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Old 03-16-2012, 07:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Seeds for Quất, possibly the most attractive and hardy citrus…

…and the size makes them suitable as indoor plants. Okay, I am finally back from
Vietnam with loads of pictures.
This time I was a “good boy” and did not bring back any plants. My great discovery on this trip was
the Quất, a very attractive
cultivar of the round kumquat family.

Oh, I have noticed that showy little tree before. After all, you cannot miss it if you visit Vietnam
during Tet, and I have done that twice before. But what is different this time, that I spotted this
plant, which was only 15” high form soil level to top of the tip of the highest leaf and sported 15 fruit.




Here are three other pics, not my own, but downloaded from the website, linked at the bottom
of this post:







Of course it was kept at that size by judicious pruning That sparked my curiosity and I did
some i-net searches:

The translation of quất ranges according to translate.google.com from kumquat to blueberry.

This is what I have come up with by going with kumquat through German to French and back to
German where the alternative translation to "die Kumquat" is "Zwergorange" which means in English
'dwarf orange' and that seemed to fit.

That finally led me to the Latin Fortunella Japonica. But the pictures did not match. The leaves are
too large and the fruit are spaced much too far apart.



Finally I ended up with the cultivar Tắc, Hạnh, Quất, Rutaceae. Họ Cam Quýt
Botanic name: Fortunella japonica (Thunberg) Swingle. Hereafter just “Quất”

- reputedly the most hardy citrus fruit, “can withstand -10^C without suffering damage”
- in Vietnam predominantly raised in (smallish) pots.
- from what I can see here (confirmation is difficult, due to language problem), the fruits appear
to stay on the trees for at least six weeks.
Quất info:
quất Tết - Těm với Google

I have some seeds available, if you send me a PM with your address



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Old 03-16-2012, 10:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seeds for Quất, possibly the most attractive and hardy citrus…

Looks like Mandarinquat.
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Old 03-16-2012, 05:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Seeds for Quất, possibly the most attractive and hardy citrus…

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Looks like Mandarinquat.

Not quite, Mandarinquat are oval like most quat I had been familiar with. The Fortunella Japonica
are round, shaped like mandarins. In my first attempt to collect seeds I inadvertently also
bought Mandarin oranges, as they look very similar. The skin of the Quất is smoother, shinier
though, as I learned in due time. Their seeds are also shaped differently, and I managed to
separate the mandarin seeds out from the first badge. But I set the remainder aside, although I
am almost certain of their identity, and will only send them out with a caveat, if I happen to run
out of the ones I am 100% sure of.



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Old 03-16-2012, 07:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seeds for Quất, possibly the most attractive and hardy citrus…

This is possibly the most cold hardy, edible citrus: Citsumaquat
Photobucket
It has that kumquat as one of the parents along with Satsuma mandarin and Poncirus trifoliata.
It has little fruits:
Citsumaquat fruit
But lots of them.
Photobucket
And it survived -5F (briefly) in Oklahoma City. It got damage, but is now growing happily in Chattanooga, TN at my house. It has no trifoliate taste. It basically tastes just like a kumquat. It was breed by Don Moorehead in Oklahoma City. He has had many other citrus hybrids survive but the fruits always have had at least some trifoliate flavor until this one.

Last edited by RobG7aChattTN : 03-16-2012 at 07:15 PM. Reason: adding photos.
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Seeds for Quất, possibly the most attractive and hardy citrus…

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobG7aChattTN View Post
This is possibly the most cold hardy, edible citrus:
And it survived -5F (briefly) in Oklahoma City. It got damage, but is now growing happily in Chattanooga, TN at my house. It has no trifoliate taste. It basically tastes just like a kumquat. It was breed by Don Moorehead in Oklahoma City. He has had many other citrus hybrids survive but the fruits always have had at least some trifoliate flavor until this one.
Sorry, I forgot to include a link to this website:
Fortunella japonica (Thunberg) Swingle. Tắc, Hạnh, Quất, Rutaceae. Họ Cam Quýt - a set on Flickr

QUOTE
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 (14.0 °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.
UNQUOTE

You have to scroll down past the Vietnamese language portion, to get to the (presumably)
same write-up in English



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Old 03-17-2012, 01:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seeds for Quất, possibly the most attractive and hardy citrus…

Species of Fortunella and some of the hybrids are definitely hardier than most Citrus species.

