberry flavor dominates.

Jim VH (a member in this forum) made marmalade out of ripe orange kabosu fruit, which I was able to taste. I think this fruit has a lot of potential for marmalade, since when ripe the rind is semi-edible, or at least not too bitter. However, traditionally in Japan kabosu is picked while still green before it has turned orange (actually a slightly yellowish green color) and is used more like a lime or lemon. Picked orange, it's a little bland and not the most flavorful, but the peel works well in marmalade and is softer than the rind of orange. It does have some pleasant aromatic fragrance, almost half like Yuzu I would say.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Hardy citrus in PNW
« on: November 03, 2023, 09:04:57 PM »
Poncirus aside, what other citrus varieties were native to mountains?
I do not really know but I don't think any citrus species are native to mountains. Poncirus trifoliata has been growing wild in the mountains of North Carolina though.

I think Poncirus polyandra might almost grow at what would be considered mountain elevation, though it is not very high. It rarely gets very hot there but also rarely goes below freezing, except at higher mountain elevations. Fumin county, Yunnan, China, where average daily highs do not rise above 68°F for half of the year.
This source says P. polyandra grows in forests on mountain slopes; at an elevation of around 2400 meters, southeast Yunnan (Funing).
Q. Ding et al., Acta Bot. Yunnan. 6: 292. 1984, not Citrus polyandra Tanaka (1928). , Rutacae

Even Khasi papeda only grows in the "hills" and not mountains, and the temperatures never get very cold in the Meghalaya part of India)

From what I understand, the pollen from triploids usually tends to be sterile, or has lower chances of fertility (at least fertility caused by sexual recombination, though clonal seeds can often happen in many species and hybrids). However, if the pollen is able to be successful in sexual recombination, the vast majority of the time it will result in normal diploid offspring. (Though sometimes sterile pollen can trigger clonal seed production, in some species)

When the triploid parent undergoes meoisis, the odd number set of chromosomes typically causes problems, so there is a higher chance of the gamete (ovule or pollen cells) only getting one chromosome set, which is the same that happens from a normal diploid parent. In rarer cases, sometimes the triploid gamete fails to undergo meosis, and will include the full triploid set. This triploid set then sexually combines with the normal single chromosome set from another gamete resulting in a tetraploid offspring. This will typically happen around less than 1 to 5 percent of the time, from what I remember.

Do custard apples and cherimoyas have the same chromosome number set, 14 ?

Diploid is normal. Perhaps you mean chance of spontaneous tetraploid offspring?

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Rough lemon cold hardiness?
« on: November 03, 2023, 03:20:18 PM »
I tried growing seeds from fruits from a rootstock variety that had popped up, which I strongly believe was a rough lemon.
The seedling, which were grown to about 6 inches tall in containers were unable to survive a typical winter in Olympia, climate zone 8a, despite being on the deck only 5 feet from the house. It was a very vigorous grower though and did show some signs of mild cold tolerance, better than orange. 

