tangelo seeds


Citrus paradisi × Citrus reticulata

Tangelos range from the size of a standard sweet orange to the size of a grapefruit, but are usually somewhat necked at the base. The peel is fairly loose and easily removed. The pulp is often colorful, subacid, of fine flavor and very juicy. The trees are large, more cold-tolerant than the grapefruit but not quite as hardy as the mandarin. Nucellar embryos are not uncommon in these hybrids and most of the cultivars are self-sterile, so a majority come true from seed. Tangelos are not commonly grown in California but are produced commercially and in home gardens in Florida. They are much more satisfactory on limestone in southern Florida than the sweet orange and are prized for their quality.

Among the better-known tangelo cultivars are:

Plate XIX: TANGELO, Citrus × tangelo

‘K–Early’ (‘Sunrise Tangelo’)–a hybrid propagated by growers. It is an early-maturing cultivar of such poor quality that it gave tangelos a bad reputation. The Official Rules Affecting the Florida Citrus Industry require that it be sold only as ‘K-Early Citrus Fruit’.

‘Minneola’ –a hybrid of ‘Bowen’ grapefruit and ‘Dancy’ tangerine; oblate, faintly necked; medium-large, 3 1/4 in (8.25 cm) wide, 3 in (7.5 cm) high; peel deep red-orange, thin, firm, not loose; pulp orange, with 10-12 segments, melting, sweet-acid; of fine flavor; 7-12 small seeds, green inside. Late in season. Ships well. If crop is left too long on tree, the next crop will be light. Bears better if honeybees are provided and if ‘Temple’ tangor is interplanted as a pollenizer, but the ‘Temple’ is not as cold-hardy as the ‘Minneola’, and the trees tend to crowd each other. The ‘Minneola’ needs fertile soil, irrigation and adequate nutrition. Effects to increase production of seedless fruits include spraying the blooms with gibberellic acid, or girdling during full bloom. The former reduces fruit size and the latter may induce virus outbreaks causing scaling and flaking of the bark.

‘Nova’ –a ‘Clementine’ tangerine and ‘Orlando’ tangelo cross made by Dr. Jack Bellows in 1942, first fruited in 1950, and released by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Horticultural Field Station, Orlando, Florida, in 1964. Fruit is oblate to rounded, of medium size, 2 3/4-3 in (7-7.5 cm) wide, 2 1/2-2 3/4 in (6.25-7 cm) high; peel is orange to scarlet, thin, slightly rough, leathery, easy to remove; pulp dark-orange, with about 11 segments, of good, sweet flavor; seeds numerous if cross-pollinated; polyembryonic, green inside. Early in season (mid-September to mid-December). Does very well on ‘Cleopatra’ rootstock. The tree resembles that of the ‘Clementine’ tangerine, its twigs are thornless, and it is more cold-hardy than ‘Orlando’. This cultivar is self-infertile and trials have shown that ‘Temple’ tangor is a good pollenizer.

‘Orlando’ (formerly Take’)–result of ‘Bowen’ grapefruit pollinated with ‘Dancy’ tangerine, by Dr. Swingle in 1911. The fruit is oblate to rounded, of medium size, 3 in (7.5 cm) wide, 2 3/4 in (7 cm) high; peel deep-orange, slightly rough, not loose; pulp deep-orange, with 12 to 14 segments, melting, very juicy, sweet; seeds 10-12. Early in season but after ‘Nova’. A good commercial fruit in Florida. Needs cross-pollination by ‘Temple’ tangor, or by ‘Dancy’ or ‘Fairchild’ tangerines. The presence of honeybees, even without interplanting with a pollinator tree, has greatly increased yields. ‘Cleopatra’ mandarin is often used as a rootstock on sandy soils, but higher yields have been obtained on sweet lime and rough lemon in Florida. In Texas, ‘Orlando’ is most productive on ‘Swingle citrumelo’, ‘Morton citrange’, ‘Rangpur lime’ and ‘Cleopatra’ mandarin. Fruit quality is best on ‘Morton citrange’, sour orange, ‘Sun Cha Sha Kat’, ‘Keraji’ and ‘Kinokune’ mandarins.

‘Seminole’– a hybrid of ‘Bowen’ grapefruit and ‘Dancy’ tangerine; oblate, not necked; medium-large, 3 1/4 in (8.25 cm) wide, 2 3/4 in (7 cm) high; peel deep red-orange, thin, firm, almost tight but not hard to remove; pulp deep-orange with 11-13 segments, little rag, melting, of fine, subacid flavor; seeds small, 20-25, green inside. Early in season but holds well through March. Tree vigorous and high-yielding, scab-resistant; leaves with faint or no wings, tangerine-scented.

‘Thornton’– a tangerine-grapefruit hybrid created by Dr. Swingle in 1899; oblate to obovate, a little rough and lumpy, puffy with age; medium-large, 3 1/4 -3 3/4 in (8.25-9.5 cm) wide, 2 7/8-3 1/4 in (7.25-8.25 cm) high; peel, light-orange, medium-thick, almost loose, easily removed; pulp pale- to deep-orange, with 10-12 segments, soft, melting, juicy, of rich subacid to sweet flavor; seeds slender, 10-25, green inside. Matures from December to March. Tree vigorous and high-yielding, large-leaved, well adapted to hot, dry regions of California. Fruit is a poor shipper.

Fig. 40: The ‘Ugli’ tangelo of Jamaica is believed to be a chance hybrid between a Mandarin orange and a grapefruit.

