The Citrus genus is currently (2012) being revised and there are likely to be some major changes in classification. This species is being treated as a synonym of Citrus reticulata Blanco in 'The Plant List'[
Citrus nobilis deliciosa (Ten.) Swingle
Common Name: Italian Tangerine
Italian tangerine is a small, evergreen tree with a spreading crown and a few thorns, growing 3 - 5 metres tall[
Widely cultivated for its edible fruit in subtropical and tropical areas[
Only known in cultivation, probably arose through hybridisation involving C. reticulata in Italy.
Not known in the wild.
Three main climates are suitable for commercial citrus production - tropical climates, subtropical with winter rain such as in the Mediterranean and semitropical with summer rainfall as found in Florida and southern Brazil[
]. The optimal temperatures for citrus cultivation range between 25 - 30°c, with the coldest month having an average minimum of at least 15°c[
]. Growth generally ceases below 13°c and above 38°c[
]. Young growth is badly damaged by frosts, with temperatures of -5°c likely to kill the plant[
]. If there are dry periods of more than three months, then irrigation will be necessary[
Prefers a deep, well-drained but moisture-retentive loamy soil in full sun[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6.2, tolerating 5 - 7[
There are many named varieties.
Fruit - raw[
]. The thin-skinned fruit has a succulent, soft pulp and a very pleasant, acidic-sweet flavour[
Citrus species contain a wide range of active ingredients and research is still underway in finding uses for them. They are rich in vitamin C, flavonoids, acids and volatile oils. They also contain coumarins such as bergapten which sensitizes the skin to sunlight. Bergapten is sometimes added to tanning preparations since it promotes pigmentation in the skin, though it can cause dermatitis or allergic responses in some people[
]. Some of the plants more recent applications are as sources of anti-oxidants and chemical exfoliants in specialized cosmetics[
The seed is best sown in containers as soon as it is ripe, after thoroughly rinsing it[
]. Sow stored seed in containers as soon as possible]. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 3 weeks at 13°c. Seedlings are liable to damp off so they must be watered with care and kept well ventilated. The seed is usually polyembryonic, two or more seedlings arise from each seed and they are genetically identical to the parent but they do not usually carry any virus that might be present in the parent plant[
]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until they are 10cm or more tall before planting out into their permanent positions.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood[
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