The fruits were nothing anyone would want to eat, pretty bitter and low quality flesh, but pleasantly fragrant.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Hardy citrus in PNW
« on: November 03, 2023, 02:09:01 PM »
I'm also growing some other things besides citrus, so maybe should share that because it could help be used to make a comparison and know what can survive in this climate.
I'm growing two rarer hardier (Russian) varieties of pomegranates, Parfianka and Crimson Sky. The Parfianka is right up against a southern wall and has grown to become a huge bush. It has sent out blossoms, and even two small developing fruits. Crimson Sky is supposed to be even hardier but has grown slower, but it is a little further away from the home and planted in a spot with harder shallow soil.
Hardy gardenias, Crown Jewel and Summer Snow. Both have bigger more complex flowers than the typical hardy gardenia varieties. Crown Jewel can definitely do well here, does not lose its leaves in the winter. One bush has grown big and sent out abundant blossoms during the warmest part of summer. They smell a little more like wild strawberry and tea than regular gardenias. I actually prefer the fragrance of regular gardenias, which are more grapefruit and lemony, in my personal opinion. Another Crown Jewel Bush has not grown very much but has survived, it gets more sun exposure which is apparently not good since the summers in this climate can get quite dry and hot during the day, and gardenias really prefer humidity.
For Summer Snow, it's too early to say whether it can survive the winters. I planted two in colder spots and during colder winters they seemed to be killed back close to the ground, but barely managed to recover and started sending up a little bit of new growth. I will be observing another that is planted in a more protected sheltered spot not far from the wall close to some other bushes.
Musa basjoo (ornamental bananas) are usually killed down to the ground and then regrow, though some very mild winters the pseudostem (big trunk) can survive, but not the leaves. The winter always comes before the skinny small fruits have any time to develop, and they might only produce fruit some years. 
Fragrant osmanthus can grow, but immature plants do not seem to do well planted in the open with too much sun and exposure to wind. They need a little bit of shade and moisture to handle the dry summers, despite being kept well watered.
I saw a hardy variety of rosemary flowering in late January one year, so apparenty it does not get too cold.
Camellias can easily survive and grow to become gigantic bushes after 40 years, in some cases taller than homes. In almost half the years, you can see red flowers on big cammellia bushes blooming in late December and then in the later part of February.
A tropical variety of camellia, Nitidissima, was unable to survive, but a hybrid of it, Ki no Senritsu has managed to survive, further out away from the house, in a partially sheltered spot beneath some other plants. I think this would probably do better in 8b, but is just barely managing to survive in my zone 8a climate. It was able to grow a few leaves this year but not too many.
Cork oak does not lose its leaves over the winter here.   

As you can see, I've been testing the boundaries of what sorts of subtropical things can grow here.

Hardy fuschia flower varieties can grow outside here, although regular fuschias do not survive the winters. I have seen fuschias blooming in the middle of January in Seattle (permanently planted in the ground) not far from the water of the lake.
Double Otto is the variety with the biggest more complex flowers that can survive here, similar in appearance to regular fuschias.

The leaves on bamboo remain green most winters, and the plants keep their leaves, though can look a little bit trashed by the end of winter. The leaf color changes to a paler less lively color hue, but the leaves can recover the next year, especially if they are deeper into the thicket of bamboo.

I haven't tried it but my online research tells me that tree ferns can survive but only if the top crowns of the ferns are protected and wrapped in a burlap sack for insulation. Especially if the tree fern is Dicksonia antarctica, but possibly even regular Australian tree ferns too. The fronds are cut back at the start of winter so the crowns can be wrapped. The lower part of the trunk does not need to be wrapped.   

You can use these as indicators and try to compare to your climate.

I have had no luck getting chrysanthemums to permanently survive in the ground here, even hardier hybrids that supposedly were designed to be able to survive in southern Minnesota.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Hardy citrus in PNW
« on: November 03, 2023, 01:40:01 PM »
SoCal, I seem to recall that the trees you planted out were unprotected and were also quite small. I had read about the practice of growing the trees to a somewhat larger size before planting them out, so that the trunk itself is less likely to be compromised by freezing. Also, instead of leaving trees exposed directly to the cold, smaller trees could be protected.
Most of the plants were about 14 inches tall, almost as wide as tall. I did try to protect most of them a little bit, with a large bottle of water under them right next to the trunk to help resist freezing, and covered by a large paper grocery bag during the coldest nights.

Assuming the above information is correct, I created a revised diagram

In this diagram
kishu mandarin combines with pomelo, and then combines with kishu again to create kunenbo, and then combines with kishu mandarin again to create Satsuma mandarin.
Kunenbo combines with buntan pomelo to create Kinkoji (Bloomsweet grapefruit).
Ryukyu mandarin may be an original species. The fact that it reproduces sexually is an indicator of this (since citrus hybrids tend to create clonal nucellar seeds). Ryukyu mandarin is more sour and papeda-like or yuzu-like than it is really mandarin-like. It might be indigenous to the Ryukyu islands of southern Japan.
Ryukyu mandarin combines with kunenbo to create kabuchi. kabuchi then combines with kunenbo again to create kikaimikan (kikkaimikan, kikkai mandarin). Kikaimikan combines with kunenbo again to create keraji.
Ryukyu mandarin combines with mandarins to create both shikuwasa and tachibana, which are siblings, with shikuwasa taking more after ryukyu mandarin and tachibana taking more after mandarin. 

