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The Limequat

The limequat is a citrofortunella hybrid that is the result of a cross between the key lime and the kumquat, hybridized by Walter Tennyson Swingle in 1909.

It is a small tree that grows into a contained bushy form. The leaves are characteristically citrus-like. The limequat produces an abundance of fruit even at a young age. The fruit is small, oval, greenish yellow and contains seeds or pips. It has a sweet tasting skin and a bitter sweet pulp that tastes similar to limes. The fruit can be eaten whole or the juice and rind can be used to flavor drinks and dishes. It has considerable amounts of vitamin C and is strongly acidic.

This plant is now grown in Japan, Israel, Spain, Malaysia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States in California, Florida, and Texas. The fruit can be found, in small quantities, during the fall and winter months in the United States, India and Japan.

Limequats can be grown indoors or outdoors providing the temperature stays between 10 °C to 30 °C (50 °F to 86 °F). They are fairly small and can be planted in containers or pots, in well-drained fertile soil. Plants grow fairly slowly and flower and fruit between 5–7 months and rest for 7–5 months.

Limequats are more cold hardy than limes but less cold-hardy than kumquats.

Limequats are used in cocktails, fruit salads, they can be candied whole, they can be cooked if the seeds are removed as they impart a bitter taste, and they can also be made into conserves.

  • Category Citrus
  • Genus Citrus
  • Species x floridana (Limequat)
  • Families Rutaceae
  • Habit Tree
  • Climatic Zones Sub-tropical, USDA 10 b (Southern Italy and islands)
  • Leaves Evergreen
  • Flower Corymb
  • Geographical Area of Origin South-East Asia
  • Flowering and Fruiting Period December / November / October / September / February / January
  • Form Espalier / Pyramid / Tree / Grown as shrub / bush
  • Colore Fiori Bianco
  • Colore Foglie Verde
  • Colore Frutti Giallo
  • Parfumed yes
  • Favorite soil Sub-acid / medium acid / Middle-Dough / Medium soil
  • Water needs Medium
  • Light Exposure Full light / Full sun / Medium shade / Half shade
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