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Kumquats and their Cousins

History

- Native to South East China
- An ancient and revered plant long cultivated in China and Japan and originally classified as Citrus japonica.
- Introduced to the West by Robert Fortune, a plant hunter, in 1846 and re-classified (because of botanical differences in the fruit) as its own species with the name Fortunella.
- The older name of Citrus is now considered valid hence the confusion in horticulture where it sometimes called Citrus and sometimes called Fortunella.
- Now widely grown throughout the world for commercial purposes and as a culinary and ornamental amenity plant.

Characteristics

- Slow growing
- Small fruit, mostly oval
- Medium to thick edible rind that is sweet, aromatic and spicy with an acid base
- Not much pulp i.e. few segments usually more acid than the rind
- Fruit holds well on the tree
- Small pointed seeds if any at all
- Fruit will set without being pollinated and therefore be seedless
- High levels of calcium and potassium along with Vitamins C

Cultural

- Likes the sun but will tolerate a little shade
- Well drained fertile soil
- Doesn't like strong wind
- Will tolerate higher levels of cold and heat that other Citrus
- Still best to protect from harsh frost when young
- Pollinated by bees
- Often has heavy crops so some thinning out of fruit may be required
- Ripe towards the end of autumn/winter but holds well on the tree

Culinary Purposes

- Marmalade
- Asian Style Cooking
- Candied Peel
- Chutney
- Can be preserved whole

NB - All parts of the Kumquat can be eaten, often the skin is sweeter than the flesh.

Most Popular Varieties For Culinary Purposes

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Kumquat Ngami(Fortunella margarita)Oval Kumquat
Kumquat Marumi(Fortunella japonica)Round Kumquat
Kumquat Meiwa(Fortunella hybrid)Large Round Kumquat
Limequat(xCitrofortunella)Lime x Kumquat

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Wairere Nursery
826 Gordonton Road, R D 1, Hamilton Ph: (07) 824 3430 Email:     Open 7 days 8:30am-5pm