[NAFEX] Quest(s) for edible trifoliate orange.

philip sauber mrtejas at lycos.com
Sat May 24 19:56:08 EDT 2003

I have an edible citrange about 3 feet tall.  A friend discovered it in a batch of flying dragon seedlings.  It is a likely cross of flying dragon trifoliate with an unknown sweet orange.  The tree is a ringer for flying dragon with all the fishhook style thorns, the fruit is seedless and edible as a lime substitute.  One wag has named it dragon lime.

--------- Original Message ---------

DATE: Sun, 11 May 2003 22:26:22
From: list at ginda.us
To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>

>That's very interesting.  Lots of people have written about how you 
>can't even use trifoliate in a hybrid because the flavor is so 
>terrible.  It sounds like this might be a good source for breeding 
>stock for an edible hybrid between trifoliate and something that tastes 
>good.  It might not be as good as what you can grow in the south, but 
>as you say. . .
>My meyers lemon produced really tasty fruits this year, despite never 
>getting really hot weather.  It actually ripened them in the house over 
>the winter.  Maybe also good breeding stock?
>On Sunday, May 11, 2003, at 09:19  PM, Moyer, Richard wrote:
>> Jim Nottke wrote:
>> Keith,
>> Please let me know if you find a source of Satsuma budwood - I'd like 
>> to
>> try them high on a few of the 1100 trifoliate orange that I have here 
>> near
>> Winston-Salem, NC.  My oldest tree is about 60 years old and 25 feet 
>> tall.
>> Jim.
>> Phil Sauber wrote:
>>  Trifoliate orange fruit is definitely inedible and one would be 
>> dreaming to
>> think you could make marmalade with it, it is so full of seeds there 
>> isn't a
>> teaspoon of pulp per fruit!
>> My response:
>> Here in Zone 6 East Tenn, beggars can't be choosers for citrus.  Hence 
>> am
>> growing trifoliate from edge of Augusta National Golf Course, former 
>> site of
>> Fruitland Nursery, founded by Berkman family about 1840.  Around 1845,
>> Berkman imported chinese trifoliate, according to M. Dirr, Manual of 
>> Woody
>> Landscape Plants.  I presume the plants still there are seedlings of 
>> the
>> original.  As for taste, my kids eat them and ask for more, though 
>> they do
>> enjoy sour items.
>> Many (most?) trifoliate are extremely bitter, easily inducing nausea.  
>> Flesh
>> from Augusta source is not, though other's I've tried had me on the 
>> verge of
>> vomiting.  Augusta fruit still about the size of a golf ball to larger,
>> seedy, gummy, but still with recognizable citrus flavor.  (Folks in 
>> Zone 9,
>> I sense your laughter, derision and pity.)
>> Adam and Sue Turtle and Hidden Springs are two locations I know of 
>> testing
>> for edible types and coldhardiness.
>> Jim Nottke, fascinated in what you've observed with 1100?? trifoliate 
>> near
>> Winston-Salem over the years.
>> As for size, Ethan N. noted a source in Houston of much larger 
>> trifoliate
>> fruit, at least the size of tennis ball, if I recall correctly.
>> Phil, as for processing the fruit for marmalade, gumminess seems to be 
>> the
>> problem over size and seediness.  Donna Hudson and Lon Rombough have
>> commented on the gumminess problem in a thread several years ago.
>> Though March freeze wiped out our early trifoliate blooms, we still 
>> have a
>> few dozen fruit from later blooms on two trees, with several more too 
>> young
>> to bloom.  These trees are hardy above ground well below zero without
>> protection; Hector Black noted bloom and fruit after -17 F.  Our bigger
>> problem is late March/April freezes.  Jim, do you have any with higher
>> chill?
>> Would enjoy any and all input on edible trifoliate production in Zone 
>> 6-7.
>> Thanks,
>> Richard Moyer
>> Zone 6, East Tenn, 1800'
>> Strawberry season!
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