Clementine (Citrus Clementina)


This tree has uncertain origins, but is likely a hybrid between the Mediterranean Mandarin and the Bitter Orange. It is named after the missionary friar Clemente Rodier, a member of the Holy Ghost Fathers who, in 1898, discovered this citrus tree and cultivated it in the garden of an orphanage in Misserghin, Algeria, near Oran.


The Clementine is a vigorous tree, it has an erect growth habit and a dense foliage, it has many lanceolate dark green leaves, larger than those of the common mandarins. Its flowers bloom precociously (October-November), they are medium-small sized and oblate. Their orange peel is thin and does not stick well to the pulp. Their pulp is juicy, sweet and with few seeds.


The Clementine is more resistant to cold than the Mandarin. In case of sudden temperature jumps, fructification can be scarce and it is often necessary to turn to cross-pollination with other citrus trees, partly because this species can be partly self-incompatible.