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Kumquat

Kumquat

Kumquats are believed to have originated in China. The kumquat is a shrub and was only a member of the citrus family until 1915 when the decision was made to re-classify it as part of the Fortunella genus. However, kumquats share many of the physical characteristics of their citrus cousins. Kumquat trees reach a height of only between 8 and 15 feet. The dark green leaves range from 1 1/4 to 3 1/2 inches in length. The flowers are white. The three to six segmented fruit, technically berries (hesperidium), are quite small, ranging from slightly over a 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches in width with yellowish or orange-reddish peel. The seed content depends on the variety with some varieties classified as seedless. Fortunately for tree growers in marginal citrus growing areas, the kumquat is exceptionally cold tolerant surviving 10 to 15º of frost without damage. Popular varieties of kumquat include 'Hong Kong', 'Marumi' and 'Nagami'.