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Hardy citrus in PNW
« on: November 03, 2023, 06:35:17 AM »
I wonder if you tried to grow pure  poncirus seedlings as a control for your general agricultural capacities?
I have Flying Dragon and another Flying Dragon that appears to be growing up from rootstock. They both seem to be able to survive fine, but interestingly do not seem to be as vigorous growing as Dunstan citrumelo or Changsha. The Flying Dragon also appears to be deciduous and loses its leaves, whereas the other varieties only suffer leaf death if it is a colder winter than usual and more often (or often even then) not complete loss of all past leaves.
I believe the Flying Dragon from the rootstock originally came from Jim VH (another member in this forum) and is the one that doesn't have the normal awful poncirus flavor inside the fruits.

The plants may be only a little taller than 12 to 14 inches and grow slow. They seem like they will survive and slowly continue to grow over the years, but I think the other varieties will outpace them (if they can always survive).

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Hardy citrus in PNW
« on: November 03, 2023, 01:42:21 AM »
I can't imagine sacrificing so many individual and hard-won plants! Approaches like kumin's, of firing a lot of arrows and hoping for a few good survivors, are much less despair-inducing for me.
Yes, but you will never know until you try. So much information can be gained from these trials and mistakes, which is why I share these individual observations.

I do not wish to discourage anyone too much, however, since if a variety seems like it almost survived, it might end up surviving for you in the same climate zone designation. Especially if you can give it more extra care than I did.

I do not feel too bad about the losses though, since if these varieties could not survive zone 8a (and the warmer part of zone 8a at that, on the side closer to 8b ) then they are sort of worthless to me. Might still be valuable to those who are solidly in zone 8b or 9a.

The keraji did put out blossoms outside after surviving the winter but never fruited, before eventually dying. Actually there was one fruit druplet but it was very small green and undeveloped, hard to really call it a fruit. It never had a chance to develop and eventually just fell off. Not so uncommon when a plant does not have enough energy for fruit production. I think it was because the plant was very young and the temperatures were still cold (not yet consistently warm enough for citrus to grow well).

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Hardy citrus in PNW
« on: November 02, 2023, 10:33:15 PM »
I can quickly sum up my experiences in Olympia. Yuzu initially grows well and survives, but can sometimes decline after 2 or 3 years and finally die, apparently not having the energy to recover after another winter. But Yuzu can seem to grow well if planted in a very optimal and protected warmer spot in more urban surroundings. The decline seems to begin after some moderate damage from a colder than normal winter (which comes along about every 3 or 4 years).

Keraji was not able to make it for me, even though seeming to survive well through one winter, even though it was protected and planted in an optimal spot. Bloomsweet was not able to make it. Sudachi was not able to make it, even though after one year it seemed nearly as cold tolerant as Yuzu, but it was planted further away from the house in a spot that might have gotten colder.

So far a Dunstan citrumelo bush is doing great.
An Ichang lemon appears to be surviving outside, in a protected spot, but I am not sure for how long, whether it will be able to recover after the next winter and not decline. It seems to suffer some obvious damage and die-back of some of its branches in winter but has recovered well with vigorous leaf growth.
A Changsha mandarin, in a protected spot, appears to be doing great and is very vigorous. 

Kumquat seedlings that had grown about 10 inches high were not able to survive.

Two Ichang papeda plants have both died and did not seem to be able to survive the cold. They were not on rootstock and were planted futher away in a spot that may have gotten a little colder.

One Ichangquat seedling survived through one winter and appeared to be doing great but died after the next winter. Another Ichangquat seedling was killed down to only one inch above the ground and the plant was not able to send out any leaf growth for the year after that. I expect it might just slowly decline and finally die.

Ten Degree Tangerine (a hybrid of Yuzu and Clementine) lost all its leaves and was not able to regrow them the following year, although the plant seemed to send out just a few buds of leaf growth. It slowly declined and finally died 2 years later.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Hardy citrus in PNW
« on: November 02, 2023, 05:35:24 PM »
I do not think the PNW is a good place to try to breed new citrus varieties, in my opinion from what I've seen. The duration of warmth is simply not long enough. The plants, if they do survive, do not really grow very fast, and are even more reluctant to fruit.

