Kumquats or cumquats are a group of small fruit-bearing trees in the flowering plant family Rutaceae, either forming the genus Fortunella, or placed within Citrus sensu lato. The edible fruit closely resembles that of the orange (Citrus sinensis), but it is much smaller and ovular, being approximately the size and shape of an olive.
They are slow-growing evergreen shrubs or short trees, from 2.5 to 4.5 metres (8 to 15 ft) tall, with dense branches, sometimes bearing small thorns. The leaves are dark glossy green, and the flowers white, similar to other citrus flowers, borne singly or clustered in the leaf-axils. Depending on size, the kumquat tree can produce hundreds or even thousands of fruits each year.
The round kumquat (also Marumi kumquat or Morgani kumquat) is an evergreen tree, producing edible golden-yellow colored fruit. The fruit is small and usually round but can be oval shaped. The peel has a sweet flavor but the fruit has a sour center. The fruit can be eaten cooked but is mainly used to make marmalade and jelly. It is grown as an ornamental plant and can be used in bonsai.
This plant symbolizes good luck in China and other Asian countries, where it is sometimes given as a gift during the Lunar New Year. It’s more commonly cultivated than most other kumquats as it is cold tolerant. It can be kept as a houseplant. each year.
Fortunella margarita, also known as the oval kumquat or the Nagami kumquat, is a close relative to Citrus species. It is a small evergreen tree, that can reach more than 12 ft (4 m) high and 9 ft (3 m) large. It is native to southeastern Asia, and more precisely to China. The oval kumquat has very fragrant citrus-like white flowers, and small edible oval orange fruits. The oval kumquat is an ornamental little tree, with showy foliage, flowers and fruits. It is also fairly frost-hardy, and will withstand negative temperatures such as 14 °F (-10 °C), and even a little lower for very brief periods. It can be grown in USDA hardiness zones 9 and warmer, but can also be tried in sheltered places, in USDA hardiness zone 8. Unlike most citrus species, the oval kumquat has a shorter growth period, and goes into dormancy fairly earlier in autumn. This partly explains its better frost hardiness.
Kumquat is a source of vitamins A and C. Vitamin C helps in wound healing, the health of the connective tissue and absorption of free radicals.
• The high content of kumquat in fiber makes it beneficial for the control of appetite and constant saturation. Dietary fiber is known to reduce high cholesterol.
• Kumquat imparts beneficial properties to health due to the antioxidants.
• Kumquat is a good source of Vitamin B, which acts as cofactor to metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
• Is a moderately source of metals such as calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, iron, selenium and zinc. Calcium is the most important element that is required for the formation of bones and teeth. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells. Iron is necessary for the formation of red blood cells and to cell oxidation.
The kumquat comes originally from south Japan and China. The meaning of the word kumquat is Golden Fruit; it was brought in Corfu in 1860 by the English agronomist Merlyn. The kumquat plants grow mainly to the northwest part of the island and it is one of the main agricultural products of Corfu.