The Nagami or Oval Kumquat (Fortunella.margarita) is the most common variety in the
United States. It was introduced into Florida from Japan in 1885 and
has been grown commercially
in the "Kumquat Capitol," Saint Joseph, Florida
The Nagami Kumquat is oval in shape, 3/4" to 1" in diameter
and between 1" to 2" long. The tartness
of the fruit makes them great for use in cooking and/or
for marmalades and jellies.
The tree is shrub like and is similar
to an orange tree in appearance. It is a prolific bearer and very
decorative because of the dark green leaves and brilliant orange
fruit. The fruit lasts for several months
on the tree in warm winter climates.
trees do very well when planted in the yard or in larger pots. They
can withstand temperatures as low as 28 degrees and require about
the same care as other citrus. They can be grown throughout Florida,
but produce larger and juicier fruit when grown in the sandy
soils on the hills of eastern Pasco County in central Florida.
The kumquat tree is highly resistant and possibly immune to citrus canker.
a Kumquat (cumquat)?
word KUMQUAT is Chinese for "Gold
Orange" because of the color of the fruit.
How do you eat a Kumquat?
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been called "the little gold gems of the citrus
family". They are believed to be native to China
and were included in the genus
about 1915 when Dr. Walter T. Swingle set them
apart in the genus
Fortunella. (in honor of the British
horticulturist, Robert Fortune who introduced the
kumquat to Europe in 1846). "Cumquat" is the
common British spelling of the name for the fruit.
There are four varieties (species) of kumquats.
They are the Hong Kong Wild (Fortunella
hindsii), Marumi (Fortunella japonica),
Meiwa (Fortunella crassifolia), and
Nagami (Fortunella margarita). The two most common
kumquats grown in the United States are the
Kumquats have a very distinctive taste. It is the only citrus fruit that
can be eaten "skin and all." The peel is the sweetest part and can
be eaten separately. The pulp contains the seeds and juice, which
is sour. When eaten together, you get a sweet and sour taste which
is unlike anything else. The seeds, however, should not be eaten.
They are similar to the seed of the orange and have a distinctive
green color. The seeds also contain pectin, which can be removed
by boiling for use in making jams and jellies.
Meiwa or Large Round Kumquat (Fortunella.crassifolia) is grown
extensively in China. In Japan, it is also
called the ninpo or neiha kinkan. It was introduced into the
United States from Japan in 1910, but is still
somewhat rare here.
Meiwa kumquats are more round in shape
and are often referred to as "sweet kumquats".
They have few seeds and are best eaten
whole. While they are very good to eat, it is not
recommended that you use them for cooking
or for marmalade as they lack the tartness
of the Nagami kumquats.
The Meiwa kumquats are not normally available
commercially. However, we have had some requests
for them in the last few years. Call or E-Mail for availability and pricing.