Nurseries, 2012 – 2013 Citrus List
Our list is comprised of varieties our favorite growers provide. The probability that we have all of them at the same time is slim. We book citrus 6 months in advance of their shipment and then bring in several loads. Once the growers are out of a variety, it may be a year before it becomes available again. Please remember that patience is a virtue. If you want a particular variety listed, call for availability or email your request, including your phone #, to [email protected]. When it comes in…we will let you know.
Due to strict Department of Agriculture laws, citrus may not be brought into the State of Texas. We can only buy certified Texas-grown citrus and the tags must say where they came from. RCW will not ship citrus or any other plant via mail. We do offer delivery in the Houston area.
Calamondin (Citrofortunella mitis) Attractive quarter-sized oranges on a hardy, upright, small tree rarely reaching 10 feet tall. Typically used as an ornamental and does well in a pot. Fragrant flowers add a nice scent to your garden several times a year followed by an abundance of small fruit. The fruit has a sweet rind and the pulp is tangy and seedy. Use in marmalade, add a zip to iced tea or as a flavoring. The Giant Swallowtail butterfly will lay eggs on this tree. A great source for sling shot ammo. Harvest all year long. A variegated form is often available. Citron aka Buddha Hand (Citrus medica) This small, thorny, bushy tree bears a fruit that looks like the love child of a lemon and a squid. The 6 to 12 inch long fruit develops by splitting from the blossom end. As the carpels separate, they look somewhat like human fingers. The yellow fruit has no pulp, no seeds and is solid albedo (definition on page 6). The flowers, leaves and new fruit are usually tinted a purplish-brown. The unusual looking fruit is highly prized in Asian cultures and is used in religious ceremonies. The fruit is also used in perfumes, as an air freshener (hang it up or set it in a bowl), used in making jams, candies and infused into alcohol, syrups and in salad dressing. On the down side, it is VERY frost-sensitive and should be kept in a large pot. Harvest your “squitrus” from late summer to early winter. Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) In the Houston area, they grow to12’ tall and about 12’ wide. Grapefruit tend to be more acidic than oranges and Satsumas. They start to ripen in December and will continue to stay good on the tree until early to mid-spring. Bloomsweet Quite possibly a cross between a pummelo and a sour orange. Pear shaped, juicy and sweet with white pulp. It is easy to peal and cold hardy. As an upright, narrow tree…it is great for a tight spot or a small yard. Cocktail Someone crossed a Frua Mandarin with a Pummelo and out popped this jewel. With a taste and appearance similar to a grapefruit, without an acidic bite and extra sweet and juicy…this is a winner. Duncan This white pulp variety is one of the hardiest around. It is seedy but is very juicy with a superior flavor. All other grapefruit are judged against it, as far as flavor goes. Golden An exceptional variety with golden flesh with a sweeter and milder flavor than other grapefruit. Oro Blanco Cross an acidless pummelo with a white grapefruit and you get this big “Sweetie”, as it is sometimes called. The thick, green rind is easily peeled away from the sweet, juicy, white and nearly seedless flesh. The fruit ripens from September to December on a vigorous tree. Rio Red Grows up to 20’ tall with a juicy, deep red flesh wrapped in a smooth skin. Seedless and low in acid this large fruit is very popular. Ruby Red Sweet, red flesh, and it’s almost seedless. The most cultivated of the “red” grapefruit. Produces up to 250 a year on a mature tree…set up the farm stand…from October to May. RCW Nurseries, Inc. 2012 – 2013 Citrus List Kumquat (Citrus fortunella [disputed name]) A miniature tree in size and shape, growing to 8’x 8’, hardy to 17°, ripening in late November. Eat them skin and all. Used in candy and marmalade. Chang Shou A large, juicy, thick-skinned kumquat with fewer seeds and a sweet mild flavor. This is a small thornless tree with larger leaves than the average citrus tree. Meiwa (sweet) Large, round, spicy, sweet, flesh and rind. Meiwa is nearly thornless and usually eaten fresh. Harvest October to March. Nagami (sour) Egg shaped, oval and juicy. Bright orange skin is