The Kumquat is a native Chinese citrus fruit known for its tart-sweet flavor and small, adorable size. This cold hardy variety is ideal for cooler climates and, when potted, for small outdoor spaces.
Self-fertile with an upright growth habit and rounded canopies, kumquat trees grow tiny, white aromatic blossoms in the spring which set fruit that can be harvested typically November-April, depending on the variety.
Kumquats themselves are very small, about 1" in length and referred to as "little golden gems". You eat them, peel and all. The peel is the sweeter component and the juice is tart and sometimes sour. Most kumquats have seeds, which should not be eaten.
Like all citrus plants, Kumquat trees thrive in well-draining soil, south facing direct sun and protection from frost. They can be grown indoors with proper indoor citrus care.
There are four main species of kumquats available: The Marumi, Meiwa, Nagami and the ornamental Hong Kong Wild. In addition to these, there are many unique varieties of kumquat hybrids.
Here are 8 Great Kumquat Varieties that we grow here at Four Winds Growers:
- Nagami Kumquats- The most popular variety in the US. Medium, oval sized fruit with a bright orange, thick peel and a sweet-tart pulp and juice.
- Marumi Kumquats-This ancient Chinese variety has small, round fruit with a thick yellow-orange rind. Very juicy. Not a common commercial kumquat.
- Meiwa Kumquats- This variety is a hybrid of the Nagami and the Marumi Kumquat. Large, round fruit with a smooth, thick rind and sweet juice. This is the most popular variety in Asia, and great eaten fresh.
- Nordmann Seedless Kumquats- Similar size and flavor to Nagami, with lighter skin, a teardrop shape and no seeds. Medium sized yellow-orange fruit, thick rind, sweet; pulp tart, fairly juicy. Tastes like Nagami, but seedless.
- Fukushu Kumquats- This variety is a hybrid of the kumquat and the mandarin and is commonly candied in China. This tart and juicy fruit is large and round, with a thinner edible peel.
- Centennial Variegated Kumquats- This Four Winds favorite is a beautiful ornamental tree that produces large sized, striped kumquat fruit. The tart and juicy fruit is oval with a slight neck and thin rind. It is green striped when young and ripens to a light orange color.
- Eustis Limequats- Just as the name suggests, the Eustis Limequat is a hybrid of the Marumi kumquat and a West Indian lime. The oval fruit and thin yellow peel have a tart-sweet, acidic flavor. This ornamental tree is more cold hardy than a typical lime tree, and a good option for those who can not grow limes.
- Indio mandarinquats- An ingenious cross between a Nagami and a Dancy mandarin. Its large, bell shape and bright-orange peel make this tree very beautiful as well as practical. Indio mandarinquats are a sour variety and taste best in beverages or as a marmalade.
- BONUS VARIETY: Calamondin- The calamondin, or Calamansi, as it is called in the Philippines, is a kumquat - sour mandarin hybrid that is not only ornamental, but grows delicious, addictive calamondin fruit for beverages, soups and dressings. The fruit is small, round and has a unique sour flavor. The peel is not eaten unless candied, and this fruit is typically juiced. This variety also comes in a lovely, variegated variety.
"Varieties of kumquats, hybrids"
"Kumquat Tree Care"
"Planting Kumquat Trees in Containers"