(Citrus maxima hybrid)
Valentine pummelo overview:
This is a relatively new and delicious fruit that ripens during the coldest part of the year.
- Yellow skin and red pulp.
- The size of a grapefruit (about 8 inches in diameter).
- The shape is a cross between a sphere and a teardrop.
- The fruit in the pictures is a from a 4ft high tree I planted earlier this year. This is a really big fruit for such a small tree.
- Extremely sweet and delicious fruit. Somewhat floral.
- Unlike a typical grapefruit, the valentine has low acidity but is slightly tart. The fruit is moderately seedy.
- I don’t know this guy in the video (see link), but I am adding it because it demonstrates the enjoyment of eating this fruit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6olhouYp5w
Main fruit season:
Oddly enough, the main fruiting season is sometime around Valentines day. January to March.
- Plant anywhere you would put other citrus. Long range focal point.
- Use the evergreen foliage to hide/screen undesirable areas.
- Prune in winter.
- (It is a relatively new citrus release from the University of California Riverside, and is now available in a few specialty nurseries. I was lucky enough to have a generous neighbor pick it up for me on one of her plant expeditions).
- A lot of sources say that you just put a citrus in the ground and it will be fine. But I live in Southern California where the native soil is terrible. Therefore, I dig a hole at least 2x the size of the pot it came in and aggressively augment the soil. I have planted a lot of citrus in the last few years; when you don’t provide a lot of rich soil the trees get really upset.
- Besides, the extra organic material will not only feed your citrus, it will also cut down on your water bill in the long run.
- I also inoculate the roots with micorriza.
- Click here to see my 6/9/13 post on the best planting technique to avoid transplantation shock.
Deep watering 1-to-2x/week in the summer. Infrequent deep heavy watering is much better than frequent light watering. You can cut way back on the watering in the winter after tree is established. Mulching always helps with moisture retention. Most citrus don’t like standing water.
Give a balanced fertilizer in the growing season 4x/y. Citrus also need micronutrients which I give at the beginning of growing the season. Throwing in a random assortment of organic fertilizer whenever you have it is always appreciated (compost, worm castings etc).
- Typical citrus temps; citrus don’t like frost. Mediterranean climate seems ideal.
- For more information about the lowest temperatures that you can expect in your area, check out my article “Climate Zones: What can I grow in my yard?”
- No major pests on this tree so far. However, it is still new.
- That being said, some kind-of rodent girdled one of my other citrus trees by eating the bark at the base of the trunk. I think it was a squirrel or rabbit but I don’t have direct proof. I now put a wire cage around the bottom of all my citrus and I have not had any problems since.
- Citrus leafminer is a big problem for all citrus in Southern California; but there are ways to effectively deal with them.For more information, please see my 6/20/13 post for diagnosis and treatment of the Citrus Leafminer.
- Citrus greening, (aka: Huanglongbing or yellow dragon disease) is destroying the Florida citrus industry. This serious disease is a major concern in California, but quarantine efforts seem to be working so far. You can read more about this disease via the links below.
This link now seems to be broken but when it was working had additional info: http://www.saveourcitrus.org/index.php/citrus-greening
Eat out of hand (see video link above). Add to salad or just about anything fresh. Easy to peel rind.
- The red color of the flesh/juice is due to the presence of anthocyanins (antioxidant) which is a family of pigments.
- This wonderful fruit is a cross of a ‘Siamese Sweet’ pummelo x (‘Dancy’ mandarin x ‘Ruby’ blood orange) and was developed at University of California Riverside.
- A research associate for the UCR Citrus Variety Collection (Ottillia ‘Toots’ Bier), nicknamed it “valentine” because it ripens around Valentine’s Day and when cut length-wise, the fruit resemble a red heart.