sweet, flesh is tart. The fruit will keep well on the tree. This sweet and tart treat is my personal favorite. Harvest October to March. Lemon (Citrus limon) When it comes to preparing food, lemons are the most important citrus of all. Whether it is on fish, baked into a pie (acceptable as a bribe for the RCW nursery gurus) or on your tortilla chips, picking one off your own tree can’t be beat. Citrus of the Valley A selection of a Meyer Lemon introduced by Hines Nursery that was found in the Rio Grande Valley. It has better virus and leaf miner resistance than other Meyers. Eureka This is your standard market lemon, everbearing with large crops yearly and a nice tart flavor. Medium-sized fruit that is nearly seedless and yellow when mature. Harvest July to March. Improved Meyer Was developed through a cross between a lemon and a Satsuma orange, with a thin, smooth-skinned fruit that is everbearing. The sweet fruit (not suitable for most fish dishes) ripens in late summer and is juicy yet low acid. Hardy to 25°, grows 12’ to 15’ tall and bears reliably year after year. A dwarf form is available. Harvest August to March. Iranian Large fruit like a Ponderosa, with thin skin and easily peeled, but more cold tolerant than most lemons. Lisbon A vigorous tree with medium-large, juicy and acidic fruit. Has a prominent nipple and few to no seeds. The main crop ripens in February with a second, smaller crop in May. Ponderosa These are huge lemons, about the size of grapefruit, with a thick rind and large flowers. Hardy to 25° and ripens year round. Somewhat seedy and needs pruning for good shape. Gangly as a young tree, but eventually out grows it. Ujukitsu The origins of this sweet lemon are mired on the internet…regardless of its lineage…this pear-shaped, softball sized, tasty & mild fruit can be stabbed with a straw and consumed out of its own biodegradable package. Variegated Pink Interesting, cream-colored variegated leaves and striped fruit with pink flesh…think… natural pink lemonade. Lemonquat (Citrus limon x fortunella) Cross any citrus with a kumquat and the resulting tree is hardier than the non kumquat parent. Sunquat An interesting cross between lemon and kumquat. A nicely shaped tree to 15’ tall and wide. Mature fruit is yellow and lemon like, and kind of seedy. Thin skinned and juicy. Eat them peel and all…like their kumquat parent. A dwarf form is available. RCW Nurseries, Inc. 2012 – 2013 Citrus List Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) Limes are second only to lemons in importance as a flavoring for food. Plant in a very well-drained bed (listen up…they do not like our clay soil or staying too wet) or in a large pot in full sun. Plant them on the south or southeast side of your home to provide the extra protection these gems need. Limes tend to be more of a large shrub than a tree. Kaffir (Citrus hystrix) Used in Asian cooking and hardy to 30°. The young tender leaves are edible and the rind is great for zest (anyone for Key Lime Pie?). The fruit is bumpy with little to no pulp. Add the flowers to tea and the leaves to potpourri. Key A small, thornless tree with thin skin and few seeds. Very productive, but it is frost sensitive. Prune yearly to keep this one a size you can easily cover. Mexican A thorny, small tree with a medium-sized fruit. It bears heavily with very aromatic, juicy and acidic fruit and hardy to 25°. Harvest all year long. Palestinian This is a low acid, sweet, medium-sized, juicy, yellow fruit with a mild flavor and few seeds. Crazy as it seems, this is not a true lime. It is hardier than other limes and a dwarf form is available. Persian (Citrus latifolia) Also known as Bears Lime. The fruit is larger than Mexican lime. Acidic and juicy, flesh matures to yellow and has a thin skin. Cold hardier than Mexican and the tree grows up to 20’ tall. They are everbearing and seedless with a characteristic nipple on the blossom end. Fruit ripens from winter to spring. This is the common market lime. Limequat (Citrus aurantifolia x fortunella) Cross any citrus with a kumquat and the resulting tree is hardier than the non-kumquat parent, a big plus when it comes to limes on the Gulf Coast. Eustis This cross of a West Indian lime and a kumquat produced a small, bushy tree that produces abundant fruit at a young age. Its small, juicy, oval fruit have a sweet skin and a strong lime-flavored pulp. A great option if you do not want to drag out the freeze cloth. Harvest all year round. Lakeland Slightly larger and fewer seeds than Eustis. Named after Lakeland, Florida…but we won’t hold a grudge. Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) A native to China, is thought to have received its name because the skin of the orange is similar in color to the robes worn in Imperial China. The mandarin orange comes in a wide range of sizes, from the size of an egg to a medium-sized grapefruit. All are easy to peel. Honey Murcott is the true name of this small, easy-to-peel flattened fruit. With a very sweet flavor, you might be able to overlook the seeds. Very late to ripen (start checking in November), Honey will extend your harvest until spring. Honey is one of the few citrus that will tolerate some afternoon shade, which helps to prevent sunburn on the fruit. Kishu Early maturing on a medium-sized tree, combined with thin bright orange rind that is easy to peel, juicy and with few seeds - you couldn’t ask for much more. Performs well in a pot and sets reliable crops, with fruit that holds well on the tree…I guess we just got more than we asked for. Pong Koa Upright-growing tree that is cold hardy. Large, uniform and crisp-sweet fruit is packed with flavor, easy to peel and ripens in November. Great for a small yard. Ponkan Upright-growing tree with large sweet fruit that is easy to peel and ripens in December. Mandarinquat Cross any citrus with a kumquat and the resulting tree is hardier than the non-kumquat parent. Indio A kumquat crossed with a mandarin hybrid with orange, bell-shaped fruit that is much larger than a kumquat. The sweet peel, along with tart flesh creates a unique flavor. Eat right from the tree or turn into marmalade. RCW Nurseries, Inc. 2012 – 2013 Citrus List Orange (Citrus sinensis) Possibly a cross between a pummelo and a mandarin, native to Southeast Asia. Sweet oranges are the most commonly grown and sour oranges are used as the rootstock for the sweet ones. They typically have thick skins, making them good for shipping. Sunkist claims that the bigger the navel…the sweeter the orange will be. Usually more sensitive to cold than mandarins and satsumas. Cara Cara A medium-sized tree with medium-sized, navel-type fruit and a deep orange rind. An early-ripening variety with red flesh and a rich sweet flavor, plus a hint of grapefruit that is hardy to 26°. Marrs Navel A sport of Washington found in 1927 in Donna, Texas. A compact plant with large, usually seedless, low acid, sweet flavor and a thick peel. Bruises easily…so not a good shipper, ripens in late September, bears heavily in alternate years. Moro Blood Deep red-to-almost-purple flesh after a cool snap with an unusual berry-like flavor early ripening and productive. Navel N-33 A medium to large tree with a thick rind, rich in flavor, juicy and seedless. Pineapple A highly productive tree with medium/large fruit that is flattened on the ends. Great for juicing…has seeds. Found as a seedling in 1860, bears heavily in alternate years. Republic of Texas A thorny, mean tree with excellent juicy and tasty fruit. Tough and cold hardy, this variety is one of the oldest known to Texas, dating back to the 1800’s. Valencia Is the most widely grown orange in the world. Introduced to Florida in 1870. Medium- large, seedless and thick skinned fruit makes for great eating fresh or for juicing. All other true oranges are judged against this beauty. Planting this one allows you to harvest from February to June, when no other citrus are ready. Washington Navel The classic California navel orange is seedless, easy to peel and has a large, protruding “navel”…hence the name. A nice balance of sweetness and acidity, with easily separated carpels. Orangequat Cross any citrus with a kumquat and the resulting tree is hardier than the non kumquat parent. Nippon A cross between a kumquat and a Satsuma, tasty and sweet. Fruit ripens over a long period of time, from November to April. Pummelo (Citrus maxima) Pummelo is the largest fruit in the citrus family, on trees up to 50 feet tall…face it…it ain’t gonna get that tall here. In their native Southeast Asia, they grow in the coastal areas with ample rain. They grow on flood plains and can tolerate brackish water…hello people on the coast…listen up here. Pummelo are one of the oldest cultivated citrus and one of the parents of grapefruits. Chandler A large tree bearing huge (more like freakishly huge) fruit that is pink and sweet. A