Articles

Citrofortunella microcarpa (Bunge) Wijnands

Citrofortunella microcarpa (Bunge) Wijnands

Family

Rutaceae

Synonyms

Citrus microcarpa Bunge, Citrus mitis Blanco, Citrofortunella mitis Blanco.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia

Limau kesturi, limau chuit.

English

Calamondin, China orange, golden lime.

Indonesia

Jeruk peres, jeruk kasturi, jeruk potong.

Philippines

Kalamondin, kalamansi, limonsito.

Thailand

Sommapit (Trat), somchit (Bangkok), manao-wan.

Vietnam

Tac, hnh.

French

Calamondin.

Geographical Distributions

This species is almost for certain originated in China as a natural hybrid between a sour, loose-skinned mandarin, probably Citrus reticulata Blanco var. austera Swingle and a kumquat, perhaps Fortunella margarita (Lour.) Swingle. It subsequently spread and was widely distributed in the Orient, especially in Indonesia and the Philippines, during early times. At present, it is widely grown in India and throughout South and Southeast Asia. It can also be found in Australia, Japan, the United States, the Bahamas, some islands of the West Indies and parts of Central America.

Description

Citrofortunella microcarpa is an evergreen, straight and columnar shrub or treelet. It is 2-7.5 m tall with a long taproot. The stem is slender and slightly spiny with upright branches.

The leaves are arranged alternate, elliptic to obovate, and measuring 3-8 cm x 1-4 cm. The base is acute while margins are slightly crenate. The apex is retuse and slightly notched or acute, glossy dark green above, pale green below and aromatic when crushed. The leaf stalk is about 1 cm long and narrowly marginate.

The inflorescences are axillary with 1-3 flowers. The flowers are white and fragrant. They are 2 cm wide. The sepal is 5-toothed. There are 5 petals that are elliptic-oblong and measure 1-2 cm long. There are 20 stamens and the filaments are united in a tube.

The fruit is a nearly globular to spherical berry that measures up to 4.5 cm in diametre and depressed or flattened at apex. The rind is greenish-yellow to orange-red, thin, loose and with numerous oil glands. There are 6-10 segments with small axis and semi-hollow. There are 0-11 seeds which are obovoid, small, plump and usually polyembryonic.

Ecology / Cultivation

This species thrives in warm climates but can also grow in cool but frost-free areas. It thrives in an evenly distributed rainfall of 1500-2000 mm/year. Areas with long dry periods are equally suitable, provided irrigation is available. It is predominantly grown in the lowlands. It can grow over a wide range of soil types from clay loam to limestone to sand. However, it performs best in a well-drained, sandy or clay loam soil rich in organic matter with a pH of 5.5-7.0. It is moderately drought-tolerant but cannot withstand strong winds.

Line Drawing / Photograph

Citrofortunella_microcarpa

References

  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 2: Edible fruits and nuts.