Thursday, June 20, 2013

Nagami Kumquat

Kumquot Illustration 1906
 Kumquots are citrus-like small fruits.  They may be classified as citrus or as Fortunella margarita

Via Monrovia, Kumquots are native to China.  Small tree, fruit with thin sweet rind and sour juicy flesh. 

Kumquat flowers
Last year, I bought a 1 foot tall Nagami kumquot and kept it on the deck.  If I remember correctly it did have some fruit at the time.  I don't know why I didn't taste them.  It overwintered OK indoors.  Now it's on the deck at the Battleground place.  It did not look enthusiastic this Spring.  About 2 weeks ago I repotted it into a larger, wooden container, watered, and am feeding with a diluted acid-loving plant fertilizer.  1/4 teaspoon per gallon, same as for Meyer Lemon.

Via Wikipedia, Kumquats are Citrus japopica "margarita": or Fortunella japonica.  They are more cold tolerant than most citrus, survive down to 18F. 

The flowers are small and fragrant, similar to other citrus.  The trees bloom in late Spring and the fruit matures in early fall. 

Kumquat at Corfu
From the Purdue horticulture website, Kumquats were mentioned in Chinese literature in 1178 AD and in Western literature in 1646.  Nagami was introduced to London in 1846. 

For growth in containers, Kumquats need to be on dwarfing rootstock (trifoliate orange, Poncirus trifoliata, flying dragon), not rootbound, and have regular watering and feeding.  I did let mine dry out rather badly last winter, and it survived.

Via gardening.ktsa.com,  Kumquats are later blooming than other citrus.  The fruit is aromatic and spicy.  The fruit matures in November.

From greenzonelife.com, kumquats grow poorly on their own roots.  Kumquat dormancy is profound, and they break dormancy later than other citrus. 

All photos here are cropped from photos on commons.wikimedia.org.



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