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Citrus unshiu

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Citrus unshiu is a seedless and easy-peeling citrus species, also known as unshu mikan,<ref name="">Template:Cite web</ref> cold hardy mandarin,<ref name=sortingcitrus>Template:Cite web</ref> satsuma mandarin,<ref name=sortingcitrus /> satsuma orange,<ref name=sortingcitrus /> Christmas orange,Template:Citation needed and tangerine.<ref name=sortingcitrus /> It is of Chinese origin and introduced elsewhere.<ref name="Hanelt">Template:Cite book</ref><ref name="Wiersema">Template:Cite book</ref><ref name="IPNI unshiu">Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="GRIN">Template:Cite web</ref><ref name=Misaki>Template:Cite journal Archived by Arita Mikan Database at</ref>



In China, it is known as Wenzhou migan (Template:Zh); In Japan, it is known as mikan or formally Template:Nihongo, the result of the local reading of the same characters used in Chinese. In both languages, the name means "Honey Citrus of Wenzhou", Wenzhou being a city in Zhejiang province, China. It is also often known as "Seedless mandarin" (Template:Zh).

One of the English names for the fruit, "satsuma", is derived from the former Satsuma Province in Japan, from which these fruits were first exported to the West.

The Afrikaans name naartjie is also used in South African English. It derives originally from the Tamil word nartei meaning citrus. The word has been used in South Africa since 1790, but the first written recorded English use is by Lawrence Green in the Tavern of the Seas, 1947.<ref>Template:Cite book</ref>


Under the Tanaka classification system, Citrus unshiu is considered a separate species. Under the Swingle system, unshius are considered to be a group of mandarin varieties.<ref name=identification />


The dried peel has use in Chinese cuisine.
Satsuma mikans.
Freshly squeezed satsuma juice (left) is a much deeper and redder color than orange juice (right). This juice was squeezed from fruit on a tree in Baton Rouge, LA, USA.

Its fruit is "one of the sweetest citrus varieties, with a meltingly tender texture"<ref name=sweetest>Template:Cite web</ref> and usually seedless, about the size of other mandarin oranges (Citrus reticulata). One of the distinguishing features of the satsuma is the thin, leathery skin dotted with large and prominent oil glands, which is lightly attached around the fruit, enabling it to be peeled very easily in comparison to other citrus fruits. The satsuma also has particularly delicate flesh, which cannot withstand the effects of careless handling. The uniquely loose skin of the satsuma, however, means that any such bruising and damage to the fruit may not be immediately apparent upon the typical cursory visual inspection associated with assessing the quality of other fruits. In this regard, the satsuma might be categorised as a hit-and-miss citrus fruit; the loose skin particular to the fruit precluding the definitive measurement of its quality by sight and feel alone.Template:Citation needed

Satsumas grown in humid areas may be ripe while the skin is still green.<ref name="">Template:Cite web</ref>


The Chinese and Japanese names reference Wenzhou, a city in the Zhejiang Province of China known for its citrus production. In 1916, a number of Japanese cultivars were introduced to Wenzhou.Template:Citation needed These, and new cultivars developed from them, now dominate orchards in Wenzhou.Template:Citation needed The traditional centre of satsuma production in Wenzhou is in the town of Wushan, in the Ouhai District of Wenzhou.Template:Citation needed. However, the satsuma originates from Japan,<ref name="Hanelt" /><ref name="Wiersema" /><ref name="IPNI unshiu" /><ref name="GRIN" /><ref name=Misaki /> where it is known as the unshu mikan, and from whence it was introduced to Florida in 1878.<ref name="" /> The satsuma's nickname of "Christmas orange" comes from its history as a Christmas treat in Britain.

Export to the West

Jesuits brought the fruit from Asia to New Spain. Groves were started by Jesuits in the 18th century in the Jesuit Plantation upriver from New Orleans. The Municipal Street "Orange" in New Orleans, was originally named "Rue Des Orangers" and the site of the Jesuit grove. The groves were later re-cultivated farther south in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana to provide greater protection from harmful frosts, and have continued to the present day. The Becnel family are the largest growers of Louisiana Citrus.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

The fruit became much more common in the United States starting in the late 19th century. In 1876 during the Meiji period, Owari mikans were brought to the United States from the Satsuma Province in Kyūshū, Japan, by a spouse of a member of the U.S. Embassy, who renamed them satsumas. While the species originates from Japan, it does not originate from the Satsuma Province in particular. Between 1908 and 1911 about a million Owari mikan trees were imported.<ref name=stein></ref> Owari is still commonly grown in Florida.<ref name="" /> The towns of Satsuma, Alabama; Satsuma, Florida; Satsuma, Texas; and Satsuma, Louisiana were named after this fruit. By 1920 Jackson County in the Florida Panhandle had billed itself as the "Satsuma Capital of the World." However, the commercial industry was damaged by a -13 °C cold snap in 1911, a hurricane in 1915,<ref name=stein /> and a very cold period in the late 1930s. Satsumas are cold-hardy, and when planted in colder locations, the fruit becomes sweeter from the colder temperatures. A mature satsuma tree can survive down to –9.5 °C (15 °F) or even -11 °C for a few hours.<ref name=stein /> Of the edible citrus varieties, only the kumquat is more cold-hardy. Satsumas rarely have any thorns, an attribute that also makes them popular. They can be grown from seed, which takes about 8 years until the first fruits are produced, or grafted onto other citrus rootstocks, trifoliate orange being one of the most popular.

Citrus ushiu is grown in Japan, Spain, central China, Korea, the US, the tip of South Africa, and South America; it is also grown around the Black Sea.<ref name="" />


Ushiu varieties cluster in the mandarins.<ref name=identification>Template:Cite journal</ref> There are, however, some hybrids.

Possibly not hybrids

Unshiu hybrids



External links



  • This page was last modified on 27 July 2015, at 10:32.
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