There is some debate as to whether the Hong Kong kumquat, or even the genus Fortunella, merit recognition as a distinct species and genus. The Flora of China has submerged the entire genus into one species as Citrus japonica[
]. At present we are keeping the genus Fortunella distinct, but it is likely that the Flora of China treatment will gain widespread acceptance and, if so, this species will be moved to Citrus[
Atalantia hindsii (Champ. ex Benth.) Oliv.
Sclerostylis hindsii Champ. ex Benth.
Common Name: Hong Kong Kumquat
Hong Kong kumquat is a small, spiny, evergreen shrub or small tree growing up to 3 metres tall.
The plant is often grown as an ornamental, especially in China where the fruits are valued as a novelty food used mainly as a spicy flavouring[
]. It can also be grown as a hedge[
E. Asia - China.
Not known in a truly wild situation.
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental
A plant of the tropics and subtropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 26 - 37°c, but can tolerate 12 - 40°c[
]. In the cool periods of the year the plant enters a condition of dormancy, with a high resistance to winter cold even if alternated with milder periods[
]. Dormant plants are very cold tolerant, only being killed by temperatures of -15°c or lower, but young growth can be severely damaged at 0°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,100 - 1,500mm, but tolerates 700 - 4,000mm[
Succeeds in full sun and also in light shade[
]. Prefers a fertile, well-drained, medium-textured soil[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 - 7.5, tolerating 6 - 8[
Kumquats are hardier than the various Citrus species since they cease growth when temperatures drop below 13°c but, for best results, they are best grown in a climate where temperatures do not fall lower than between 4 - 10°c[
]. This is because the fruit is sweeter when it ripens in warm conditions[
There is a cultivated, diploid form, usually designated 'Golden Bean Kumquat', that has slightly larger fruits, larger, more slender leaves, and shorter spines[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. The thin skin is also edible[
]. The small, brilliantly coloured fruits are used for making sweetmeats, chutneys, marmalades, jellies or are preserved in syrup or candied[
]. Although small, the Chinese are said to prize these fruits and they preserve them in honey for use as a spicy flavouring[
]. The fruit is rich in pectin and vitamin C[
]. The round, red-orange fruit rarely exceeds 12mm in diameter and contains several large seeds, making it virtually inedible[
]. The scarlet-orange, subglobose fruit is 10 - 20m in diameter[
The fruit has medicinal properties[
The plant can be grown as a hedge[
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