|Citrus japonica subsp. var.||Kumquat|
Kumquats or cumquats are a group of small fruit-bearing trees in the flowering plant family Rutaceae, either forming the genus Fortunella, or placed within Citrus sensu lato. The edible fruit closely resembles that of the orange (Citrus sinensis), but it is much smaller and ovular, being approximately the size and shape of an olive.
They are slow-growing evergreen shrubs or short trees, from 2.5 to 4.5 m tall, with sparse branches, sometimes bearing small thorns. The leaves are dark glossy green, and the flowers white, similar to other citrus flowers, borne singly or clustered in the leaf-axils. The kumquat tree produces 30 to 50 fruit each year.Template:Dubious The tree can be hydrophytic, with the fruit often found floating on water near shore during the ripe season.
The plant is native to south Asia and the Asia-Pacific. The earliest historical reference to kumquats appears in literature of China in the 12th century. They have long been cultivated in Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and southeast Asia. They were introduced to Europe in 1846 by Robert Fortune, collector for the London Horticultural Society, and shortly thereafter into North America.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Fortunella japonica, Swingle (Citrus japonica, Thunb.). Round Kumquat. Marumi Kumquat. A much-branched shrub with very short spines or none: differs from F. margarita in the broader and blunter pointed smaller lvs., 1 3/5-4 x 3/5 - 12/5 in., paler and veinless below, round frs. 5/6 - 1 in. diam., not showing any persistent rudiment of the style, and usually with 5-6 segms.: seeds small, 3 ½ -5 x 3-3 ½ x 2-2 ½ lines, oval, blunt-pointed, the empty testa not projecting beyond the end of the embryo. —The round kumquat is perhaps the most handsome of the citrus frs. because of its dwarf habit, much-branched twigs, and small, bright orange-colored frs. CH
They are much hardier than other citrus plants such as oranges. The 'Nagami' kumquat requires a hot summer, ranging from 25 °C to 38 °C (77 ° to 100 °F), but can withstand frost down to about -10 °C °F without injury. They grow in the tea hills of Hunan, China, where the climate is too cold for other citrus fruits, even the Mikan (also known as the Satsuma) orange. The trees differ also from other citrus species in that they enter into a period of winter dormancy so profound that they will remain in it through several weeks of subsequent warm weather without putting out new shoots or blossoms. Despite their ability to survive low temperatures, kumquat trees grow better and produce larger and sweeter fruits in warmer regions.
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Pests and diseases
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The Round Kumquat (also Marumi Kumquat or Morgani Kumquat) is an evergreen tree, producing edible golden-yellow colored fruit. The fruit is small and usually round but can be oval shaped. The peel has a sweet flavor but the fruit has a sour center. The fruit can be eaten raw but is mainly used to make marmalade and jelly. It is grown as an ornamental plant and can be used in bonsai. This plant symbolizes good luck in China and other Asian countries, where it is sometimes given as a gift during the Lunar New Year. It's more commonly cultivated than most other kumquats as it is cold tolerant. It can be kept as a houseplant.
When the kumquats are divided into multiple species the name Fortunella japonica (Citrus japonica) is retained by this group.
Fortunella margarita, also known as the oval kumquat or the Nagami kumquat, is a close relative to Citrus species. It is a small evergreen tree, that can reach more than 12 ft (4 m) high and 9 ft (3 m) large. It is native to southeastern Asia, and more precisely to China. The oval kumquat has very fragrant citrus-like white flowers, and small edible oval orange fruits. The oval kumquat is an ornamental little tree, with showy foliage, flowers and fruits. It is also fairly frost-hardy, and will withstand negative temperatures such as 14 °F (-10 °C), and even a little lower for very brief periods. It can be grown in USDA hardiness zones 9 and warmer, but can also be tried in sheltered places, in USDA hardiness zone 8. Unlike most citrus species, the oval kumquat has a shorter growth period, and goes into dormancy fairly earlier in autumn. This partly explains its better frost hardiness.
The evergreen leaves of the oval kumquat are deep-green and relatively small. They can reach up to 3 in (7 cm) long and 1.5 in (3.5 cm) wide. The white flowers of the oval kumquat are similar to the citrus flowers. They are strongly perfumed, and they appear relatively late in the growing season, generally late spring.
The oval kumquat is a fruit that looks like any citrus fruit, with an orange rind. The fruits are oblong, up to 2 in (5 cm) long. Unlike the common citrus, which have a rind which is inedible raw, oval kumquats have an edible sweet rind. The flesh, however, is not as sweet as the rind, and is quite acidic and sour. This fruit is generally eaten fresh, with its rind. It can also be processed into preserves, jams, and other products.
The oval kumquat needs a well-drained and fertile ground. It dislikes alkaline soils. The oval kumquat is susceptible to common citrus pests and diseases.
The Jiangsu Kumquat or Fukushu Kumquat bears edible fruit that can be eaten raw. The fruit can be made into jelly and marmalade. The fruit can be round or bell shaped, it's bright orange when fully ripe. It may also be distinguished from other kumquats by its round leaves that make this species unique within the genus. It is grown for its edible fruit and as an ornamental plant. It cannot withstand frost.
When the kumquats are divided into multiple species the name Fortunella obovata (Citrus obovata) is used for this group.
Hybrids and homophones
Hybrid forms of the kumquat include the following.
- Limequat - lime + kumquat
- Orangequat - Satsuma mandarin + kumquat
- Calamondin - tangerine + kumquat
- Citrangequat - citrange + kumquat
- Mandarinquat - mandarin + kumquat
- Procimequat - limequat + kumquat
- Sunquat - lemon + kumquat
- Yuzuquat - yuzu + kumquat
Though loquats are not related botanically to kumquats, the terms originate in the same Chinese word designating "orange."
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963
- w:Kumquat. Some of the material on this page may be from Wikipedia, under the Creative Commons license.
- Kumquat QR Code (Size 50, 100, 200, 500)
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