Fortunella crassifolia Swingle
Received as budwood from USDCS, Indio, CA, via CCPP, 1967
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."