What is the Kumquat tree?
The kumquat tree is also referred to as the Citrus Japonica. The plant symbolizes good luck and is native to eastern Asia. However, different varieties are also found in other parts of the world including in Europe and North America. These slow-growing shrubs have dense branches, with a few thorns, and can grow up to 15 feet tall.
This flowering fruit tree has broad glossy dark green leaves and produces small white flowers in the flowering season which is in early spring. The flowers which occur individually or in clusters then grow into a bounty of bright orange kumquat fruit. The deliciously tart and sweet orange fruit from this tree looks like oranges in color and shape. They’re olive-sized and are on the cold hardy variety of the fruits. They’re sweet with an acidic hint on the pulps and should be eaten whole, the rind and all because there are very few seeds in there.
Different kumquat tree varieties
Just like many plants out there, the kumquat plant is available in many different varieties. All these fruit trees produce a citrus fruit that is round and tastes like oranges. Let’s dive right in:
- Nagami kumquat
Also called the oval kumquat or Fortunella margarita. The fruits have an oblong shape and very few seeds
- Marumi kumquat
The fruits are round in shape but larger and less sweet than the Nagami kumquat. They’re less ideal for eating whole but are better preferred for making marmalade.
- Hong Kong kumquat
This wild kumquat variety is also called the Fortunella hindsii. Its fruit is very small and bitter so it’s used as an ornamental plant.
- Meiwa kumquat
The Meiwa kumquat is also called the Fortunella crassifolia. Its fruits are larger, sweeter, and juicier than the Nagami kumquat variety, hence more scarce and more expensive.
- Jiangsu kumquat
This kumquat variety is also called the Fukush kumquat or Fortunella obovate. It’s easily distinguished by its round leaves.
- Malayan kumquat
This kumquat variety originates from the Malay Peninsula and is commonly referred to as hedge lime. Its fruit is similar to limequat.
- Centennial variegated kumquat
This kumquat variety grows more compactly than the typical Nagami kumquat plant. The leaves and fruits have variegated colors.