My First Wekiwa Tangelolo

hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CAMarch 4, 2012

Well, I got brave and picked my first Wekiwa tangelolo yesterday and am enjoying it today. It was very small, but very sweet and delicious. Dr. Manners, I guess the Wekiwa likes it here in N. San Diego county about 6 miles from the ocean :-) I had to think a bit, to remember what it reminded me of, taste-wise. It finally popped into my head: A sweeter version of a Minneola. It has a teeny aftertaste of the quinine from the pith, but also you can taste a very sweet citrus oil aftertaste. No grapefruit note at all. Extremely juicy so much so it was hard to eat in the peel (I ended up with juice running down my arms, which was surprising for such a small fruit.) The flesh was not at all pink-tinged, but sort of pale orange, or dark yellow. Sort of like a Cocktail but a wee bit paler. And somewhat seedy. Quite delicious and a very pleasant surprise! I'll pick some more and snap some photos of them later today after I get out of the pool. Yes, I said pool. It is 85 degrees today. Outrageous.

Patty S.

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malcolm_manners

Patty, Everything you say about your fruit has me thinking you don't really have 'Wekiwa', which should be pink, not very juicy, taste nothing at all like 'Minneola', and should definitely taste of grapefruit peel. Might you have a mislabeled plant, I wonder?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 8:25PM
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andrew78(6)

Hi Patty,
Whatever you have sounds AWESOME! Man, I've really been wanting to see pics of your citrus trees. To the point where yesterday I started viewing a bunch of your older posts. I don't know if I should say that I enjoyed seeing them or not. Trust me when I say that I really enjoyed them but it has me so envious of the fact that you can grow all these awesome citrus!

On the 16th, I am going to head back to Potratz greenhouse. This is where I bought my 'Star Ruby' about a month ago. Anyhow, there going to be having a HUGE sale, and I am kind of hoping that he still has the larger 4ft tall citrus. They were priced at $60 but now should be anywhere between $45 and $55!

They even had Pummelo but even though the fruits look like they would be nice to eat, I don't know if a Pummelo would make a good citrus to grow in a pot. I would think that the tree would only be able to support so many fruits.

Cannot wait to see pics of whatever citrus you have there!

Andrew

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 8:59PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Well, it's always possible, but highly improbable. I purchased my Wekiwa from Clausen's Nursery here in Vista. They are a large commercial citrus tree grower that allows retail purchases. Ray, one of the co-owners, is a big fan of the Wekiwa, and pulled out a nice one for me. So, I think that I've just got a very, very young tree, and hopefully, the fruit will "pink up" as it gets older. I will stop by next weekend and see if I can find a few of their Wekiwa's with fruit, and have Ray pick one and cut it open to make sure, though. It just may be that they don't color up well here in Califorina. But, if Ray's are pinkish inside, I'll be coming home with a new Wekiwa. This tree will be the mystery citrus, then :-) Not a Minneola by the way the fruit looks, which on the outside, looks exactly like you'd expect a Wikiwa to look, but sure has no grapefruit tone whatsoever. And I've got a taste for grapefruit, so definitely not missing that.

Andrew, I'll post some photos. My young trees really struggle their first year on my DG soils, with their struggles to take up micronutrients during our colder, wet winters. But, as they move into their second winter in the ground, they recover. My poor Rio Red was in such bad shape last winter, I thought it was a goner. It looks 100% better this winter, so I know they'll all pull through. I'll post pics of the Wekiwa tangelolo fruit, too, so Dr. Manners can see what they look like from the outside and inside.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 11:40PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Patty! Please do. You could take one of you by the pool just to remind of us of what we may get in a few months!lol

You certainly have a taste for citrus and in fact make me want to buy another different one each time.
That sounds so delicious and at the same time inviting!
If I am not mistaken, I have never seen a bad looking tree from you. You have a gift of keeping very nice trees!

Cailifornia has a touch more of beauty at at the end of your hands:-) It is people like you who make beautiful places to see and envision.

Mike

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 1:33PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

HAH, Mike!! It was SO gorgeous this weekend, really stellar. Everything is popping now. We'll have a wee cold front move through tomorrow, though, and take away these lovely warm temps for a few days, and hopefully bring us a bit more rain. And thank you for your kind words :-) However, my Chironja would probably not agree with you right now, lol! It looks pretty sad, but it really prefers to grow in Jamaica, so our colder, wetter rains in the winter have decimated it. It is just now pushing out buds and new flush, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Now, back to the Wekiwa: Dr. Manners, I had a very nice chat with one of the owners over at Clausen's. They're a 3rd generation commercial orchard and tree grower that have managed to weather the migration of the commercial citrus industry from the coastal California counties to the central valley. They still have many of their grove trees growing on their property, some are over 70 years old, now. Their Wekiwas are about 50 years old, and they graft from their Wekiwas. He did confirm that I most certainly have a Wekiwa, and that here in California, and especially from their trees, the flesh just doesn't get that pinkish-lavender look. They told me that if the weather conditions are just right, you might see that coloration close to the skin, but for us here in California, and from their trees, the flesh is pale yellow. And, their Wekiwa's skin will turn a darker yellow, more like a mature Meyer lemon, which mine are doing since they're still on the tree and it's March (their are ripe here from November through January). Lastly, the taste will change and get very, very sweet, losing that grapefruit note if you leave it on the tree beyond picking time, according to the guys at Clausen, hence why I cannot taste the grapefruit, now. Here are some photos of my Wekiwas. In this first photo, they are in the foreground, sitting in front of my Valentine pummelos for a size reference (and that large Valentine is the size of a softball):

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 2:56PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Oh my G*D! Flawless, colorful and I bet delicious!!! I only wish I could drink or eat one of those!

