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‘Pixie’ mandarins (photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story)
‘Pixie’ mandarins (photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story)

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Zones 8, 9, 12-24, H1, H2
Full Sun
Regular Water

Citrus, Mandarin Satsuma

Evergreen, Edible fruit, Shrubs, Trees


Varieties with orange-red peel are usually called tangerines. Many mandarins tend to bear heavily in alternate years. Some are always seedless, while others produce more seeds; the latter give seedier fruit if pollinated by another mandarin or mandarin hybrid or by ‘Valencia’ orange.


This group of mandarins is the source of imported canned “mandarin oranges.” Sweet, delicate flavor; nearly seedless, medium to large fruit. Loose skin. Earliest mandarin to ripen—early fall to late December. Quickly overripens if left on the tree but keeps well in cool storage. Standard trees are spreading, to 10–15 ft. tall. Dwarf trees can be used as 6-ft. shrubs. Open, angular growth when young, becoming more compact with age. Not suited to the desert.

‘Owari’ is the main satsuma grown in the West. Spreading, often drooping branches with large leaves. Grows to a rounded 15–20 ft., half that size as dwarf.

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