Even though a kumquat is about the size of a grape, it packs a powerful punch of sweet-tart citrus taste in every bite.
Kumquat means “golden orange” in Chinese. Our knowledge of the fruit’s cultivation dates back to China’s 12th century, but we have no idea how old it is.
The Kumquat was brought to Europe only in the mid-1800s, despite being a staple in Southeast Asian countries like China, Japan, India, and Taiwan for centuries before that. It was being grown in North America by 1850. Several other nations, including warmer parts of the United States like Florida and California, are now growing them as well.
The flavor of the Kumquat is distinctively lemony. The fruit has a small sweetness, but it’s mostly tart and sour.
The peel of a kumquat is surprisingly tasty. The fruit’s tastiest component is really the skin. Kumquats include a lot of vitamin C and fiber, which makes them very healthy. Compared to most other fresh fruits, bananas provide more fiber per serving. Additionally, kumquats are a good source of dietary fiber and a number of B vitamins as well as minerals, including iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
Fortunella margarita, generally known as nagami Kumquat, is the most widely planted variety of Kumquat. Chinese kumquats and other kumquat-related fruits are quite popular throughout Asia, particularly in China. A thick and rather delicate texture characterizes the tree, which is modest to medium-sized in stature. Since the trees go into semi-dormancy in the late fall and early spring, they’re exceptionally resilient to cold temperatures.
Small leaves and shortened internode spacing are common symptoms of zinc deficiency in kumquat plants. Kumquats bloom throughout the summer and bear fruit in the winter when they’re still firm. One and a quarter inches length by three-quarters of an inch broad, the average Nagami fruit is oval in form. The orange peel is delicious, and the light orange meat is acidic. Therefore the whole thing is eaten. There are typically five or six seeds in each fruit, depending on the variety. It contains fruit that ripens in the late winter or early spring and is one of the most resilient citrus varieties.
Nagami kumquat has spherical or slightly oblate, oblate, occasionally obovate, and smaller fruit in comparison to this one. Kumquat trees, also known as Marumi or Morgani kumquat trees, provide tasty golden-yellow fruit. The fruit is sweeter and has a thinner, thinner peel, but it has a sour interior. The fruit may be eaten raw or cooked, but it’s most known for its usage in jams and jellies. It may be used in bonsai or as a decorative plant.
Outside of China and Japan, it’s quite unusual to see it in use.When it comes to the Lunar New Year, this plant is often presented as a gift to wish someone good luck. Due to its cold tolerance, it is more widely cultivated than most other varieties of kumquats. It’s a good houseplant.
FortunellaCrassifolia, the Meiwa kumquat, is a species of Kumquat that is less well-known. A Nagami-like tree, this one can’t be budded onto all the same rootstocks as the Nagami kumquat Meiwa seems to prefer Trifoliate as a rootstock. Small leaves and shortened internode spacing are common symptoms of zinc deficiency in kumquat plants. Meiwa trees, like Nagami trees, go into a semi-dormant state in the winter. Thus they can survive temperatures as low as 0°F. Summer is the time of year when the flowers bloom, and winter is when the fruits mature.
Almost round in shape, the ripe fruits become orange and measure up to 1.5 inches in diameter. The sweet rind is thicker than the Nagami rind, giving it a sweeter appearance than Nagami when compared side by side. Light orange in color, the flesh contains a few seeds and has a tart taste. Citrus japonica, the Japanese citrus, was the initial classification for kumquats until they were given their own genus designation in 1915. Robert Fortune, a gardener best known for bringing the Kumquat to Europe in 1846, was honored with the new genus’s moniker.
Nordmann Seedless Kumquat
Like Nagami, but a little smaller, lighter-skinned, and lacking the dreaded seeds. Small; teardrop form, tapering toward stem end; thick, yellow-orange rind; acidic pulp; pulp that tastes like Nagami; seedless. Medium size. Like Nagami, the tree in the Citrus Varieties Collection produces high yields. The size of the fruit varies, but it looks to be similar to Nagami. This is a stunning tree, but you’ll have to look hard to locate it. In California, it is commercially available in extremely limited quantities.
When comparing Nordmann Seedless Nagami Kumquat to another citrus, it’s important to note that the peel is what makes them stand out. Despite its little stature, this rare cultivar bears a bountiful harvest.
Postharvest life may be shorter and the skin thinner than in Nagami, both of which may be due to the seeds’ lack of plant hormones.
The tree has a fine, rich texture and is about the same size as a regular Nagami kumquat. It goes into a semi-dormant state in the winter, making it more resistant to cold temperatures. Summer is when the flowers bloom, and winter is when the fruit ripens. Typically hanging in clusters, the fruits can be up to two inches long and three-quarters of an inch broad.
