Calamondin --- Little Orange Tree

Calamondin
@MALUSE (44537)
Uzbekistan
June 21, 2018 2:36pm CST
We call our plant Little Orange Tree, but this is not its official name. The Latin term is Citrus mitis, but the English and German gardeners' sites on the net use the term Calamondin (which I'm going to use from now on). The term comes from Tagalog, the language of the Philippines. 'Kalamunding' means:  1) a small citrus tree  2) the small, tangerine like fruit of this tree   This perennial shrub is a cross between the kumquat and the tangerine. The fruit soon earned the nickname 'acid oranges' because of their taste which is both sweet but also so acid that it's hard to swallow a bit without pulling a face. It closes the holes in your socks as the Germans say. We haven't got it, however, to have a supply of fresh vitamins at all times, but because it looks nice. We bought the Calamondin eight years ago. It stood on the window sill of our living-room for a while. But then it started growing and growing. We took it up to the (uninhabited) flat on the second floor which has a sunny room. We've decided to leave it there all year round.  It‘s become too heavy to carry. It likes it there. The leaves are dark green and shiny and it's full of fruit. It's difficult to count the fruit because one characteristic of the calamondin is that it has white blossoms, tiny dark green fruits the size of a marble, ripe orange fruits the size of a table-tennis ball and everything colour-wise and size-wise in between simultaneously. Another characteristic is that the ripe calamondins rarely fall off. I may have picked up about five from the carpet over the years. This means that it is really a very attractive plant for a flat or a house. There's always something new to look at and the smell of the blossoms is lovely.  You may want to know how we care for and maintain our Calamondin so that it's thriving well. What we did right according to the guidelines is that the pot has a considerable size and the roots have room to expand. It gets many hours of afternoon sunlight provided the sun is shining, of course. It stands in front of the door of a balcony. When the door to the balcony is open, it gets fresh air but no draught.  "Water your Calamondin sparingly and according to growth stage and season. It requires a thorough watering to the point of soaking the roots once every 10 days or so" is what the guidelines say. We haven't had to inform ourselves what to do in case of spider mites, foliar mealy bugs, aphids and scale insects which seem to love Calamondins as we've never discovered any.  Now we come to the last point, the mystery surrounding our specimen. Where do the Calamondins come from? According to the laws of botany, someone or something must pollinate the blossoms, right? But I can't tell you who or what is the pollinator in our house. The door of the balcony is only open when I'm sitting outside. I've never noticed bees, bumble-bees, wasps or hornets (we've got a hornets' nest in the attic) doing the job. There's no wind in the room. We've never acted as pollinators ourselves using a paintbrush to dab each blossom. We'll never know, but we're grateful to the unknown and diligent pollinator(s).
15 people like this
14 responses
@just4him (128382)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
22 Jun
Is the picture, your tree? Wonderful information. I'm afraid it would die in my apartment. I don't have a lot of sunlight as my windows don't face the sun except for a couple months in summer.
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (44537)
• Uzbekistan
22 Jun
I got the photo from the net. I'm afraid that without constant sunlight the calamondin wouldn't feel good.
2 people like this
@just4him (128382)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
22 Jun
@MALUSE I'm sure if my apartment face a different direction it would be better.
@Corbin5 (119040)
• United States
22 Jun
I would love to have a Calamondin of my very own. As to the someone or something pollinating the blossoms of your plant certainly is a mystery.
@MALUSE (44537)
• Uzbekistan
22 Jun
Someone left a comment explaining that there is such a thing as self-pollination. Strangely, the comment has disappeared.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (119040)
• United States
22 Jun
@MALUSE And, another mystery befalls us. Let's just go with self-pollination to ease our minds.
@MALUSE (44537)
• Uzbekistan
22 Jun
@Corbin5 Gremlins at work?
1 person likes this
@SIMPLYD (84425)
• Philippines
28 Jun
I think that is our version "kalamansi" here . Although, we don't pick it ripe but raw, so it can be made into lemonade. I have heard of "kalamonding" but I think it's different from our kalamansi.
@MALUSE (44537)
• Uzbekistan
28 Jun
Isn't the lemonade very sour?
1 person likes this
@Inlemay (17140)
• South Africa
25 Jun
I have such a tree - we call them Kumquats and I make a delicious preserve from them
@MALUSE (44537)
• Uzbekistan
25 Jun
I've never eaten the fruits in any form or shape. Aren't they too bitter?
