Dwarf Imperial Mandarin (Citrus reticulata ‘Imperial’)
Imperial mandarins are a very common commercial variety that’s just as popular for the backyard, too. They originated right here in Australia, too! They started as a chance hybrid in Emu Plains, NSW in 1890, and are now commonly grown outside the country in California as well.
Imperial trees typically have a nice, upright and compact growth habit. The leaves are quite pretty with their narrow, pointed shape and lush green colour. They would make quite a nice feature tree that also happens to provide excellent quality fruit.
As a dwarf tree, the Imperial would grow to around 1.5m tall in the ground and in ideal conditions. It can also live its life quite happily in a nice, large pot.
The fruit has a good, strong and sweet flavour. Its segments can also be quite juicy, too. Imperials tend to have a decently think outer skin and while it’s not really separate from the fruit flesh, it’s still relatively easy to peel.
It’s usually a medium sized fruit, though in heavy cropping seasons, the fruit can be a little smaller. Like many other mandarin varieties, the imperial can sometimes bear fruit in alternating years. This can sometimes be managed by thinning out the crop, especially if it’s a large one.
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