Your Thorniest Citrus

floramakros(Earth CA 9)January 11, 2014

Here's a fun question for everyone, whenever I'm asked the answer has to be my Ponderosa Lemon tree which is covered with spikes, they're way too big to be labeled mere thorns! Which of your citrus has either the most or the biggest thorns? In other words, the kind of tree you wouldn't suggest planting near a walkway! ;-)

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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

poncirus trifoliata by far. It is wicked, but then again its once removed

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 11:14PM
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floramakros(Earth CA 9)

That's the one often used as rootstock, right? I've noticed when some rootstocks send up shoots they're covered with really thin hypodermic needlelike very sharp thorns. Are they only ornamental or does anyone use the fruit?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 11:32PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

Yes They are primarily rootstock for citrus and are used as living fences to keep stock animal in place. They are ornamental and some people will eat them.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 11:51PM
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Standard West Indian lime is thorney/AKA Key/Mexican lime.
Almost all citrus grown from seed have thorns on their immature (prefruiting) wood.

Some varieties of mature wood grafted trees will sometimes revert back to making heavy vegetative growth, and become thorny again. In our area, Republic of Texas Orange is known to do that.

Also some varieties keep making small sharp thorns. My Wekiwas do that.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 5:22PM
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My seed-grown calamondin (Photo) is way more thorny than my ponderosas. The calamondin is still young and hasn't bloomed yet. You are right about the ponderosas having big thorns! I sometimes snip the thorns around fruit so the lemons won't become impaled when the wind blows or the fruit become heavier.

This post was edited by johnorange on Sun, Jan 19, 14 at 23:08

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 8:16PM
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Out of a dozen or so citrus I have had, by far the thorniest is a Kumquat.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 12:34AM
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Kumquat and Calamondin?! Mine don't even seem to have any thorns!

It would be Poncirus for me (but I got rid of it...due to this trait). Second runner up is definitely key lime as Tantanman says. But, there is a less thorny variety of this one available I believe.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 4:10PM
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floramakros(Earth CA 9)

I just picked up an improved Meyer Lemon (I was looking for Blood orange trees but they were all out of stock at the nursery). It's a 3.25 gallon one and has large thorns. Will it lose them as it gets older? I'm surprised at the large size of the fruit already on it.

Another tree on my want list has been a Rangpur "lime". Lime is in quotes because the current view is to classify it under a new category "sour mandarin". They had one covered in purple-white flowers so I had to get it too! This isn't the first time I've gone looking for two specific trees and come home with 2 or more entirely different ones! Hope you're all enjoying your weekends.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 2:20PM
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I did not make myself clear. There seem to be three major levels of thorniness if that is a word. P. trifoliata are always thorny. And in a big way. But they are not considered citrus except by the new definition botanists. Kumquats, lemons and mainstream citrus are very thorny, almost like trifoliates, as seedlings on immature wood. Then as the seedlings mature to fruiting there is a large decrease in thorn size, except in key limes which really did not have goodsized thorns compared to, say lemon or grapefruit seedlings.

Most other standard citrus varieties have been cleaned up by selecting strains of low/no thorns. That is why Republic of Texas orange, and Wekiwa still have them. They have never have been big commercial crops, not here anyway.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 9:43PM
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The large thorns will still be there. The trunk may grow around them on a large tree.

Thorns can be an indicator the tree was a seedling and will not fruit soon as opposed to grafted trees which usually fruit in one to three years.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 10:08PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

All my citrus / kumquats/ poncirus are seed grown. My Meiwa and Nagami kumquat trees are both close to thorn-less. My sweetlee tangerine trees have big thorns. and the poncirus are huge. The Nagami and sweetlee's are just over 1 year old. The meiwa and pt's are just under 2 years. I guess I got lucky with the kumquat trees.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 11:10PM
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floramakros(Earth CA 9)

On the opposite extreme is my Chinotto. not only doesn't it have any thorns, but during the short period it is without fruit 99% of people can't even tell it's a citrus. When it has oranges they're completely blown away! Beautiful tree.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 4:10PM
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floramakros(Earth CA 9)

Another weekend, another citrus! I just picked up a Yuzu tree. The smell of the fruit is amazing, like a perfume, intense but so clean and fresh, I've never smelled a citrus like it. I want to take some into the house and see how long that wonderful smell lasts off the tree. The Japanese use it for sauces but also when bathing and for making soap and I can see why. The reason I'm mentioning it in this thread is this baby has thorns on steroids! As huge as my Ponderosa's are but 10 times as many. This guy doesn't take any prisoners alive! He wins the thorniest contest in my collection hands down!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 6:25PM
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