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Characteristics of Calamansi



Description

Scientific Name: Citrofortunella microcarpa
Family: Rutaceae
Common Names: Philippine Lemon (eng.),
Calamondin Orange (eng.),
Kalamansi (tag.),
Kalamondin (tag.),
Calamonding (P. Bis.),
Calamunding (Pamp.)

Botany:


   The Calamansi is a smooth and slightly spiny plant, growing to a height of 3 to 5 meters. Leaflets are elliptic to oblong-elliptic of 4 to 8 inches long. Petioles are narrowly and scarcely winged, about a centimeter long. Flowers are axillary, solitary, rarely in pairs, white, and short-stalked. Fruit is yellow when ripe, nearly spherical, 2 to 3.5 cm diameter, and thin-skinned. The skin or peel is green to yellowish green or yellow, loosely adhering to the flesh. The flesh contains a few light orange seeds. [Philippine Medicinal Plants]

Propagation:


   The Calamansi trees are easily grown from seeds, which are polyembryonic with 3 to 5 embryos each. For commercial fruit production in the Philippines, the trees are budded onto Calamansi seedlings. [Morton]

Culture:


   Philippine workers have established that a complete commercial fertilizer with 1:1 Nitrogen to Potassium ratio gives the best growth. Two applications are done: one is prior to the onset of rainy season and second just before the cessation of rains. Adequate moisture is the principal factor in yield, size and quality of the fruit. Drought and dehydrating winds often lead to mesophyll collapse [Morton].

Harvesting:


   Calamansi fruits are harvested by clipping the stems as they become fully colored throughout the year. In the Philippines, the peak season is mid August to October [Morton]. The farmers in the farm sort the fruits according to its condition, sizes and color.

Distribution:


   The Calamansi is considered one of the major fruit crops in the Philippines, which is indigenous to the country. The fruit is available throughout the archipelago. The top producing provinces namely Mindoro Oriental, Quezon, and Guimaras comprise almost 70% of national production of Calamansi. The top 20 producing provinces of Calamansi are shown in the table below.

Table 1. Top producing provinces of Calamansi, 2006




 

The figure below shows the distribution of Calamansi throughout the country.


Figure 1. Distribution of Calamansi throughout the country.

    The Calamansi fruits are packed in crates (either wooden or plastic) or in bags depending on the requirement of the buyer and are delivered into different places and processing companies. Usually, the delivered fruits are dark green in color when distributed into markets, and light yellow to yellow for processing companies.