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Kinnow mandarin hybrid

Citrus reticulata Blanco

CRC 3021

PI 539500

VI 1




Photos by David Karp and Toni Siebert, 01/2011, CVC. Photo rights.


Source: Received as budwood from a hybrid produced at CRC, circa 1915.


Parentage/origins: Reported to be a hybrid between King tangor and Willowleaf mandarin.


Rootstocks of accession: Carrizo citrange, C-35 citrange


Season of ripeness at Riverside: January to March


Notes and observations:

Kinnow, a King-Willowleaf mandarin hybrid, was developed at the University of California Research Center, Riverside by H. B. Frost in 1915 and released in 1935. Kinnow is the most widely-planted mandarin in Pakistan. The tree grows vigorously and has an upright form, with a strong tendency to alternate bearing. The fruit is oblate with a smooth orange rind that does not peel especially well for a mandarin. The flesh is orange, seedy, and has a rich distinctive flavor. Kinnow is mid-season in maturity and holds well on the tree.


Description from The Citrus Industry Vol. 1 (1967):

"Fruit medium in size, moderately to slightly oblate; both base and apex flattened or slightly depressed.  Rind thin, rather adherent for a mandarin but peelable, tough and leathery; surface very smooth and glossy, sometimes faintly pitted; color yellowish-orange at maturity.  Segments 9 to 10, firm, separating fairly easily; axis solid to semi-hollow.  Flesh color deep yellowish-orange; very juicy; flavor rich, aromatic, and distinctive.  Seeds numerous, polyembryonic, and cotyledons pale greenish-yellow.  Midseason in maturity (about like Dancy).  Fruit holds well on tree with little puffing.
      Tree vigorous and large, tall and columnar, with numerous long, slender, ascending, and virtually thornless branchlets; dense foliage consists of medium-large, broadly lanceolate leaves.  Rather strong tendency to alternate bearing with large crop of smaller fruits followed by very small crop of larger fruits.  Cold-resistant.
      This high-quality variety is a sister to Wilking, both resulting from a King-Willowleaf (Mediterranean) mandarin cross made in 1915 by H. B. Frost (1935) of the University of California Citrus Research Center, Riverside, California, and named and released in 1935.  Kinnow has been distributed widely and is currently grown commercially to some extent in California, Arizona, West Pakistan, and India (Punjab).  The total plantings in California (mainly the Coachella Valley) and Arizona in 1964 were estimated at 900 acres.


Availability: Commercially available in California through the Citrus Clonal Protection Program. Click here to order budwood.


USDA Germplasm Resources Information Network page for Kinnow mandarin



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