|A Eustis Limequat|
C. × floridana
|Citrus × floridana|
(J. Ingram & H. Moore) Mabb.
It is a small tree that grows into a contained bushy form. The leaves are characteristically citrus-like. The limequat produces an abundance of fruit even at a young age. The fruit is small, oval, greenish yellow and contains seeds or pips. It has a sweet tasting skin and a bitter sweet pulp that tastes similar to limes. The fruit can be eaten whole or the juice and rind can be used to flavor drinks and dishes. It has considerable amounts of vitamin C and is strongly acidic.
This plant is now grown in Japan, Israel, Spain, Malaysia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States in California, Florida, and Texas. The fruit can be found, in small quantities, during the fall and winter months in the United States, India and Japan.
Limequats can be grown indoors or outdoors providing the temperature stays between 10 °C to 30 °C (50 °F to 86 °F). They are fairly small and can be planted in containers or pots, in well-drained fertile soil. Plants grow fairly slowly and flower and fruit between 5–7 months and rest for 7–5 months.
Limequats are more cold hardy than limes but less cold-hardy than kumquats.
Limequats are used in cocktails, fruit salads, they can be candied whole, they can be cooked if the seeds are removed as they impart a bitter taste, and they can also be made into conserves.
There are three different named cultivars of limequats:
- Eustis (Fortunella japonica × Citrus aurantiifolia) - Key lime crossed with round kumquat, the most common limequat. It was named after the city of Eustis, Florida.
- Lakeland (Citrus japonica × Citrus aurantiifolia) - Key lime crossed with round kumquat, different seed from same hybrid parent as Eustis. Fruit is slightly larger and contains a few fewer seeds than Eustis. It was named after the city of Lakeland, Florida.
- Tavares (Citrus japonica 'Margarita' × Citrus aurantiifolia) - Key lime crossed with oval kumquat (though there is some speculation that it is actually a lemon/kumquat hybrid), fruit is larger and more elongated and color at maturity is more orange than other limequats. It was named after the city of Tavares, Florida.