Many folks on this site grow oval or Nagami Kumquat (Fortunella margarita). It has a sweet tasting rind and sprite, tangy fruit. The fruit is typically eaten whole. Fruits are typically 1.25" to 1.5" long and about 0.75" wide. The rind is thick in comparison to the size of the fruit -- but it is also the main taste feature. The plants are smaller in stature than Citrus, so I grow all of mine on standard rootstock -- I see no reason for dwarfing rootstock even in a pot.

The Hong Kong Kumquat (aka round kumquat or golden-bean kumquat) is Fortunella hindsii. The fruit size is about the same length or slightly smaller than F. margarita. The skin of the fruit is not as sweet as F. margarita, and the fruit is also less flavorful -- although not unpleasant.

There are other interesting Fortunella species to discuss later, but for now I thought it worth mentioning these hybrids:

Calamondin (aka Calamansi in the Philippines) is a natural and also human-replicated hybrid of Hong Kong Kumquat x Mandarin. The fruit size is about the same as Hong Kong Kumquat. The rind is thinner than most Fortunella and a little bit less sweet. The fruit is quite sour. It is a popular ingredient in foods of the eastern hemisphere.

Mandarinquat is a hybrid of Nagami Kumquat and Mandarin. The fruits are round and larger than Nagami, about 1.5" to 1.75" in diameter. The rind is no thicker than Nagami but proportionally thinner because the fruit is larger. The rind is semi-sweet and the fruit flavor is tangy tangerine.

Looking at Olafhenny's picture of the plant in the room with the New York - London - Tokyo clocks, the fruit size appears to be larger than Fortunella species and the rind is a bit uncharacteristic as well. So perhaps it is Nagami or Meiwa Kumquat x Mandarin -- or another Fortunella unknown to western culture for all to enjoy.
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Seeds for Quất, possibly the most attractive and hardy citrus…

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Species of Fortunella and some of the hybrids are definitely hardier than most Citrus species.

Looking at Olafhenny's picture of the plant in the room with the New York - London - Tokyo clocks, the fruit size appears to be larger than Fortunella species and the rind is a bit uncharacteristic as well. So perhaps it is Nagami or Meiwa Kumquat x Mandarin -- or another Fortunella unknown to western culture for all to enjoy.
The photo was taken with a wide angle lens, That makes the fruit look much bigger than it
actually is. They are really just the size of small mandarins. Keep in mind, that the whole
plant is only 15 inches high from soil level to the top of the highest leaf.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
I see no reason for dwarfing rootstock even in a pot.
To me that was the main attraction, to have a fully fruiting tree in the home which is similar in
height to a pot of mums. It is also an important part of East Asian culture for ornamental plants.
See the pictures in my original post, for quất in particular and, more generally, for many
of plants for which I will still post pictures in other threads in the near future.
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seeds for Quất, possibly the most attractive and hardy citrus…

Poncirus trifoliata is often called Citrus trifoliata and is either a true citrus or a relative close enough to hybridize and to use as a root stock with true citrus. It is rated at zone 5 but the fruit is horrible tasting with bitter, pine-like oils. The Citsumaquat hybrid has taken brief exposure to -5F (-20.6C not -5C) and had also survived the previous very cold winter with little damage.

Last edited by RobG7aChattTN : 03-17-2012 at 06:40 AM. Reason: temperature conversion
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seeds for Quất, possibly the most attractive and hardy citrus…

Cold Hardy Citrus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:09 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seeds for Quất, possibly the most attractive and hardy citrus…

http://www.steffenreichel.homepage.t...trus/lime8.pdf
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seeds for Quất, possibly the most attractive and hardy citrus…

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olafhenny View Post
[size="3"]They are really just the size of small mandarins.
What you are describing is larger than the fruits of Fortunella species that I've known, so I'm still betting it is a Citrofortunella instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobG7aChattTN View Post
Poncirus trifoliata is often called Citrus trifoliata and is either a true citrus or a relative close enough to hybridize and to use as a root stock with true citrus.
Just to clarify the phrase "true Citrus" ...

The "Citrus Family" defined by the Linnean phenotype taxonomic system is "Rutaceae", which includes at least 177 unique Genera of plants (excluding synonyms) -- each of which often contains many species. Poncirus is one of those genera.

The "Citrus Subtribe" defined by the modern genotype taxonomic system is "Citrinae", which includes 32 unique Genera (excluding synonyms). It is narrower in focus than the Linnean Rutaceae family. The species of each of these genera are what most people -- including plant biologists think of as "Citrus". Poncirus is one of the included genera.