Maybe if you are near the Portland area, and in a suburban neighborhood, it could be possible but challenging. But once you go 2 hours north to Olympia, I know it becomes much more difficult.
Yet I am aware of a Vietnamese couple, almost an hour north from Olympia in Federal Way, who have been able to grow a lemon and orange tree in the ground outside, grown from seed from ordinary store-bought fruits, although they have a large covering over it with Christmas lights, and their very suburban neighborhood gets more moderating temperature effect from the Puget Sound than Olympia does.

I'm not saying it's impossible but I think it would be much more difficult and take much more time. I am thinking it may be better to breed the new crosses somewhere else further south and then trial them in the PNW.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Ichangquat rind
« on: November 02, 2023, 05:03:19 PM »
I've tasted the fruits from an Ichang papeda tree, and have tasted kumquat and various kumquat hybrids - calamondin, mandarinquat, and Thomasville citrangequat.
Based on that, I would imagine the rind of Ichangquat might be a little similar to mandarinquat, in terms of edibility. That is to say you could certainly eat them, but they are not really exactly as enjoyable and delicious as a Meiwa kumquat.

The rind of Ichang papeda is edible, in my opinion - interesting but maybe not the most enjoyable. It's a little like the rind of citron, noticeably easier to eat than the the rind of lemon.

I'd imagine the Ichangquats probably have some lime-like flavor as well. Thomasville citrangequat does, and to me, the Ichang papeda I tasted sort of had a flavor halfway between lime and lemon, I would say. The rind of Ichang papeda does have just a little bit of "skunkiness" and bitterness but is not really that bad (the skunkiness you would not notice unless you ate a larger amount of it).

In a new study, published in Nature Communications, scientists from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), and collaborators from other institutes, analyzed 69 genomes from the East Asian mandarin family, alongside their mainland Asian relatives, to reveal a far-ranging story of isolation, long-distance travel, and hybridization.

The story starts in the Hunan Province of southern China, which is the center of wild mandarin diversity and the genetic source of most well-known mandarins. When the scientists re-analyzed previously published genomic data, they unexpectedly found that wild mandarins of this mountainous region are split into two subspecies.

"We found that one of these mandarin subspecies can produce offspring that are genetically identical to the mother," said Dr. Guohong Albert Wu, a research collaborator at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. "Like many other plants, wild citrus typically reproduces when the pollen of the father combines with the egg of the mother, mixing the genes from both parents in the seed. But we found a subspecies of wild mandarins from Mangshan, in southern China, where the seed contains an identical copy of the mother's DNA without any input from a father. So, the seed grows to be a clone of the mother tree."

Back in Okinawa, the researchers looked more carefully at a strange shiikuwasha-like citrus that produces small, acidic fruit and had been ignored by local farmers since it has little commercial value. To their surprise, they found that this strange citrus represented a previously undescribed species, which they named the Ryukyu mandarin or, more formally, Citrus ryukyuensis. And in contrast to the well-known shiikuwasha, which reproduces clonally (like the subspecies in Mangshan), the new species always reproduces sexually.

Remarkably, the researchers found that all shiikuwasha are hybrids of a very specific type--one parent is from the local Ryukyuan species and the other, from mainland Asia. Surprisingly, all shiikuwasha have the same mainland mandarin parent, meaning that all shiikuwasha are half-siblings.

They concluded that tens of thousands of years ago a mainland Asian mandarin was transported, either by people or by natural methods, to the land that would become the Ryukyu Islands. There it mated with the native Ryukyu citrus. The researchers traced the ancestry of this mainland Asian mandarin back to Mangshan, where it acquired its ability to reproduce asexually. This ability was passed on to its children.

Thus, all the shiikuwasha varieties found in Okinawa's markets today are descended from this mating, and reproduce asexually, allowing stable varieties like golden shiikuwasha to be propagated from generation to generation.

And what of tachibana and the other East Asian mandarin variations?

"They're all hybrids!" explained Dr. Chikatoshi Sugimoto, Postdoctoral Scholar in OIST's Molecular Genetics Unit. "The tachibana lineage also seems to have descended from the newly described Ryukyu species and another mandarin from China, but its birthplace was probably what is now mainland Japan."

