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Citrus reticulata - Blanco.

Common Name Mandarin, Tangerine, Unshu orange, Satsuma Orange,Temple Orange, Tangerine
Family Rutaceae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards Avoid peel with dry cough or excessive red tongue or splitting blood [301].
Habitats Original habitat is obscure.
Range E. Asia - China or Indo-China.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Half Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Citrus reticulata Mandarin, Tangerine, Unshu orange, Satsuma Orange,Temple Orange, Tangerine

Citrus reticulata Mandarin, Tangerine, Unshu orange, Satsuma Orange,Temple Orange, Tangerine


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Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) is a widely cultivated fruit tree in many warm temperate to tropical areas. It is small and evergreen, and grows about 8 m tall. It has axillary thorns. The leaves are dark green, long, and narrow. The flowers are star shaped and white. Mandarin fruits are reddish-orange in colour with resemblance to tangerines. However, it is smaller and oblate, the taste is less sour, sweeter and stronger, and its peel is very thin with very little mesocarp. It is eaten fresh, used in salads and desserts, or juiced. The peel is used fresh or dried and used as a spice. In traditional medicine, dried peel is used to improve digestion and reduce phlegm. For Chinese people, mandarins, along with tangerines, symbolizes abundance and good fortune. It is a part of their tradition that during Chinese New Year, mandarins and tangerines are used as decoration and given as gifts. In other countries such as Japan, Canada, the United States, and Russia, it is a Christmas tradition to give mandarins as gifts. Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Early winter, Late spring, Late winter, Mid spring, Mid winter. Form: Rounded.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Citrus reticulata is an evergreen Tree growing to 4.5 m (14ft) by 3 m (9ft).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 9 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Apomictic (reproduce by seeds formed without sexual fusion), insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Citrus mangshanensis S.W.He & G.F.Liu. Citrus deliciosa Ten. Citrus vangasy Bojer.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses: Condiment

Fruit - raw or cooked in puddings, cakes, confectionery etc[183]. It is sweet and delicious[1, 3, 46]. The fruit is up to 8cm in diameter[200]. The dried rind of the fruit has a sweet spicy flavour and is often used as a flavouring in cakes etc[183].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

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Analgesic  Antiasthmatic  Anticholesterolemic  Antiemetic  Antiinflammatory  Antiscorbutic  Antiseptic  Antitussive  
Aphrodisiac  Astringent  Carminative  Expectorant  Laxative  Miscellany  Stomachic  
Tonic  Vitamin C

Citrus species contain a wide range of active ingredients and research is still underway in finding uses for them. They are rich in vitamin C, flavonoids, acids and volatile oils. They also contain coumarins such as bergapten which sensitizes the skin to sunlight. Bergapten is sometimes added to tanning preparations since it promotes pigmentation in the skin, though it can cause dermatitis or allergic responses in some people[238]. Some of the plants more recent applications are as sources of anti-oxidants and chemical exfoliants in specialized cosmetics[238]. The fruit is antiemetic, aphrodisiac, astringent, laxative and tonic[240]. The flowers are stimulant[240]. The pericarp is analgesic, antiasthmatic, anticholesterolemic, anti-inflammatory, antiscorbutic, antiseptic, antitussive, carminative, expectorant, stomachic[176]. It is used in the treatment of dyspepsia, gastro-intestinal distension, cough with profuse phlegm, hiccup and vomiting[176]. The endocarp is carminative and expectorant[176]. It is used in the treatment of dyspepsia, gastro-intestinal distension, coughs and profuse phlegm[176]. The unripened green exocarp is carminative and stomachic[176]. It is used in the treatment of pain in the chest and hypochondrium, gastro-intestinal distension, swelling of the liver and spleen and cirrhosis of the liver[176]. The seed is analgesic and carminative[176]. It is used in the treatment of hernia, lumbago, mastitis and pain or swellings of the testes[176].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Essential  Miscellany

An essential oil from the peel is used as a food flavouring and also in perfumery and medicines[61]. Yields are around 0.5%[240]. An essential oil obtained from the leaves and young twigs is called 'petitgrain oil'. Yields are around 0.5%[240].

Special Uses

Espalier  Food Forest  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Container, Espalier, Standard, Specimen. Three main climates are suitable for commercial citrus production - tropical climates, subtropical with winter rain such as in the Mediterranean and semitropical with summer rainfall as found in Florida and southern Brazil[ 200 ]. The optimal temperatures for citrus cultivation range between 25 - 30°c, with the coldest month having an average minimum of at least 15°c[ 200 ]. Growth generally ceases below 13°c and above 38°c[ 200 ]. If there are dry periods of more than three months, then irrigation will be necessary[ 200 ]. This species grows better in the subtropics than in the tropics[ 307 ]. Prefers a moderately heavy loam with a generous amount of compost and sand added plus a very sunny position[ 1 , 200 ]. Prefers a pH between 5 and 6[ 200 ]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.3 to 8.3. Plants are intolerant of water logging[ 3 ]. When growing plants in pots, a compost comprising equal quantities of loam and leafmould plus a little charcoal should produce good results[ 260 ]. Do not use manure since Citrus species dislike it[ 260 ]. When watering pot plants it is important to neither overwater or underwater since the plant will soon complain by turning yellow and dying. Water only when the compost is almost dry, but do not allow it to become completely dry[ 260 ]. There are many named varieties[ 183 , 301 ]. Plants dislike root disturbance and so should be placed into their permanent positions when young. If growing them in pots, great care must be exercised when potting them on into larger containers[ 238 ]. Special Features:Edible, Not North American native, Attracts butterflies, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

The seed is best sown in containers as soon as it is ripe, after thoroughly rinsing it[ 164 , 200 ]. Sow stored seed in containers as soon as possible]. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 3 weeks at 13°c. Seedlings are liable to damp off so they must be watered with care and kept well ventilated. The seed is usually polyembryonic, two or more seedlings arise from each seed and they are genetically identical to the parent but they do not usually carry any virus that might be present in the parent plant[ 200 ]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until they are 10cm or more tall before planting out into their permanent positions. Cuttings of half-ripe wood[ 200 ]. Layering.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Chieh, Chu, Clementine, Hondra, Jamanarang, Jeruk keprak, Jeruk keprok, Ju, Kamala, Kamla lebu, Kyul, Leing maw thee, Mandarine, Mandarini, Mangada, Mikan, Moli madarini, Nagpur suntra, Naran, Narangi, Nartjie, Santara, Satsuma, Soco madarini, Som khiew wan, Tangerina, Tangerine, Te mantarin.

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Africa, Asia, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central Africa, Central America, China, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, East Africa, East Timor, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Hawaii, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kenya, Laos, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, New Caledonia, Niger, Nigeria, North Africa, North America, Northeastern India, Pacific, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, PNG, Peru, Philippines*, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, SE Asia, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South America, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Uganda, USA, Vanuatu, Vietnam, West Africa, West Indies, Zimbabwe.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

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Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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