The "Citrus Genus" is defined in both the phenotype and genotype systems as "Citrus". The species of the Citrus genus include Citron (Citrus medica), Mandarin (Citrus reticulata), Pomelo (Citrus maxima) and their numerous natural hybrid species -- including oranges, grapefruit, etc.
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Seeds for Quất, possibly the most attractive and hardy citrus…

Richard, you have finally forced me to admit, that the quat are even larger than the largest
cherries I have ever eaten.

Tony, to the first article you have linked, the number of seeds in the Quất is very varied. I have
encountered fruit with a seed or two in every segment, but more often the whole fruit without
any seed at all. I would say they averaged about 3 to 4 seeds/fruit.

To your second article, the sweetness of the Quất rivals that of the sweetness of any citrus fruit,
I have ever sampled. I do have to add the caveat, though, that I only started eating them late
in the fruiting season, when they were fully ripened.


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Old 03-17-2012, 09:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seeds for Quất, possibly the most attractive and hardy citrus…

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olafhenny View Post

To your second article, the sweetness of the Quất rivals that of the sweetness of any citrus fruit,
I have ever sampled. I do have to add the caveat, though, that I only started eating them late
in the fruiting season, when they were fully ripened.
Hmm ... another reason to think they are not purely in the Fortunella genus. How was the flavor of the skin: similar to Nagami or more like an orange?
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:13 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Seeds for Quất, possibly the most attractive and hardy citrus…

Look, Richard, this is what it is: Botanic name: Fortunella japonica (Thunberg) Swingle.

It is small both in tree size and in fruit size, and it is as sweet and as flavourful as any citrus fruit,
I have ever tasted.

But that is not its main attraction for me. It is the beauty of the tree in full fruit as well as the
fact, that it can fit into any apartment, even a small one and the fruit appears to last at least six
weeks in full orange display.



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Old 03-18-2012, 12:43 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seeds for Quất, possibly the most attractive and hardy citrus…

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olafhenny View Post
Look, Richard, this is what it is: Botanic name: Fortunella japonica
I'm sorry if I offended you -- or if my curiosity was interpreted as some sort of argument. That's definitely not what I intended. I'm simply wondering about this interesting plant that you've obtained seeds for.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:23 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seeds for Quất, possibly the most attractive and hardy citrus…

I've seen Poncirus trifoliata listed as Citrus trifoliata and from what I've seen, it seems to go back and forth every few years.
Trifoliate orange - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Old 03-18-2012, 01:08 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Seeds for Quất, possibly the most attractive and hardy citrus…

Since this is my very first foray into growing any citrus, I have no clue how many years it
takes the average citrus from seed to fruit. I am trying to space out my seeds, so I have
a couple of them for each year until I can harvest my own, and I would appreciate any
estimate from experienced growers.





I have taken this picture in the garden of the Museum of Ethnicity in Hanoi. This fellow is obviously
setting on bloom for the first time, since he has no fruit in evidence. Those spoil sports at the
museum would not let me cut it down, so I could determine its age by counting the year rings





This is a blow up of a section of the above photo, to show the ID tag.


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Old 03-18-2012, 02:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seeds for Quất, possibly the most attractive and hardy citrus…

The key is developing a root mass capable of nurturing fruits through to maturity. Also, the above ground structure needs to be robust enough to physically support the fruit. In breeding programs for small citrus, the typical cycle time is 7 years which includes the fruit maturation period (bud set to ripe fruit). Under ideal conditions you can grow Fortunella species from seed and harvest a dozen fruits in just under 5 years.
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:49 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seeds for Quất, possibly the most attractive and hardy citrus…

I've heard that Poncirus trifoliata can form fruits in 4 years from seed and that some Grapefruits can take 12 years to fruit. I have some Poncirus trifoliata 'Flying Dragon' that did not fruit (or bloom) after maybe 6 years. I dug them up and then decided not to replant them so who knows when they would have formed fruit.
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:52 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seeds for Quất, possibly the most attractive and hardy citrus…

Quote:
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I've heard that Poncirus trifoliata can form fruits in 4 years from seed and that some Grapefruits can take 12 years to fruit. I have some Poncirus trifoliata 'Flying Dragon' that did not fruit (or bloom) after maybe 6 years. I dug them up and then decided not to replant them so who knows when they would have formed fruit.
Why not graft them ?
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