Cherry orange

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Cherry orange compared with real oranges.

Cherry orange (Citrus kinokuni ex Tanaka) is a hybrid variety of Mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata) found in Southern China and also grown in Japan where it is known as Mukaku-Kishu.[1] It is not closely related to the common orange.

The fruit is also known as Baby Mandarin, Tiny Tangerine, Mini Mandarin and Kishu Mandarin. It is shaped like an orange, between 25 and 50 mm in diameter. The fruit's orange skin is thin and smooth. It is almost seedless, tender, sweet and juicy.


Harvest of the cherry orange, mukaku-kishu mandarin.

The fruit is thought to have arisen in Southern China, where its name was recorded in the records of Jianchang during the Ming Dynasty, and its agricultural growth is widespread in Jiangxi province. Japanese oranges were cultivated from the cherry orange about 700 years ago.[citation needed] Genetic studies have found it to be closely related to the Huanglingmiao mandarin, carrying the same pomelo (Citrus maxima) introgression, indicating that the two diverged from the same backcrossed domesticated ancestor.[2] Under the Tanaka system of citrus taxonomy, it is a separate species, Citrus kinokuni, while the Swingle system groups it with other pure and hybrid mandarins as a single species, Citrus reticulata.

A cherry orange, mukaku-kishu mandarin in packing.
Cherry orange

The Chinese government recently ranked the fruit as one of the best fruits in China.[citation needed]

The cultivar was developed for commercial production starting in 1983 at the University of California Citrus Research Center, and the fruit is now commercially available at specialty markets throughout California.[3] [4]

The fruit was made available in Europe in 2006. It was first imported by Uniagro, and it is now distributed throughout Europe.

It is typically packed into small packs or punnets and sold in several well-known supermarkets for household consumption.


The fruit is very sweet and offers a high percentage of vitamin C. The fruit is enveloped in a thin skin (0,11 cm) and has 7–19 sections. They are primarily seedless.


The trees (which are typical in size and shape to other citrus variety trees)are treated with fully organic fertilizer. They produce beautiful flowers which bloom in April. The fruit only grow to a size of 25–45 mm and are harvested every November. Each tree produces about 40 kilograms of fruit per year. The fruit are handled with great care to protect the fruit epidermis from being damaged.

Peeling method[edit]

A fruit is peeled by taking it in both hands with thumb nails at the top and gently breaking it in two. Then the skin is peeled away.

See also[edit]


  1. ^[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Wu, Guohong Albert; Terol, Javier; Ibanez, Victoria; López-García, Antonio; Pérez-Román, Estela; Borredá, Carles; Domingo, Concha; Tadeo, Francisco R; Carbonell-Caballero, Jose; Alonso, Roberto; Curk, Franck; Du, Dongliang; Ollitrault, Patrick; Roose, Mikeal L. Roose; Dopazo, Joaquin; Gmitter Jr, Frederick G.; Rokhsar, Daniel; Talon, Manuel (2018). "Genomics of the origin and evolution of Citrus". Nature. 554: 311–316. doi:10.1038/nature25447.  and Supplement
  3. ^ "kishu". University of California Riverside Citrus Variety Collection. 
  4. ^ "Kishu Tangerine". 

External links[edit]