Now, where is that picture of you by the pool? lol

Your the best Patty:-)

Mike

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 3:44PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Thanks so much for those very nice words, Mike! Yes, it is a delectable looking fruit, and super juicy. It is a very different tasting citrus. You should see if you can squeeze one into your greenhouse. It is a definite must in a citrus collection. Here's what UCR Citrus Variety Collection has to say about the Wekiwa:

"... Flesh tender, juicy; flavor sweet and mildly acid, becoming unpleasant when overripe. Under favorable conditions rind pink-blushed and flesh amber-pink. Early in maturity."

Mine are definitely over-ripe, since I'm picking a month after end of maturity here in California, but the flavor is not at all unpleasant. It is quite sweet and very unique. But no grapefruit taste, so I'll definitely pick them all by January next year. And, I noticed in the photos on the site that their Wekiwa fruit also does not have any pinkish-lavender tint to the flesh. So, this must be a California climate difference.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 5:42PM
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TimSF(CA Z8B/Sunset17)

Patty,

Love the variety of citrus you've got! You make me think about moving back to SoCal, LOL.

I must admit I'd never even heard of a Wekiwa Tangelolo before, let alone taste one. But a tangerine/pummelo hybrid sounds very interesting, and I definitely will keep an eye out (I also want to try an UGLI)! It's curious to me that with such a cross the fruit is so relatively tiny...

Also, why is it called a tangelolo and not just simply a tangelo again?

Tim

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 8:39PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

A good UGLI has really got to come from the most tropical part of Florida, or just get it from Jamaica. They simply will not grow well or produce decent tasting fruit in any other part of the USA, even in your greenhouse. And in Florida it's still iffy. They are interesting for sure, but we just cannot successfully replicate the very special growing conditions, soil conditions, etc found in Jamaica, which is what makes the UGLI taste good. I wanted to try one, but all experts talked me out of it, so it won't be added to my collection.

And, a Wekiwa is technically a tangelolo because it is a cross between a Sampson tangelo and an unknown grapefruit. So, because of that, it would then be a tangelo-lo. It is the size of a large mandarin, but looks like a mini-grapefruit, and even has a bit of a blush on the skin. Mine do faintly, kind of hard to tell in my photos, but I can see it "in person". It is small because a tangelo can be small since it is a cross between a mandarin (or "tangerine"), and either a grapefruit or pummelo (the "-lo" part of the name.) So, just like a married couple, where the wife is 5'1", and her husband is 6"6", you can have a wide expression of genes that would give that family some very interesting size difference possibilities with their offspring. So is it with tangelos or tangelolos. This one is funny because it really does look like a mandarin-sized grapefruit! If I put it next to my Rio Red, it would look like a miniature Rio Red almost.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 9:00PM
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tantanman(z9Tx)

Patty:
Congrats on the Wekiwas. I have two and a half Wekiwa trees. They are sweet when nothing else is and hold sweet longer than any other I grow. The Wekiwa is very useful for juicing and blending with tart mandarin juice. I have such a large number of varieties that I wind up with some not so sweet and this is my way to make a very tasty blend. You will appreciate them if you use them for that. They are much better in blending than regular sweet oranges. I have no problem in them being dry on a variety of rootstocks. They do have a pink blush on one side, some more so than others.

I also start sampling them quite early, before Thanksgiving. Mine are more lavender early and fade out late, like a grapefruit should. They were marketed in the past by Bill Thompson of Weslaco, Tx as "Canuka orange". These also were distributed in San Antonio and Corpus Christi. The leaves have a notable "tangelo curl", more curl even than Orlando.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 8:55PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

I did this exact thing this morning, tantanman. I juiced a Wekiwa and a Tahitian Pummelo this morning. The Tahitian has an odd, sharp taste. Hard to describe. Sort of lime-like. But in combination with the Wekiwa, it was really good! I did that again, only with the other half of the Tahitian pummelo and a Cocktail this time. Again, excellent.

Good to hear you're confirming exactly why the guys at Clausen's have told me. They had commercial Wekiwas here in Vista for years. They were just about the only commercial growers, and they said they sold out every year. And thank you for speaking about the curled leaf! I was concerned at first there was something amiss with my Wekiwa, maybe aphids. Apparently, that curl is normal :-) I'll start checking them in November this year. It's just getting ready to bloom, so hoping for a little bigger crop this year!

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 9:28PM
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tantanman(z9Tx)

Years ago I bought an UGLI fruit imported from Israel at Kroger and remembered it was so good. Then I bought tree in Corpus Christi and it turned our to be a tiny sour tangor in our climate.

Larry

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 8:32AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

That's exactly what I was told here in California - it would never sweeten up correctly here. So, if it wasn't sweet in Corpus Christi, Texas, where it's significantly hotter and more humid, it would never produce decent fruit here in S. Calif :-) Too bad, I hear it is very tasty (when grown in Jamaica and apparently in Israel, too!)

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 10:08AM
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