Jump to content


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Five clementines: whole, peeled, halved and sectioned
SpeciesCitrus × clementina
Hybrid parentageMandarin orange × sweet orange

A clementine (Citrus × clementina) is a tangor, a citrus fruit hybrid between a willowleaf mandarin orange (C. × deliciosa) and a sweet orange (C. × sinensis),[1][2][3] named in honor of Clément Rodier, a French missionary who first discovered and propagated the cultivar in Algeria.[4] The exterior is a deep orange colour with a smooth, glossy appearance. Clementines can be separated into 7 to 14 segments. Similar to tangerines, they tend to be easy to peel. They are typically juicy and sweet, with less acid than oranges.[4] Their oils, like other citrus fruits, contain mostly limonene as well as myrcene, linalool, α-pinene and many complex aromatics.[5]


Italian cultivar, Clementine del golfo di Taranto
The Clementine Mural painting in Puisserguier France, representing Father Abram, founder of the Algerian Misserghin orphanage where the 1st citrus clementina was selected by brother Clement, a map of the different locations mentioned, and the citrus flowers, whole smooth fruit and some of its easy to peel separated sections.
Clementine Mural in Puisserguier France, celebrating Father Abram, founder of the Algerian Misserghin orphanage where the 1st citrus clementina was selected

The clementine is a spontaneous citrus hybrid that arose in the late 19th century in Misserghin, Algeria, in the garden of the orphanage of the French Missionary Brother Clément Rodier, for whom it would be formally named in 1902.[6][7][8] Some sources have attributed an earlier origin for the hybrid, pointing to similar fruit native to the provinces of Guangxi and Guangdong in present-day China,[9] but these are likely distinct mandarin hybrids,[10] and genomic analysis of the clementine has shown it to have arisen from a cross between a sweet orange (Citrus × sinensis) and the Mediterranean willowleaf mandarin (Citrus × deliciosa), consistent with Algerian origin.[1][2]

There are three types of clementines: seedless clementines, clementines (maximum of 10 seeds), and Monreal (more than 10 seeds). Clementines resemble other citrus varieties such as the satsuma and tangerines.[11]


Clementines differ from other citrus in having lower heat requirement, which means the tolerance to fruit maturity and sensitivity to unfavorable conditions during the flowering and fruit-setting period is higher. However, in regions of high total heat, the Clementine bears fruit early; only slightly later than satsuma mandarins. These regions such as North Africa, Mediterranean basin, and California, also favor maximizing the Clementine size and quality.[12][page needed][failed verification]

It was introduced into California commercial agriculture in 1914, though it was grown at the Citrus Research Center (now part of the University of California, Riverside) as early as 1909.[12] Clementines lose their desirable seedless characteristic when they are cross-pollinated with other fruit. In 2006, to prevent this, growers such as Paramount Citrus in California threatened to sue local beekeepers to keep bees away from their crops.[13]


Seedless clementine, unpeeled and peeled
  • Seedless – exists in North Africa. Seedless versions of the clementine are known as the common type (seedless or practically seedless). Common Clementines are very similar to the Monreal type; the two types are virtually identical in terms of tree specifics. The seedless Clementine tree is self-incompatible; which is why the fruit has so few or no seeds. In order to be pollinated, it needs to be cross-pollinated.[12][page needed]
  • Monreal – exists in North Africa. The Monreal clementine can self-pollinate and has seeds. Monreal clementines are on average larger than the seedless variety, has a more abundant bloom and is sweeter.[12][page needed]
  • Sweetclems — are typically grown in Spain and northern Africa. Unlike other Clementine varieties, they usually have 10 slices. They are slightly smaller than "common" clementines. They have a sweet taste, as suggested by their name, but it is not overbearing and quite mild.[citation needed]


Spanish clementine, possibly the Fina cultivar
  • Algerian, the original Rodier cultivar.[14]
  • Fina, a Spanish cultivar originally grown on a bitter orange rootstock that gave it superb flavor, but due to disease vulnerability is now grown on a broader range of rootstocks, affecting the flavor profile.[14]
  • Clemenules or Nules – A popular, seedless, easy to peel clementine with a very pleasing sweet flavor. A mutation of the Fina variety, Nules is the most widely planted clementine in Spain, where it matures from mid-November to mid to late-January. Also widely planted in California, where it matures from October to December.[15] It produces seedless fruit that is larger than the Fina, but less sweet.[14]
  • Clementine del Golfo di Taranto, a (practically) seedless Italian cultivar given Protected geographical indication (PGI) status by the European Union, produced around the Gulf of Taranto. They have a sweet flavour and an intense aroma.[16]
  • Clementine di Calabria, another Italian PGI variety, grown in the Calabria region.[17]
Production of clementines, tangerines, mandarins and satsumas* in 2016
Country (millions of tonnes)
 China 17.2
 Spain 7.9
 Turkey 1.3
 Morocco 1.1
 Egypt 1.0
 Brazil 1.0
World 37.8
*FAOSTAT of the United Nations, which groups these fruits together in their data[18]


Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy198 kJ (47 kcal)
12.02 g
Sugars9.18 g
Dietary fiber1.7 g
0.15 g
0.85 g
Thiamine (B1)
0.086 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.030 mg
Niacin (B3)
0.636 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
0.151 mg
Vitamin B6
0.075 mg
Folate (B9)
24 μg
14 mg
Vitamin C
48.8 mg
Vitamin E
0.20 mg
30 mg
0.043 mg
0.14 mg
10 mg
0.023 mg
21 mg
177 mg
0.1 μg
1 mg
0.06 mg
Other constituentsQuantity
Water86.58 g

Entry in USDA Database
Percentages estimated using US recommendations for adults,[19] except for potassium, which is estimated based on expert recommendation from the National Academies.[20]

A clementine contains 87% water, 12% carbohydrates, and negligible amounts of fat and protein (table). Among micronutrients, only vitamin C is in significant content (59% of the Daily Value) in a 100 gram reference serving, with all other nutrients in low amounts.

