Fortunella Margarita is the smallest citrus known today!
The Citrus Kumquat, also commonly called Fortunella margarita (in honor of the British botanist Robert Fortune who imported it into Europe in 1800) or Chinese mandarin, is a small fruit shrub belonging to the family of rutaceae, the same of the common lemon. The name derives from the pronunciation of oriental characters that mean "golden tangerine". Although it has been cultivated for a long time in Japan, it is native to China where it grows spontaneously. In the Mediterranean basin and in Italy, cultivation in pots is much more frequent. We have news of this plant since the twelfth century literatures. It is an outdoor plant, which blooms from spring to summer, with white flowers slightly fragrant Produces edible fruits resembling a small orange but with the slightly larger size of an olive, very acidic taste, often used for jams and candied. It is the smallest citrus known today. The difference with Fortunella Japonica or Japanese Mandarin is exactly in the shape of the fruit: in the latter they are round. The Kumquat grows well in a bright place or at most in half shade, in fertile soils and with a good content of organic matter. It should be watered only when the soil is dry, abundantly, especially if the weather is hot: a lack of water could drop the fruit. In winter, on the other hand, it is advisable to reduce the amount of watering. It resists well even in cold temperatures if it is covered by a non-woven fabric and protected from drafts. Fertilization should be done at the end of winter after the fruits have been harvested, at the beginning of the vegetative period, preferably with a specific fertilizer for citrus fruits.