Herbs & Plants

Fortunella japonica

Botanical Name:Fortunella japonica
Family: Rutaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Genus: Citrus
Species: C. japonica

*Atalantia hindsii (Champ. ex Benth.) Oliv.
*Atalantia polyandra Ridley
*Citrus aurantium olivaeformis Risso
*Citrus aurantium var. japonica Hook
*Citrus erythrocarpa Hayata
*Citrus hindsii (Champ. ex Benth.) Govaerts
*Citrus inermis Roxb.
*Citrus kinokuni Yu.Tanaka
*Citrus madurensis Lour.
*Citrus margarita Lour.
*Citrus microcarpa Bunge
*Fortunella bawangica C.C.Huang
*Fortunella chintou (Swingle)

Common Names: Round Kumquat

International Common Names:
*English: Cumquat; Marumi kumquat tree; Round kumquat tree
*Spanish: Kumquat; Quinoto
*French: Kumquat a fruits ronds

Local Common Names:
*Germany: Marumi- Kumquat; Zwergpommeranzenbaum
*Italy: Kumquat a frutto tondo

Habitat:Fortunella japonica is native to E. Asia – China, Japan. It grows in wild situation.

Fortunella japonica is a slow-growing, prickly, evergreen shrub or small tree with a dense crown, reaching a height of 3 – 4 metres. The leaves are simple, alternate, and one to three inches long. They are dark green on the top of the leaf and lighter below. The flowers are pure white. The fruit looks like miniature, usually oval oranges. They have a sour, citrus tang, and can even cross-breed with citrus fruit, but are sometimes classified as a separate genus. Strangest of all, the peel of the kumquat is sweet and delicious, creating a surprising clash of flavor when the fruit is eaten whole..


Prefers a moderately heavy loam with a generous amount of compost and sand added and a very sunny position. Prefers a pH of 5 to 6. Plants are intolerant of water logging. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, when dormant it tolerates temperatures down to about -5°c. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. Kumquats are widely cultivated in China for their edible fruit, there are many named varieties. The plant is less vigorous, somewhat thorny and considerably more cold tolerant (the report gives no details of what this is in comparison to!). Kumquats are hardier than the various Citrus species since they cease growth when temperatures drop below 13°c but, for best results, it is best to grow them in a climate where temperatures do not fall lower than between 4 and 10°c. This is because the fruit is sweeter when it ripens in warm condition.

Edible Uses:
Fruit – usually cooked and used in jellies, preserves etc or used as a flavouring, but it can also be eaten raw. The whole fruit, including the peel, is eaten. The fruit is acid whilst the peel is sweet. The peel is golden-yellow, smooth, thinner and somewhat sweeter than the oval kumquat, F. margarita. The fruit is rich in pectin and makes excellent marmalades and jellies. Vitamin C content is up to 0.24 mg/cc. The fruit is about 4cm long.

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is antiphlogistic, antivinous, carminative, deodorant, stimulant. The leaves and fruit contain an essential oil, whilst the fruit also contains sugars and organic acids. The fresh fruit is antitussive and expectorant – in Vietnam it is steamed with sugar candy and used in the treatment of sore throats. It is said to be very good for infants.

Other Uses:
The fresh leaves and young twigs yield 0.21% essential oil that might be suitable for perfumery.

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


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