Potential drug interactions[edit]

A 2017 study indicated that clementine phytochemicals may interact with drugs in a manner similar to those of grapefruit.[21] A follow-up study in 2019, however, has called these results into question. [22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Shimizu, Tokurou; et al. (2016). "Hybrid Origins of Citrus Varieties Inferred from DNA Marker Analysis of Nuclear and Organelle Genomes". PLOS ONE. 11 (11): e0166969. Bibcode:2016PLoSO..1166969S. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0166969. PMC 5130255. PMID 27902727.
  2. ^ a b Wu, GA; et al. (2014). "Sequencing of diverse mandarin, pummelo and orange genomes reveals complex history of admixture during citrus domestication". Nature Biotechnology. 32 (7): 656–662. doi:10.1038/nbt.2906. PMC 4113729. PMID 24908277.
  3. ^ Barkley, NA; Roose, ML; Krueger, RR; Federici, CT (2006). "Assessing genetic diversity and population structure in a citrus germplasm collection utilizing simple sequence repeat markers (SSRs)". Theoretical and Applied Genetics. 112 (8): 1519–1531. doi:10.1007/s00122-006-0255-9. PMID 16699791. S2CID 7667126. Archived from the original on 2021-03-09. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  4. ^ a b Edible: An Illustrated Guide to the World's Food Plants. National Geographic. 2008. p. 73. ISBN 978-1-4262-0372-5.
  5. ^ Ziegler, Herta (2007). Flavourings: production, composition, applications, regulations. Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated. p. 203. ISBN 978-3-527-31406-5.
  6. ^ Trabut, J. L. (1902). "L'hybridation des Citrus: une nouvelle tangérine "la Clémentine"". Revue Horticole. 74: 232–234.
  7. ^ Bretó, M. P.; Ruiz, C.; Pina, J.A.; Asíns, M.J. (2001). "The Diversification of Citrus clementina Hort. ex Tan., a Vegetatively Propagated Crop Species". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 21 (2): 285–293. doi:10.1006/mpev.2001.1008. PMID 11697922.
  8. ^ Laszlo, Pierre (2007). Citrus: a history. University of Chicago Press. pp. 23–24.
  9. ^ Saunt, James (January 1, 2000). Citrus Varieties of the World (2nd ed.). Sinclair International Business Resources. ISBN 978-1-872960-01-2. [page needed]
  10. ^ Nosowitz, Dan (23 February 2016). "Your Guide to Everyone's Favorite Winter Citrus: Clementines". smithsonianmag.com. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Clementines". Fruits info.com. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  12. ^ a b c d Hodgson, Richard Willard (1967). "Horticultural Varieties of Citrus". The Citrus Industry (Revised ed.). University of California, Riverside, Division of Agricultural Sciences. Archived from the original on March 8, 2008. Retrieved February 14, 2009. [page needed]
  13. ^ "Calif. Beekeepers Fear No-Fly Zones". KATU.com. Associated Press. December 2, 2006. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  14. ^ a b c David Karp (2012-12-30). "Farmers Markets: How to be choosy with clementines". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  15. ^ "Nules clementine". Citrus Variety Collection. College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of California Riverside. Retrieved 19 February 2015 – via citrusvariety.ucr.edu.
  16. ^ "Clementine del Golfo di Taranto PGI".
  17. ^ Hicham Benabdelkamel; Leonardo Di Donna; Fabio Mazzotti; Attilio Naccarato; Giovanni Sindona; Antonio Tagarelli; Domenico Taverna (2012). "Authenticity of PGI "Clementine of Calabria" by Multielement Fingerprint". J. Agric. Food Chem. 60 (14): 3717–3726. doi:10.1021/jf2050075. PMID 22458691.
  18. ^ "Clementine production* in 2016, Crops/Regions/World list/Production Quantity (pick lists)". UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Corporate Statistical Database (FAOSTAT). 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  19. ^ United States Food and Drug Administration (2024). "Daily Value on the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels". FDA. Archived from the original on 2024-03-27. Retrieved 2024-03-28.
  20. ^ National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Food and Nutrition Board; Committee to Review the Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium (2019). Oria, Maria; Harrison, Meghan; Stallings, Virginia A. (eds.). Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium. The National Academies Collection: Reports funded by National Institutes of Health. Washington, DC: National Academies Press (US). ISBN 978-0-309-48834-1. PMID 30844154. Archived from the original on 2024-05-09. Retrieved 2024-06-21.
  21. ^ Theile, Dirk; Hohmann, Nicolas; Kiemel, Dominik; Gattuso, Giuseppe; Barreca, Davide; Mikus, Gerd; Haefeli, Walter Emil; Schwenger, Vedat; Weiss, Johanna (15 January 2017). "Clementine juice has the potential for drug interactions – In vitro comparison with grapefruit and mandarin juice". European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 97: 247–256. doi:10.1016/j.ejps.2016.11.021. PMID 27890698. S2CID 34126212.
  22. ^ Hohmann, Nicolas; Mikus, Gerd; Haefeli, Walter Emil; Schwenger, Vedat; Gattuso, Giuseppe; Barreca, Davide; Weiss, Johanna (2019-05-15). "A follow-up report on potential drug interactions with clementines: Two single case experiments show no effect on CYP3A-dependent midazolam clearance". European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 133: 54–58. doi:10.1016/j.ejps.2019.03.013. ISSN 0928-0987.