Fukushu Kumquat/Jiangsu Kumquat
The obovate orchid (Ortunella) Fukushu is a beautiful shrub that grows to be a small tree in the wild. Other kumquat species have narrower leaves and smaller fruit than this one. The fruit is oval in shape and about 1 1/2 inches long. The peel is thin and tasty, but there are few seeds in the flesh. Without protection, this robust species can endure low temperatures of about 28°F. Fukushu grows to a height of 6-10 feet when planted in the ground but is only as tall when grown in a container. It has fragrant summer blooms and fruit that ripens in winter.
Because of its huge, delicious fruit, the Changshou Kumquat is a rare and hard-to-find variety. Fruit ripens all year long and is covered with fragrant white blooms during the spring and summer. In comparison to other kumquat kinds, Changshou’s pear-shaped fruit is bigger in size and contains five to six segments of fruit under the sweet, thin skin.
Centennial Variegated Kumquat
The vertical growing pattern of the Centennial tree makes it a tiny shrub. The tree is thornless and has a delicate texture. The immature fruits are striped light green and light yellow, while the leaves are variegated pale yellow and cream. When the fruit reaches maturity, it turns orange, and the striping fades away. The fruits have a smooth rind and are oval with a neck and a length of up to two and a half inches. Acidic, juicy, light orange and low-seeded describe the flesh. Winter is when the fruit matures, and it does well to stay on the tree. It may work well in marmalade.
Centenary Variegated Kumquat Citrus Trees are extremely rare cultivars resulting from an unidentified breeding project’s accidental variegation of the genetic material. Because of how delicious it tastes, it’s supposed to be a mix between a Nagami Kumquat and a mandarin.
The Eustis Limequat was first cultivated in Florida in 1909 and is the most widely distributed of the Limequats. This fruit combines the greatest qualities of both its parents, giving you the juicy Key Lime flavor and the thin, eatable peel of the Kumquat all in one fruit. It’s as simple as picking, washing, slicing, and eating!
These plants can withstand the elements and require minimal maintenance if you reside in a region that supports citrus trees.
Kumquat Key lime is a fruit hybrid. Green to yellow skin and lime-flavored meat define this fruit. In both appearance and flavor, it’s eerily similar to the Key lime. This is a fantastic choice for a pot because the tree will stay tiny. Key limes and Persian limes are less cold-tolerant than limequats. Put the seeds in well-drained soil that gets full light. Adaptable from zones 9 to 11.
Citrus hybridized with the Mandarin Orange and Kumquat, thus the name. It got its “grown-up” citrus flavor from its parents, which was largely sweet with a touch of sour, like a sour Mandarin.
It is edible in its whole, including the skin. The sweetest part of the Kumquat is the peel, as is true of all Kumquats. However, the Indio Mandarinquat is one of a kind because of its large size and distinct Mandarin taste.
Chinese Mandarinquats are small to medium-sized fruits with a teardrop form and a tapering neck. Their diameter ranges from 2 to 4 centimeters, and their length is 5 cm. The fruit’s aromatic, the glossy peel becomes dark orange as it ages, and it’s completely edible. There are 3-10 little rectangular seeds in the brilliant orange flesh, which is separated into 6-7 segments by thin membranes and is sensitive, soft, and delicious. Initially sweet and crunchy, Mandarinquats develop an acidic, sour taste and a juicy, soft texture when eaten whole.
Calamansi is a cross between a kumquat and another Citrus species (formerly supposed to be a different genus Fortunella) (in this case, probably the mandarin orange). The calamondin is considered to be a Chinese native and was brought to Indonesia and the Philippines by early explorers. As a result, it became a major source of Citrus juice in the Philippines and is now extensively grown in India, southern Asia, and Malaysia.
About an inch in diameter, the edible fruit is orange and looks like a little tangerine. The peel is thin and smooth, and it ranges in color from yellow to yellow-orange. Calamondins can be planted as an attractive dooryard tree or as a tub or container plant in colder places where citrus isn’t typically cultivated. Calamondins do well as both. It can tolerate some drought.
A hybrid of the Kumquat (formerly regarded to be a different genus Fortunella) with another Citrus species, the calabash, gives us the Calamansi fruit (in this case, probably the mandarin orange). Originally from China, the calamondin is now found in both Indonesia and the Philippines. It became the most major source of Citrus juice in the Philippines and is extensively grown in India and throughout southern Asia and Malaysia.
The edible fruit is a little orange tangerine, about one inch in diameter. Orange to yellow-orange peel is thin and smooth, and it may be peeled off easily. When planted as an attractive dooryard tree, calamondins can also be used as a tub or container plant in colder climates where citrus isn’t typically cultivated. It can tolerate a certain amount of drought.
Kumquat is a tasty treat, and the plant is so flexible that it’s often used as a potted house plant as well as a decent fruit-bearer. One of the most interesting characteristics of the plant is the edible peel. Thanks to its ability to produce hybrids, Kumquat offers a decent variety that is beyond the scope of any small list. And more varieties are always being discovered as botanists aim for hardier varieties with better shelf lives and even better taste kumquat offers right now.