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This kumquat has the smallest fruit of any citrus or close relative. They are the pea-sized, with three or four segments and contain a single, relatively large seed. In ripe fruit the skin is soft, and the seed is often split open to reveal the green cotyledons inside.
The photos below show a fruiting twig collected from my plant in autumn, a close-up of a cluster of fruit, and details of the fruits and seeds. The largest fruit is 15mm diameter.
Page updated 22 Dec200, re-drawn 22nd March 2008
There are three varieties of Limequat, resulting from different crosses between Citrus aurantifolia and Fortunella. They were produced in Florida, USA, and named "Lakeland", "Eustis" and "Tavares" after towns in that state. I am growing the last two of these.
Both varieties produce very ornamental plants which fruit prolifically.
One article I have read recently suggested that genetic investigation pointed to Tavares being a lemon x kumquat hybrid. Its shape and colour seems to confirm that suggestion.
The photo below shows a Bears' Lime on the left with a Tavares Limequat at bottom right and a Eustis Limequat top right. The Tavares is a rather larger fruit than the average length of about 4cms, but shows the typically more elongated shape than the Eustis variety. The Tavares fruit is a strong yellow colour when ripe, whereas Eustis often ripens patchily with pale yellow and green areas.
A man-made cross between two of the varieties described above - the Eustis limequat and the Golden Bean kumquat.
My plant was from last year's budwood
and has just started to flower. The flowers are very similar to F. hindsii, but the leaves are remarkably elliptical in shape, and with a distinctive notch at the tip. The leaf shown is 4.5 cms long.
Also known as Changshou, this is not universally accepted as a distinct species, some consider it to be a hybrid of the round kumquat.
My plant produces fruit of rather variable size - the one pictured is one of the largest at 4cms diameter.
Like other kumquats the flesh is sharp, but the soft-textured peel is not acidic.
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