Once they saw the genetic pattern in shiikuwasha and tachibana, the researchers also recognized another half-sibling family comprising various traditional Ryukyuan types--oto, kabuchii, tarogayo, and other unnamed citrus. This family, which the researchers called 'yukunibu' (sour citrus in the native Okinawan language), is much younger than shiikuwasha and tachibana. It arose when the famous kunenbo--also the father of satsuma mandarins--hybridized with the native Ryukyu mandarin. Kunenbo was brought to Okinawa from Indochina around 4-500 years ago by maritime trade. Like the mainland parents of shiikuwasha and tachibana, it was also able to clone itself by seeds, due to its distant Mangshan ancestry, and it passed this trait on to its children.

"Juicy past of favorite Okinawan fruit revealed", News Release, July 26, 2021
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University, Peer-Reviewed Publication Journal, Nature Communications

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Yuzu
« on: March 23, 2023, 02:13:21 AM »
I had the premium Yuzu from Japan and candied the peel. When I looked up the process of candying citrus peel it often said to boil the peel to remove the bitter flavor. Because I've heard sometimes that Yuzu peel is not bitter, I did not do this, as I wanted to not lose any flavor by boiling them. But the result of the Yuzu candied peel still tastes bitter. It might be less than most other citrus, I can't compare as I've only candied Yuzu for now.
Was your Yuzu fresh and the peel tender? To use the Yuzu peel, the Yuzu should be fresh and the peel bright yellow-orange in color.
If you bought your Yuzu from a market, outside of Japan, it may have been picked unripe and greenish in color.

At its best, Yuzu zest does have a tiny bit of bitterness, but less than lemon peel.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: white pummelo identification
« on: March 19, 2023, 02:05:51 AM »
Pomelos of that type are very common in Asia (China, Vietnam). But are not the typical pomelo sold in the U.S. (Chandler pomelo, with a pink inside).
I actually prefer the Asian pomelo (although Chandler is not bad). Majority of American consumers prefer sweeter and prefer no seeds.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Nansho Daidai and other Taiwanica cultivars
« on: March 12, 2023, 01:15:58 AM »
One of the historic Japanese Citrus varieties ( sorry can't think which ) is said to have been grown from a fruit found on the beach several hundred years ago.
That would be Natsu mikan (meaning "summer mandarin orange", though despite the name, closer to being grapefruit-like rather than mandarin orange). I have actually picked off the tree and tasted one (which I described in another thread). I do not believe this variety has any ancestry from unusual citrus species though.

Something I had overlooked in a different thread.
This may not be completely correct, but from what I understand C. ryukuensis is kind of like a purer ancestor of C. tachibana.
In any case, they are probably very closely related.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Yuzu
« on: March 02, 2023, 11:39:55 AM »
Does anyone like the taste of Yuzu?  How would you describe the taste?
The flavor is kind of "lemon" and "lime"-like, but much more "orange" in flavor, specifically mandarin orange. The aroma is fragrant like a fragrant sour variety of orange. There is also something slightly sulfurous, almost a little reminiscent of grapefruit but a little bit different (maybe almost a small hint of guava-like aroma), and also a "spiciness" that mixes with the fragrant sour orange aroma.

Yuzu can be a really nice interesting flavor added to other things. However the fruits themselves are not really good quality.
The peel of yuzu is more tender than other citrus fruits, and the white pith beneath the peel lacks bitterness, unlike a grapefruit or lemon. (The peel is tender if you're able to get a fresh yuzu recently picked off the tree) This makes yuzu more like a citron.
Yuzu is not so valuable for its juice but rather most of the flavor is in the peel, and oils of the peel.

Yuzu is a unique flavor.

If you were trying to approximate its flavor, probably the closest thing to it would be lime juice mixed with juice from mandarin oranges. Also mixed with juice of seville orange (such as found in a Persian market) if you can find it.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Nansho Daidai and other Taiwanica cultivars
« on: January 24, 2023, 07:13:42 PM »
Is Taiwan far enough off-shore to be genetically isolated?
I think it would be very difficult for species from the mainland to reach Taiwan by natural means, perhaps not impossible. Most likely any original citrus species that were brought to Taiwan were brought there by humans - the Chinese. (With the exception of C. tachibana which was probably indigenous to either Taiwan or Southern Japan, or perhaps both)

The island of Taiwan is 160 km (about 100 miles) away from mainland China. And probably most of the citrus types did not even exist on the coast of China in that area before the Chinese civilization came, with the exception of kumquat.

