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Calamondin, the Miniature Orange

Known as the "miniature orange" Calamondin has an orange flesh, a zesty acid juice with a fine lime-orange flavor.  Because of this, it is often grouped with the limes.  It is grown mainly as an outstanding ornamental, which is often trained as a bonsai.  It will bloom year-round; filling the air with the aroma of citrus blossoms.

Originating in China, Calamondin has flowers and fruits that often appear at the same time!  The juice of the Calamondin can be used like lemon or lime to make refreshing beverages, to flavor fish, to make cakes, marmalades, pies, preserves, and sauces.  Calamondin halves or quarters may be served with iced tea, seafood and meats, to be squeezed for the acid juice. Since these fruits are thin skinned, they only will keep in good condition for 2 weeks at 48º to 50º F.  

The Calamondin is a dwarf tree that has upright branches with very few thorns and can grow up to 10 feet high.  It is erect, slender, often quite cylindrical, densely branched beginning close to the ground.  Calamondin develops an extraordinarily deep taproot and tolerates a variety of soils.  The flowers are self-fertile and require no cross-pollination.

Calamondin provides a prolific fruit production on its handsome compact habit, and is popular and outstanding as a container plant. This cold tolerant ornamental tree with small, sour orange fruit can survive in a temperate climate.  This unusual lime can be grown in a pot and brought indoors during winter months.  In a tropical climate, of course, it can be kept outdoors year round.

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