Chinotto sour orange (CRC 3857)
Citrus myrtifolia Rafinesque
Photos by David Karp and Toni Siebert, CVC, 2/11/2008, 3/25/2011. Photo rights.
Source: Received as a live plant from an old budline of Chinotto, 1961.
Parentage/origins: Seedling of CRC 2375 Chinotto sour orange.
Rootstocks of accession: Carrizo citrange, C-35 citrange
Season of ripeness at Riverside: January to March
Notes and observations:
2/26/1988, EMN: Six seedling budlines were fruited at Lindcove; all appeared identical.
OJB: Chinotto sour orange is sometimes referred to as the Myrtle-leaf orange. The tree grows very slowly and has a dwarf compact habit. The leaves are small (usually under two inches in length), dark green in color, and lanceolate inshape. They are carried densely on the thornless branches and twigs. The tree flowers and sets very good crops of small orange fruits of moderate seediness. These fruits mature in winter and are moderately tart. The fruits hang on the tree for most of the year, making the tree highly ornamental. Chinotto's primary use is as a decorative element in the landscape.
Description from The Citrus Industry Vol. 1 (1967):
"Because it somewhat resembles the sour orange, the myrtle-leaf orange (chinotto of Italy, chinois of France) is commonly considered to be a botanical variety of C. aurantium L. Indeed, the presumption is that the myrtle-leaf orange originated as a mutation from the sour orange. The differences are sufficiently great and the degree of variation exhibited so wide, however, as to appear to justify separate species standing.
Availability: Commercially available in California through the Citrus Clonal Protection Program.
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