There are about one thousand endemic plant species in Taiwan, meaning they exist only on Taiwan, not the mainland. So this would seem to indicate some degree of natural genetic isolation.

According to one ancient text, mandarin oranges could be found growing in the wild on the island of Hainan by around the year 1000 AD, though it is unlikely the species originated there. (Edward H. Schafer, Shore of Pearls: Hainan Island in Early Times, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1970 )
They probably escaped into the wild from human cultivation.

Forestry Bureau held a "Return of the Nansho Daidai Sour Orange" event at the hiking trail entrance of the Daping Forest Road of Jiali Mountain in Nanzhuang Township, Miaoli County. Planting of the Nansho Daidai Sour Orange took place at the event, where it was also pledged that this citrus species will be brought back to its place of origin (this citrus, named after Nanzhuang, is an endemic plant of Taiwan and is now on the verge of extinction in the wild). It is the hope that this act can help restore the forest ecosystem in the foothills of Taiwan and promote the development of green economy in the mountain village communities.

The Nansho Daidai Sour Orange (Citrus taiwanica Tanaka & Shimada) is a citrus species in the Rutaceae family endemic to Taiwan. It was first documented that the plant was discovered in 1926 by Japanese botanists in Miaoli's Nanzhuang Hongmaoguan, present-day Penglai Village in Nanzhuang Township, and was therefore named "Nansho Daidai Sour Orange." However, with the development and utilization of the foothill forests, the Nansho Daidai Sour Orange almost become extinct in its original discovery site, and it has been listed in the IUCN Red List as a Critically Endangered species due to its rarity.

The Penglai region in Nanzhuang is the traditional living area of the Saisiyat people. According to Gen Chih-You, a Saisiyat elder, the Saisiyat name for Nansho Daidai Sour Orange is gadayou (meaning "food prepared by mother"). The citrus has been an important plant for the Saisiyat since ancient times, since the fruit is both a snack and also has medicinal and ceremonial applications. Elder Gen recalled that when he was a child, whenever he had a cold, the family elders would grind dried Nansho Daidai Sour Orange into a powder for him to take as medicine. It was a must-have plant for general healthcare used by every Saisiyat family in the early years when medical treatment was not readily available.
According to the Forestry Bureau, the fruits and leaves of the Nansho Daidai Sour Orange have a strong fragrance, while the juice has a distinctive sour taste and a slight bitterness. The fruit's unique flavor makes it very suitable for processing and consumption. Furthermore, the wood of the orange tree is extremely fine in texture, and according to literature, it was considered the best wood for making pipes, knife handles, and other delicate wooden tools in the early days.

The fruits were tested for the development of essential oil extraction, dessert-making, and tea and beverage preparation, all with amazing results. At the event, the Hsinchu Forest District Office presented a "pound cake with Nansho Daidai Sour Orange frosting" made using the juice and "Nansho Daidai Sour Orange peel nama chocolate" made using the orange peel syrup. The unique refreshing scent and tangy sweetness of the Nansho Daidai Sour Oranges greatly impressed the guests who tasted the delicious treats. It is hoped that the local tribal communities of Nanzhuang will create specialty products with Nansho Daidai Sour Oranges, as it would not only help with both species preservation and the economy, but also bring a wonderful flavor experience to the people of Taiwan.