‘Ugli’ –believed to be a chance hybrid between a mandarin orange and grapefruit. The discoverer, G. G. R. Sharp, owner of Trout Hall Estate, Jamaica, reported that it was found growing in a pasture around 1917. He took budwood and grafted onto sour orange, and kept on regrafting the progeny with the fewest seeds. Sharp was exporting to England and Canada in 1934 and to markets in New York City in 1942. The fruit is obovoid, compressed to nearly oblate, necked at the base, puffy; large, 4 1/4 to 6 in (10.8-15 cm) wide, 3 1/4-4 1/2 in (8.25-11.5 cm) high; peel is light-yellow with light-green areas at apex, leathery, loose, medium-thin; albedo is thick; pulp light-orange, or apricot, divided into 12 segments with tough membranes, easily skinned; tender, melting, very juicy; of fine flavor, superior to grapefruit, only faintly bitter; seedless or with 3 or a few more medium-sized seeds, white inside. In Jamaica, matures in December and January.

In January 1942, Kendal Morton purchased fruits on the New York market, sent 2 to Dr. H. Harold Hume of the University of Florida, and 4 to Dr. H J. Webber of the University of California, Riverside. Dr. Webber was able to examine them only at the Quarantine Station but he wrote up the description for the first edition of the book, The Citrus Industry, by Batchelor and Webber. He planted the seeds and reported that, of 13 seedlings, 6 had strongly mandarin-scented leaves, 3 had weak-mandarin scent, and 4 had leaf-scent reminiscent of grapefruit or sweet orange leaves. Dr. Webber passed on in 1943 before he could carry out his plans to bud 2 trees from each seedling. Dr. W. P. Betters, Associate Horticulturist, reported that in 1947 the 4 seedlings still in the nursery were bearing fruit, mostly in May-June; the fruits averaged 6 in (15 cm) in diameter, the peel was orange-yellow with a slight tendency to regreen in the spring, the albedo was very thick and fibrous, the flavor of the orange, juicy pulp was good but with a grapefruit tang, and there was, on the average, one seed in each segment. These trees were destroyed in 1951 because they were in the path of campus development, but budwood was taken for propagation and the new trees were beginning to bear in 1954. The ‘Ugli’ was considered a good fruit for home dooryards in California and was being tried as a rootstock for lemon. The ‘Ugli’ is little known in Florida. James McClure of Lake Placid has a few trees that bear in February. There are small groves of ‘Ugli’ in South Africa. In New Zealand a similar fruit has been grown since 1861 as “Poor-man’s orange”, or “Poorman grapefruit”.

Tangelo Citrus paradisi × Citrus reticulata Tangelos range from the size of a standard sweet orange to the size of a grapefruit, but are usually somewhat necked at the base. The peel is fairly

Tangelo Tree Information: Learn About Tangelo Tree Care & Cultivation

Neither a tangerine or a pummelo (or grapefruit), tangelo tree information classifies the tangelo as being in a class all its own. Tangelo trees grow to the size of the standard orange tree and are more cold hardy than grapefruit but less so than the tangerine. Delicious and sweet smelling, the question is, “Can you grow a tangelo tree?”

About Tangelo Trees

Additional tangelo tree information tells us that technically, or rather botanically, tangelos are a hybrid of Citrus paradisi and Citrus reticulata and named thus by W.T. Swingle and H. J. Webber. Further information about tangelo trees indicates that the fruit is a cross between the Duncan grapefruit and the Dancy tangerine of the family Rutaceae.

An evergreen with fragrant white flowers, the tangelo tree produces fruit looking much like an orange but with a bulbous stem end, smooth to slightly bumpy rind and an easily removable peel. The fruit is prized for its extremely juicy flesh, slightly acidic to sweet and aromatic.

Propagating Tangelo Trees

Because tangelos are self-sterile, they reproduce almost completely true to type through seed propagation. Although not commercially grown in California, tangelos require a climate similar to southern California and are indeed cultivated in southern Florida and Arizona.

Propagating tangelo trees is best done through disease resistant root stock, which can be obtained online or through the local nursery depending upon your location. Minneolas and Orlandos are two of the most common varieties, although there are many others to choose from.

Tangelos grow best and are hardy in USDA zones 9-11, although they can also be container grown indoors or in a greenhouse in colder climes.

Tangelo Tree Care

Promote the formation of healthy roots in the young tree by watering 1 inch (2.5 cm.) of water once a week during the growing season. Don’t mulch around the tree or allow grass or weeds to surround the base. Citrus trees do not like wet feet, which fosters root rot and other diseases and fungi. Any of the above around the base of your tangelo will encourage disease.

Feed tangelo trees as soon as new growth appears on the tree with a fertilizer specifically made for citrus trees for optimal production and general tangelo tree care. Early spring (or late winter) is also a good time to prune out any diseased, damaged or problematic branches to improve air circulation and general health. Remove any suckers at the base as well.

The tangelo tree will need to be protected from temps below 20 F. (-7) by covering with a blanket or landscape fabric. Tangelos are also prone to infestation by whiteflies, mites, aphids, fire ants, scale, and other insects as well as diseases like greasy spot, citrus scab, and melanose. Keep a close eye on your tangelo and take immediate steps to eradicate any pest or disease.

Lastly, tangelos need to be cross pollinated with another variety or citrus to fruit. If you want some of that delicious, extremely juicy fruit, plant a variety of citrus such as Temple orange, Fallgo tangerine, or Sunburst tangerine no farther than 60 feet (18 m.) from your tangelo.

Neither a tangerine or a pummelo (or grapefruit), tangelo tree information classifies the tangelo as being in a class all its own. Learn more about this fruit and how to grow it in the following article.