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Cumquats make very good container plants for small gardens or courtyards, with their handsome, compact foliage and lovely fragrant flowers. They belong to the genus Fortunella, although they were once classified with their close relatives, the Citrus. There are two varieties, the Nagami and the Marumi (often sold as the Australian cumquat or calamondin).

Plant details

Common name: Cumquat

Botanical name: Fortunella margarita ‘Nagami’ and Fortunella japonica ‘Marumi’

Description: Small evergreen trees which grow to about 3 metres (10′) tall. The Nagami cumquat is thornless, with oval-shaped fruit. The Marumi has spherical fruit and short slender thorns. Both have sweetly scented, white flowers in spring.

Best climate: Cumquats will grow in most parts of Australia, except for mountain areas. Protect from frost when young.

Good points:

Cumquats grow and fruit well in pots they are suitable for topiary, standards, hedging or specimens the plants have attractive dark green foliage and fragrant white flowers the fruit can be eaten fresh, or used to make marmalade and preserves or cumquat brandy

Citrus care:

A position in full sun is best. Keep trees well watered when the fruit is forming in spring and early summer. Trees growing in the ground should be fertilised in August and February. Complete Citrus Food alternating with Dynamic Lifter would be suitable. Feed citrus growing in pots every six to eight weeks. Once again alternate Complete Citrus Food with Dynamic Lifter, or use 3-4 month Osmocote applied in spring and early summer. Water well before and after fertilising. Keep the area beneath your trees free of grass and weeds. Mulch with compost or other organic material, but make sure that the mulch does not touch the trunk of the tree.

Cumquat Recipes below – best recipe is for dark chocolate cake with cumquat & it’s in the current (August 2009) issue of the Burke’s Backyard magazine

More recipes click here.