Botanical Name: Citrus × floridana
Species:C. × floridana
Common Name: Limequat
Habitat: Limequat is native to Asiatic countries. 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.
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.
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.
To date, there are three different varieties of limequats, and all of them are named after certain towns in Florida, the state in which they were developed. These varieties are Eustis (the offspring of key lime and round kumquat), Lakeland (a kumquat and Eustis hybrid), and Tavares (the product of crossbreeding key lime and oval kumquat).:
- Eustis (Fortunella japonica [zh] × Citrus aurantiifolia) – Key lime crossed with round kumquat, the most common limequat. It was named after the city of Eustis, Florida.
- Lakeland (Citrus japonica × Citrus aurantiifolia) – Key lime crossed with round kumquat, different seed from same hybrid parent as Eustis. Fruit is slightly larger and contains a few fewer seeds than Eustis. It was named after the city of Lakeland, Florida.
- Tavares (Citrus japonica ‘Margarita’ × Citrus aurantiifolia) – Key lime crossed with oval kumquat (though there is some speculation that it is actually a lemon/kumquat hybrid), fruit is larger and more elongated and color at maturity is more orange than other limequats. It was named after the city of Tavares, Florida.
Cultivation: Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.Requires a position in full sun in a fertile well-drained but not dry soil. Prefers a moderately heavy loam with a generous amount of compost and sand added and a very sunny position. When growing plants in pots, a compost comprising equal quantities of loam and leafmould plus a little charcoal should produce good results.
Propagation: Thruogh seeds. The seed is best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it ripe after thoroughly rinsing it. Sow stored seed in March in a greenhouse
Edible Uses: 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 conserve.
*Lowered Infection Risk : Just like their parents, limequats are loaded with vitamin C that helps keep the immune system working optimally. As a result, your risk of going down with the common cold or flu can be significantly reduced. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that helps control oxidative stress, something that’s known to weaken a person’s immunity.
- Delayed Skin Aging:
If you are a beauty-conscious person and the steep prices of today’s anti-aging products are giving you an anxiety attack, simply include limequats in your diet regularly. Their vitamin C content has the ability to zap free radicals. What’s more, the said nutrient encourages the production of collagen that makes the skin firm.
*Strengthened Bones and Teeth:
Limequats supply the body with calcium, and that is why their consumption can help strengthen the bones and lower one’s risk of having osteoporosis. These hybrid fruits from Florida also help keep the teeth strong, courtesy of their calcium content as well as vitamin C that is crucial for keeping the gums in a healthy state.
*Reduced Risk of Cancer:
Thanks to the loads of antioxidants in limequats, their regular intake may help lower your chances of having to face cancer. Free radicals damage cells, which can leave them mutated. When that happens, cancer may strike. Antioxidants in limequats zap free radicals before they have the opportunity to wreak havoc to your healthy cells.
- Lowered Heart Disease Risk:
A couple of reasons exist why limequats can help in keeping your heart in an excellent shape. First, they contain potassium that widens the blood vessels and lowers the blood pressure. Second, antioxidants in limequats help prevent cholesterol buildup in the arteries, which is something that can increase a person’s risk of heart attack and stroke.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.