Question for the Experts

kingwood(9)May 10, 2012

Was reading a previous thread where Tantanman mentioned the Marrs orange was a sport of a seedless navel. I have something similar. Have a Cara red navel. I purchased it with 3 fruit on it years ago. The fruit were variegated, very sweet, and seedless. After harvesting the fruit I decided to plant the tree inground. Left the potted tree for @ 5 minutes. Came back and my bulldog had eaten the tree in half. Had about an inch an 1/2 left above the graft. Variegated Cara's were pretty rare in Houston at that time so I kept the tree. It took about 2 years for the limbs to grow back and produce fruit. All limbs were variegatged and the fruit variegated and still very sweet, but seedy. The tree continues to produce very sweet, variegated, and seedy oranges. Any ideas? Could this be something similar to Marrs?

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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

The Cara Cara is a chimera, and you'll see it do some interesting things, like produce variegated sports. So, I would say that this is yet another chimera from the Cara Cara, albeit not necessarily a wanted one - seeds. Are you seeing a navel at all on the bottom of the tree? And, you're sure the limbs are originating from above the graft? If so, just another interesting option from this particular cultivar which seems to be the "chameleon" of citrus varieties. You're very fortunate you retain the variegation after so much "pruning" :-)

Patty S.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 11:05AM
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The fruit does not have a navel. It is definately above the graft, otherwise I would have tossed it. I keep it because it is my sweetest citrus and I grow many varieties. The seeds don't bother me, but I did get another Cara.

I decided to ask about it after reading a similar thread. This is the first time I have seen anything like that. The oranges are nothing like the original other than the sweetness and varigation.

It has either mutated or possibly had an interstem.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 4:41PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Unlikely an interstem - citrus grafting rarely if ever uses interstems that I'm aware of. But yes, the Cara Cara is a very changeable citrus variety. Which is why we see that variegation. How fun for you, you have a new citrus :-) Save the seeds or graft a branch. I would let Texas A&M know about your little jewel :-)

Patty S.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 7:07PM
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Cara cara should have few seeds. You might have something else. A&M isn't interested in variegated citrus as they are not commercial.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 3:58PM
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I was initially thinking it may have been mislabelled. I purchased from reputable nursery in greenhouse full of other citrus and the original fruit were very sweet, seedless, and only mild grapefruit flavor. Did not have any Cara color. Whatever variety it is, it is very sweet and a keeper. I prefer clementines and minneola, but my wife prefers pure sugar.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 11:30PM
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