Calamondin trees are known as one of the most beautiful citrus trees in Florida. They have been cultivated since the early 1900’s and they were used to make orange juice until the late 1970’s when it was discovered that their fruit would drop its leaves if disturbed. Because of this, they were never commercially grown again. However, there are still many varieties of calamondin trees growing wild throughout Florida and other parts of North America. These trees are very hardy and adaptable to a wide range of climates. Some of these varieties include the “Florida” variety, which is native to southern Florida; the “Cherry Blossom” variety, which grows along the east coast from Virginia through Georgia; and several others.
The name calamondin comes from the Spanish word calamares meaning “white”. The name “calamondin” means “white flowers” or “white fruits.” The first recorded use of the word calamondin dates back to 1821.
It is believed that the name came from the fact that these trees produced white blossoms with red spots (calymonds) and red fruits (calamas).
The calamondin is a small tree that can reach a height of 8 to 10 feet. It has glossy, dark green leaves with a pointed tip and round edges.
The leaves are small and thin similar to the key lime with a twist shape. It has white flowers that bloom during spring to early summer followed by orange to yellow fruits that ripen during the summer months. The fruits are about half a inch in diameter and look like small oranges with thin skin.
The fruits of the calamondin are commonly made into marmalade, juice, and jelly. They have a very sweet and aromatic flavor that is much like a mixture of lemon and mandarin orange.
Calamondin marmalade is a traditional staple in the British Isles where it is commonly served on toast or used as an addition to tea. The fruits are also commonly made into preserves or used to make a drink somewhat similar to lemonade.
There are many benefits to having a tree like the calamondin in your landscape. Most of the plants in the citrus family have proven to lower the risk of certain types of cancers and lower cholesterol.
They also add sweetness to any garden with their beautiful flowers and delicious fruits. While they can grow in large containers, they will produce more and grow bigger if planted in the ground.
The calamondin is not a true citrus fruit, but a hybrid of a kumquat and either a citrange or an orange. It gets its name from the Filipino “kalamunding”, which is in turn thought to come from the Indonesian “jakunan” (a small, round citrange fruit with a thick skin), via the Malayalam word “chakolmundi”.
Bakers Delight – Your local bakery. They can make cakes and other products with your fruit, even if you don’t own a tree!
The calamondin is a hybrid of a kumquat and either a citrange or an orange, hence its scientific name Fortunella margarita x Citrus sinensis. It is thought to have originated in China, and was brought to the West via Singapore and the Phillipines, hence another of its common names ‘Gulf orange’.
Sources & references used in this article:
Turnover of tritiated water in calamondin plants. by A Mantell, EE Goldshmidt, SP Monselise – Journal of the American …, 1980 – cabdirect.org
Sequence of chloroplast degreening in calamondin fruit as influenced by ethylene and AgNO3 by AC Purvis – Plant physiology, 1980 – Am Soc Plant Biol
Genetic instability in calamondin (Citrus madurensis Lour.) plants derived from somatic embryogenesis induced by diphenylurea derivatives by M Siragusa, A Carra, L Salvia, AM Puglia… – Plant Cell Reports, 2007 – Springer
Effect of temperature on calamondin (Citrus microcarpa) flowering and flower bud formation by YT Lai, IZ Chen – Acta Horticulturae, 2008 – actahort.org