"Return of the Nansho Daidai Sour Orange": Forestry Bureau Partners with the Saisiyat to Restore Taiwan's Endemic and Rare Plants
from Taiwan, January 29, 2021

(It should of course be noted than Nansho daidai was already a cultivated variety in Japan in old times, before being found by the Japanese botanist growing in the wild in Taiwan. It was valued in Japan as an ornamental because the fruits continue to hang on the tree for a long time, sometimes up to several years)

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Nansho Daidai and other Taiwanica cultivars
« on: January 23, 2023, 12:47:34 AM »
There is some evidence to suggest the Taiwanica variety may have originated from a naturalized population growing in the wild on the island of Taiwan, although humans would have brought the ancestral species to Taiwan from mainland China.
(There is a similar story to how the original grapefruits originated on the island of Barbados)
Since Taiwan, especially in the river valleys, is a great natural climate for citrus to grow, but experiences a freeze about once every 40 years, it could have been a great climate for natural selection to take place, to perhaps develop some cold tolerance or general hardiness, over many successive generations.

More recent   Japanese paper claims that C.taiwanica genetically is identical to Henka mikan and is a hybrid of Kunenbo-A tangor with Yuzu.
A similiar cross produced some other Japanese varieties including Sudachi.
Ilya, are you sure that is correct? I read that paper and it said only that they found some relationship existed between Nanshodaidai (which is C. taiwanica) and Henka mikan.
I did not read anything about a relationship with Yuzu.
(also realize that Natsudaidai is a different variety from Nanshodaidai)

If Taiwanica seems to share some ancestry in common with Yuzu, then exactly how they are related is open to speculation. Yuzu though seems to have more ancestral contribution from the original papeda, C. ichangensis, which seems to barely show up at all in DNA marker analysis of Taiwanica, if it shows up at all.

As far as I can tell, Taiwanica was not really valued except as an ornamental and occasionally for flavoring vinegar. But there could be a possibility it may have been used in very old times, perhaps before other varieties replaced it. Perhaps its main use could have been just as a rootstock. This in no way implies that Taiwanica existed before Yuzu, but perhaps for some reason a certain population at one time in history had access to Taiwanica but did not know of Yuzu.
This is all just speculation though.

The fact that DNA analysis of Taiwanica shows pomelo ancestry is not that surprising. During this time in this part of the world, "kunenbo"-type tangor-like fruits seem to have been common. This was a hybrid between mandarin orange (C. reticulata) and pomelo. It would have had more cold tolerance than pomelo (which is native to a climate further south) and possibly grown or ripened better in the cooler climate of Taiwan or southern Japan (which is in closer proximity to the ocean). The pomelo ancestry contributed aroma and flavor. Judging by the cold tolerance of some of its offspring, it is logical to conclude that the kunenbo fruit had a good level of cold tolerance, perhaps brought about by the phenomena of hybrid vigor between species (despite the sweet orange apparently not having gotten this benefit). The thicker skin from the pomelo ancestry also would have given it a long shelf life on sea voyages, making it more likely to be disseminated to the islands of Taiwan and Japan. (For the same reason, the orange reached Europe long before the mandarin orange did)

If Taiwanica has an analogous equivalent to a "European"-type citrus fruit, it would be the sour orange (C. aurantium), although of course Taiwanica has more cold tolerance.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citrumelo
« on: January 23, 2023, 12:04:10 AM »
I am not saying this is applicable to all climates, but from what I have seen in the climate where I am, from several Yuzu plants, maybe about 11.5 degrees F ( -11.35 degrees C) might be the limit of what Yuzu can survive, over consecutive years. At 14 degrees F ( -10 degrees C) it will suffer virtually no damage. Below that it will suffer some partial damage. The plant might be able to survive down to 10 or 11 degrees F with serious damage, but will not be able to sustain that year after year. Not in this climate. Maybe somewhere farther South in the U.S. with a longer and warmer growing season it might be able to recover and not slowly decline from that.

My Dunstan citrumelo appears to have more cold tolerance than my Yuzu and can survive better. The leaves will be more likely to fall off, but they can regrow easier. Yuzu does not regrow leaves as well. It's important that the Yuzu keeps its old leaves because it might only grow 30 or 40 percent the number of new leaves the following year as the number of old leaves on the tree. The leaves do appear to be able to recover from partial damage, and can regain some of their green coloration, but if damaged beyond a certain level, they will eventually fall off, often this may not become fully evident until later when things begin warming up.

I would like to point out that these numbers are really not exact, and are more based on my subjective impressions and instincts I have gathered from experiences, with several plants over several years. So I hope that just helps give some anecdotal idea, rather than being taken as exact reliable information.

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