@Inlemay (17140)
• South Africa
25 Jun
@MALUSE I make them like a marmalade preserve - so they get lots of sugar, but they are still a little bitter.
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (33440)
• Canada
22 Jun
Very interesting! I wonder who or what does the pollinating? Have you eaten any from your tree?
@MALUSE (44537)
• Uzbekistan
23 Jun
I haven't eaten the fruits. They are too acid. I've found this explanation on Wikipedia concerning self-pollination: One type of automatic self-pollination occurs in the orchid Ophrys apifera. One of the two pollinia bends itself towards the stigma. Self-pollination is when pollen from the same plant arrives at the stigma of a flower (in flowering plants) or at the ovule (in gymnosperms). There are two types of self-pollination: in autogamy, pollen is transferred to the stigma of the same flower; in geitonogamy, pollen is transferred from the anther of one flower to the stigma of another flower on the same flowering plant, or from microsporangium to ovule within a single (monoecious) gymnosperm. Some plants have mechanisms that ensure autogamy, such as flowers that do not open (cleistogamy), or stamens that move to come into contact with the stigma.
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (33440)
• Canada
23 Jun
@MALUSE Interesting!
@AKRao24 (21310)
• India
21 Jun
I have seen some such small tree in one of my friends place...here in India they consider this plant as a Bonsai of Orange tree! I think it is the same tree what you have described her, which I can tell from the picture posted!
@MALUSE (44537)
• Uzbekistan
21 Jun
No, it's not a bonsai. A bonsai is cut back to stay small. A calamondin is smaller than an orange tree by nature and will never become as big.
1 person likes this
@AKRao24 (21310)
• India
21 Jun
@MALUSE , Yes , I agree and that is what I used to tell my friend that the tree is never trimmed how he is calling it as a bonsai, for which he never had the answer....Ofcourse we were in our College at that time! Thanks!
@garymarsh6 (14490)
• United Kingdom
21 Jun
I love the expression 'It closes the holes in your socks' gosh it must be sour. Perhaps it would make delicious marmalade? Which reminds me I watered my wifes plants this morning. I kept forgetting. She has been away for just over three weeks. They don't look as bad as the last time she went away for 3 months and I only remembered two day before she came home! You look after that well. It must be lovely to see the different colours and brightens up the room.
@MALUSE (44537)
• Uzbekistan
21 Jun
If you forget to water plants for such a long time, you often can't save them anymore and have to buy new ones before your wife returns. :-)
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (14490)
• United Kingdom
21 Jun
@MALUSE I must have been very lucky last time then. Lord if only she had seen them two days before I am sure I would be writing this from beyond the grave!
@LeaPea2417 (22348)
• Toccoa, Georgia
26 Jun
That is very interesting. It would be so nice to have one.
@MALUSE (44537)
• Uzbekistan
26 Jun
They aren't very expensive when you buy them when they're still small.
1 person likes this
@rakski (23336)
• Philippines
21 Jun
Oh that ia nice. We have a lot loke that here I tuink.
@MALUSE (44537)
• Uzbekistan
21 Jun
In the garden or in the house?
@louievill (19906)
• Philippines
21 Jun
They are called calamansi in large parts of Southeast Asia and " kalamansi " specifically in the Philippines. My wife use to have a grafted plant in our back yard and the fruits were for home consumption. Although insects are very helpful in propagation, the calamansi flower is very fertile, in fact so fertile that they do not need to have any kind of cross pollination, that is the answer to the no pollinator mystery. It's also the reason why they could also be kept indoors for ornamental purposes but needs to be brought out in the sun from time to time. *Edit: these types of plants are called " self fertile" Almost forgot and needed to look it up again.
@MALUSE (44537)
• Uzbekistan
21 Jun
Thank you for this explanation!
1 person likes this
@marlina (79589)
• Canada
28 Jun
The German expressions "It closes the holes in your socks" made me smile. So cute! And thanks for this excellent post about the "calamondin", very interesting. And I love the picture included.
@JudyEv (136409)
• Bunbury, Australia
22 Jun
How nice to have such a pretty but low-maintenance shrub doing so well in your house. I wonder what is pollinating it.
@BelleStarr (39719)
• United States
21 Jun
That is a very pretty plant, I have considered putting in a lemon or orange tree in the yard at our Florida home, we could enjoy the fruit when we are there.
@iridion9 (10714)
• Philippines
21 Jun
It looks very beautiful. Wha tis the diameter of that fruit?