very thick skin hides this real treat. Ripens in November. Hirado Buntan A chance seedling found in 1910, in Japan. This whopper is the second most cultivated citrus on the Japanese islands. Its pale greenish-yellow, sweet pulp has been classified as sub acid. The variety is unusually cold tolerant. Sarawak Grown on a large vigorous tree and said to be sweet, juicy and having a melon- like flavor, with a greenish pulp and rind. These giants will hold well on the tree. RCW Nurseries, Inc. 2012 – 2013 Citrus List Satsuma (Citrus reticulata) Native to Japan’s Satsuma province, they were considered to be a divine fruit, served only to the aristocracy. Their origins can be traced back to the 15th century. They were only shipped out of Japan in the early 1900’s. Basically they are a branch on the mandarin family tree, as they were isolated on the island of Japan. They are hardy to 26 degrees (some say 22°), Satsumas are like Camellias and come in early, mid and late season varieties. Planting one of each type will provide you with fruit from fall to early spring. At 10’ by 10’ and a kind of weeping posture, you can grow a lot in a small space. Usually seedless and easy to peel, they are an excellent choice. Brown Select Slightly more cold tolerant than Owari with extremely sweet, seedless fruit. Ripens a week or 2 earlier than Owari. Kimbrough From Louisiana, this large, spreading tree yield a large fruit with an excellent flavor and few seeds. Since the fruit can be ripe without the peel turning orange, start checking the fruit in late October….pick through December. Little Sweetie A naturally small tree with small, very sweet fruit, like a Clementine. Miho A great choice, this extremely cold-hardy tree bearing seedless, sweet fruit ripening in late September to early October. Okitsu Wase Fast-growing, compact tree with seedless, low acid fruit with a good flavor. Same as Owari…ripens earlier than most. Owari The original Satsuma. Slow growing to 10’ to 12’. Produces heavily with sweet and nearly seedless pulp, peels easily. Ripens October through December. Hardiest of all mandarins. Seto Early maturing and very cold hardy with a smooth, thin skin. Best if harvested before Thanksgiving. Variegated Similar in taste to Owari with beautiful variegated foliage and fruit… Tangelo (Citrus paradisi x reticulata) A cross between a tangerine and a pummelo. Generally easy to peel. Easily recognized by their nipple-shaped stem end. These guys need pollinizers…try a Clementine. Orlando A cross between a Dancy tangerine and a Duncan grapefruit, making for a juicy and sweet with a mild flavor. Harvest November to January. Wekiwa A cross between a grapefruit and a Sampson tangelo, produced a fruit that looks and taste like a pink grapefruit, but is sweet like a tangerine. Tangerine (Citrus reticulata) The word tangerine has a long history and was first recorded in 1710. It means…pertaining to Tangiers…and things that came through the Port of Tangiers were stamped Tangier or Tanger. Crates of citrus were also stamped this way, and called tangerine oranges (oranges from Tangiers, an adjective). The fruit was actually a mandarin orange. Today, there is a distinct difference between mandarins and tangerines. These are the true tangerines. Algerian (Clementine) An early ripening, seedless, small fruit, with a very sweet flavor and reddish- orange skin, easy to peel and almost thornless. Grows up to 12’ tall and always a good choice, but harder to find than most.popularity has its drawbacks. Needs a pollinizer…try Sunburst, Orlando or Wekiwa tangelos. Harvest October to December. Dancy One of the oldest varieties in Florida, it is a large, upright, hardy tree. Since the peel is so thin, they can freeze on the tree. Dancy fruit can be widely variable in size, somewhat seedy and may bear heavily in alternate years. The peel is very thin and easily damaged so cut the stem instead of twisting the fruit off the tree. Here is the good news…does not need a pollinator. Harvest from December through January. Sunburst Crossing two hybrid citrus, Robinson and Osceola, created a big red-orange, thin skinned, nearly seedless and rich-flavored fruit. Needs a second variety for best production, and then bears heavily. Try Clementine, Orlando or Wekiwa…are you seeing the trend here with Tangerines and Tangelos? And now for some stuff we want you to know… Citrus are easy, just follow the rules, and the fruit will follow.
