As the scientific name implies,
the Calamondin does very well in the citrus growing areas of
Stann Creek and other citrus areas of Belize. However, it is
not well known in Belize.
The Calamondin is probably indigenous to Southeast Asia. It
is widely grown in the Philippines, India and Indonesia. It
can be seen as an ornamental tree in yards in Hawaii, the Bahamas,
the West Indies and parts of Central America. Dr. David Fairchild
introduced it into Florida. Where it may be found in many home
The Calamondin tree grows to a height from 6.5 to 20 feet high,
often cylindrical, densely branched starting from the bottom
and has long thorns mostly on older branches. The tree can be
distinguished at a distance from other citrus trees by its glossy
dark green yellowish leaves. The round bright orange colored
fruit measures about 1-1.5” or larger. It favors the tangerine
in color and fruit skin is thin and loose.
Trees are easily grown from seeds and breeds true. The flowers
require no cross-pollination. From seed to first production
takes about 2.5 years and will continue to produce an abundant
crop year round. Fruits are picked by clipping the stems as
they turn orange but it is time consuming. Fruits are borne
throughout the tree from the center to the outer edges. We have
been pricked by the thorns as we reach for the fruits in the
center. Since we use the fruit within a few hours we just pull
the fruit from the tree instead of clipping.
We harvest about ¾ of a bucket, squeeze the juice and
seeds out. Makes about a quart of juice, which we refrigerate,
for a quick refreshing pick-me-up drink. The seeds we export.
The parrots (yellow-headed red-lored, mealy) at Haney Farms
always have an early morning breakfast of Calamondin. The parrots
peck at the fruit until about midway and remove the seeds. While
still in their beaks the outer think skin is discarded and the
green kernel seed nut is eaten. Often the parrots are so engrossed
at breakfast that you can approach within 6-10’ and observe
Calamondin juice is often used like lime or lemon in drinks,
soups, salads, seafood and meats. The fruit can be preserved,
stewed, made into pickles, marmalade and chutney. Oh! It can
also be used on insect bites – eliminates the itching.
We are considering blending the juice with ylang ylang extract
to produce a sweet smelling insect repellant.