Monday, May 27, 2013

What is Calamondin?


For many years the calamondin, or calamansi was grouped in the Citrus genus. It is now thought to be a hybrid, a cross between a tangerine (genus Citrus) and a kumquat (genus Fortunella) and has its own genus, Citrofortunella.  This fruit originated from China and has been described in Chinese literature as early as 1178. 

The Calamondin is a small tree, 7 to 25 ft. in height. The orange colored fruit are round to oblate and up to 1 ¾ inches wide. The peel of the fruit is sweet and edible while the juice is quite acidic.

Calamondins can be used to flavor anything where lemons and limes would be used and are often served with iced tea and seafood.  They were common in Florida before limes became plentiful.  Calamondins can also be preserved whole in sugar syrup, or made into sweet pickles or marmalade; a favorite is a calamondin-papaya marmalade.

 Calamondins haves been reported to promote hair growth when the juice is applied to the scalp after shampooing. Rubbing calamondin juice on insect bites removes the itching and irritation. 

In regards to horticultural care, calamondins should be treated as other citrus.