• Full sun is not negotiable…except for Honey Mandarin (see page 3). • Don’t scrimp on bed prep…ever…build high, well-drained beds. • Maintain even moisture…or your fruit will crack. • Use a good citrus food that provides extra Zinc and Magnesium. • Use organic fertilizer…you’re gonna eat ‘em ain’t ya? • Prune to control height and shape. • No matter how many flowers you have only 1% to 5% will set fruit…that’s the kind of thing we
• Fruit drop happens. It is common on young trees and we recommend you remove the fruit the first
year to promote a healthier root system. Your tree will abort excessive fruit to reduce stress. Excessive water during a hot rainy fall can cause up to 25% of the fruit to drop off a mature tree.
• Excessive water also contributes to root rot and leaf yellowing…did you read about the bed prep? • As soon as you see new growth, start spraying with Spinosad and liquid garlic to control leaf
miners. The next week use Neem Oil and liquid garlic. Switch back and forth for the best control. When leaves stop growing and get tough…stop spraying.
• Monitor your trees for the newest, nasty bug in town, the Asian Citrus Psyllid. They carry
Huanglongbing (we did not make up that word!!!) aka Citrus Greening Disease. Go to www.SaveOurCitrus.org (Click on signs and symptoms) or www.aphis.usda.gov/citrusgreening (click on publications in the middle of the page). Not all of the bugs carry the disease. If you find them act immediately. We have been advised to use a systemic insecticide (rendering this year’s crop inedible) and spraying weekly with contact killing insecticides.
• If it looks like a bird pooped on your tree…leave it alone…it’s a Giant Swallowtail butterfly larva.
They only eat the leaves and are never so numerous as to be a problem…and the adults are really pretty and help with pollination.
• Christopher Columbus brought the 1st citrus seeds and seedlings to the New World on his second
• Citrus are actually a type of berry. • The segments of pulp are called carpels. • The white part beneath the peel is called albedo. • If you plant an orange seed, you will not get the same fruit you ate. • Only 20% of all citrus grown are eaten fresh. • The oils of citrus flowers, leaves and twigs are important to the perfume industry. • After chocolate and vanilla, orange is the world’s favorite flavor. • Our citrus are grafted. Watch for and remove any growth that sprouts from the root stock. It will
have clusters of 3 leaves, develop huge thorns and grow VERY quickly. It will outgrow the graft (the part you want and paid for) and is so aggressive it can cause the graft to die. We can show you what to look for.
• Know your variety. Know when your fruit should start ripening. Remove one that looks smells
and feels ripe. Perform a taste test: if it passes, harvest can begin. If it fails, wait a week and try again. Your fruit will not ripen all at once…which is a good thing.
• Some seedless varieties can produce fruit without pollination…this is called parthenocarpy.
Washington navel is an example, but most need to be pollinated by bees…GO BEES! A few need a second variety to produce well, check the list.
And now for some stuff we want you to know…
• If you have space, carefully select varieties that will not ripen all at the same time to extend your
• http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/homefruit/citrus/citrus.html is a great page to learn
more about problems you may be having…but no pictures.
• http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/HS141 is a great page with good pictures. • We perform taste tests if you need a second opinion. • Fruit offerings to the RCW Garden Gurus are accepted 7 days a week…help us appease the garden
Ok…now you know everything you need to select and grow great citrus…
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