Fortunella x crassifolia
There is some debate as to whether the meiwa 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[
Common Name: Meiwa Kumquat
Meiwa kumquat is an almost spineless, evergreen shrub or small tree growing 3 - 4 metres tall[
The plant is cultivated for its edible fruit in several, mainly subtropical, areas such as SE China, Japan, India, USA and Cuba[
Not known in the wild, probably arising as a garden hybrid.
Not known in the wild.
Succeeds in a range of climates from warm temperate to subtropical and at moderate to higher elevations in the tropics. When dormant, the plant tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[
]. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender.
Prefers a moderately heavy loam with a generous amount of compost and sand added and a very sunny position[
]. Prefers a pH of 5 to 6[
]. Plants are intolerant of water logging[
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 are some named varieties[
The fruits are eaten raw or preserved with sugar[
]. The peel is very thick, sweet and well flavoured[
]. The fruit is up to 35 mm long by 25mm in diameter[
The dried peel of the fruits is utilized for medicinal purposes[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe. When they are large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots and grow them on until large enough to plant out.
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