‘Changsha’ Tangerine in Texas

April 12, 2012

When you're a plantgeek like me...there's nothing better than getting a stunning plant specimen for your birthday from one of your bestest plantgeek friends. Wait, maybe there is one thing better...getting TWO stunning specimens for your birthday! Now, my birthday was back in December...and it took a bit to get these two beauties moved to my house, but when they did show up (which was a surprise), I can't tell you how happy I was.

These are two giant specimens of 'Changsha' Tangerines,Citrus reticulata, one of the most cold-hardy varieties. Grown from seed by my bestie Jimmy, who so sweetly bestowed them up on me. Now, these pots are giant. And heavy. And I'm sure it was quite the comedy to watch my husband and I move them from the front driveway to the back yard. Not to mention, they are coverd in giant thorns. That was fun...but well worth it!

'Chengsha' are prolific producers of seedy but very juicy tangerines. Although the parentage isn't totally confirmed, they could be a cross between C. reticulata and C. ichangensi. The name Chengsha could also be just the name of the place from whence the variety originated and not necessarily the variety name. Can't seem to find consensus on this. But, what is true is that these lovely citrus trees are incredibly cold hardy. Seed grown plants tend to be more cold hardy than vegetatively produced specimens. These two particular plants made it through the winter of 2010...with all that ice and 10-12 degree temperatures, even in containers (hence the giant thorns which tend to come on under stress or cold damage). Plants will grow 10-12 ft, so are perfect for container culture if you don't have space in the garden. Full sun...a bit of afternoon shade appreciated.

Jimmy knows what a huge citrus freak I am. So I'm sure he must know how tickled pink I am have to add these beauties to my citrus collection (Thank you Dahling). I hope with the babying I'm currently giving them I'll see a nice harvest this winter. Tangerine juice here we come!

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