Citrus Winter Treat

Where’s the fun on this snowy winter day? For local turkeys, the birdfeeders are empty, so they keep on looking for something new. 

At Plant Exchange blog in the dead of winter, we crave the stored sunshine and Vitamin C of citrus fruits and like discovering more about them. Sumo Mandarin is a special treat, a Japanese cross of Satsuma, orange, and mandarin citrus. 

It is just now in the local grocery store. It takes a bit of delicate handling and is now grown in California and Australia. The seedless, sweet Sumo was developed in Japan, and the trees are mature to fruit after four years.

Sweet oranges are a more common treat in winter. No wild orange exists on earth since it is a cultivated hybrid cross of pomelo and mandarin citruses. Chinese literature spoke of oranges in 314 BC. Columbus brought orange seeds with him to plant in the New World. 

Then and now, orange seeds grown from hybrid fruit may produce an infertile tree or disappointing fruit. Instead, the sweet orange variety is grafted onto a hardy rootstock for predictable results.

The orange is a modified berry; its rind is the ovary wall, with fruit segments containing about 80 % water. It is said that 14 gallons of water are required to grow an orange in California, one of the United States’ producers of sweet oranges, along with Florida. The largest producers are Brazil, India, and China. How citruses originated and grew makes them taste more flavorful in winter.

Thanks for visiting Plant Exchange blog on this winter day. Hope to see you next week!

One thought on “Citrus Winter Treat

  1. Satsuma oranges are a type of Mandarin oranges. When I grew citrus trees in the early 1990s, we grew several cultivars of Mandarin orange, including at least one tangerine, but only one was a Satsuma orange. It was the ‘Owari Satsuma’, which was an oddly floppy tree, but perhaps the best fruit of the several cultivars that we grew. ‘Algerian’ Mandarin orange was my favorite of those that we grew, but the flavor was a bit too simple for those with more discriminating taste.

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