Fortunella crassifolia Swingle

CRC 1471
PI 539721


Received as a live tree from W.T. Swingle, USDA, 1924.


Parents unknown.

Rootstocks of accession

Carrizo citrange, Cleopatra mandarin

Season of ripeness at Riverside


Season of flowering at Riverside

May to September

Notes and observations

Meiwa kumquat, Fortunella crassifolia, is a lesser-known species of kumquat.The tree is similar to the Nagami kumquat in appearance, but it cannot be budded onto all the same rootstocks as Nagami.  Trifoliate seems to be the best rootstock choice for Meiwa.  Kumquat trees are especially susceptible to zinc deficiency, which can cause small leaves and reduced internode distance.   As with Nagami, Meiwa trees are semi-dormant in winter, allowing them to withstand temperatures below freezing.  The flowering season is in summer, and the fruits mature in late winter.  The almost-round fruits are orange at maturity, up to one and one-half inches in diameter. The sweet rind is thicker than the rind of Nagami, making it seem sweeter than Nagami. The flesh is light orange, contains a few seeds, and is acidic.

Description from The Citrus Industry Vol. 1 (1967)

"This species is the Ninpo, Meiwa or Neiha kinkan of Japan.  The most distinctive features of this kumquat are the short oblong to round form and relatively large size of the fruit, the more numerous sections (commonly seven), the very thick and sweet rind and comparatively sweet flavor, and the low seed content (many fruits are seedless).

While Swingle originally (1915) considered it to be a valid species, he later concluded that this variety is a natural hybrid between the oval and round kumquats.

It is much the best variety for eating fresh and is reported to be widely grown in Chekiang Province of China and to some extent in Fukuoka Prefecture of Japan.  Meiwa is said to be slightly less cold-hardy than Nagami but is increasing in popularity in the United States.

Tanaka reports the existence in Japan of a variegated form with striped fruits, which is a most attractive ornamental."


Not commercially available in California. This accession does not have an approved budsource. Please refer to the CCPP for information on another approved budsource (performance should be similar) or to start an introduction inquiry.


USDA Germplasm Resources Information Network page for Meiwa kumquat (CRC 1471)


Photos by David Karp and Toni Siebert, CVC.
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