Identification help

Hello. I found these fruits whilst out foraging for acorns. I think it is some type of citrus, a type that is used as root stock? It smells very orange blossom like. Tree is contorted and thorny but I am in zone 6! thanks

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Super bitter and sour?

It’s Trifoliate Orange.

That is the name I was trying to think off but cannot remember. I have not tried it in case it is poisonous :slight_smile: Are those hardy to zone 6? thanks!

Yes, Zone 6 is its northern limit. See wikipedia “Trifoliate Orange.”

thanks Matt_in_Maryland. Flying Dragon is the other name I was trying to think of. Is the jelly made from it any good or not worth the bother?

Just Trifoliate, Roundface, not “Flying Dragon” unless the thorns are curved. Grows wild in some areas of the country, and is actually considered an invasive species. Extremely bitter, and not really worth trying to do anything with.

Thanks so much hoosierquilt. I won’t bother then :slight_smile:

Ha! Wikipedia says that it can be dried and powdered to use as a condiment.

“I need to make this dish really bitter!”
- said no one ever

a very sour and bitter condiment :slight_smile: Smell really fragrant. Pity

Not even useful in small amounts in a marmalade, perhaps?

For some reason I’m having trouble letting go of such a pretty, juicy looking fruit. Perhaps it has a use like quinine? … not being scientific, obviously!

To me the taste isn’t too bad it’s the aftertaste and smell that I can’t get past.

I dont know. There is a recipe for making jelly but not sure if it is worth my while. I have to ask owner if I can gather the fruits. As it is so bitter I will pass, I think…but the fruit smell real good!

In my limited experience trifoliate fruits aren’t as bad as people so often seem to say they are. They are extremely sour and full of seeds – I think when I was juicing some once it took about three to get a tablespoon of juice – but with the ones that grow wild (invasive) in some places around here I don’t taste the bitter or strong off flavors, just the extreme sour. Maybe the sour taste is so extreme that it masks whatever else is going on. Based on my limited experience, I could definitely see using it as a lemon substitute (if I wanted to go to the trouble of using fruits with so little juice), especially if it were mixed with other things. I think I used some in making some mayonnaise once, and I thought it was perfectly good for that. My children have enjoyed squeezing the juice into their mouths. Their faces contort when they drink the juice, but they kept going for more. If I were in zone 6, and if I wanted to replace store-bought fruit with homegrown fruit, I think I’d find some uses for trifoliate fruit.

Ooooh, the sound of your kids squeezing the juice into their mouths makes my face contort (heheh) The tree is in someone’s garden. So I would have to ask… the recipe I saw online, probably the only recipe out there.Yes as you can see in the pictures lots of seeds.

Roundface…I’ve grown many of these from seed with the idea (at the time) of using them as a living fence. They will grow easily and quickly from seed. Folks made jelly and lemonade type drinks with them.
Seems to me they were used as rootstocks for commercial citrus at one time, but I may be remembering that wrong. I was under the understanding that they were native to America…so can they still be considered invasive?

A row or two of these planted would function as a fence better than 8’ chainlink with wound razor-wire on top. I couldn’t imagine any living thing aside from maybe a snake being able to push through these things. They remain green well into winter also.

thanks for letting me know but due to lack of room and sun, I will pass on growing them. Much prefer a hazelnut fence though :slight_smile: or something else :slight_smile: I think you maybe thinking of Flying Dragon (I think that it what it is called) which is often used as rootstock. Apart from what I found it growing in someone’s garden whilst foraging for acorns I dont know much about it :frowning:

I believe I had one of those in a pot indoors, the rootstock of a citrus where the top graft did not take. Didn’t realize it until it got big enough to fruit.

I did make marmalade from them (and some other, sweeter oranges about 1/2-1/2), some of the best I ever had. But I am not sure if the rootstock stuff I had is the same as the wild ones you are finding.

Flying dragon is a cultivar of trifoliate orange.

There are lots of reasons to pass on growing them, but they are quite shade tolerant if you have spots that don’t get enough sun to grow other things.

If something is native, then I’d say, by definition, it’s not invasive, but I’m pretty sure they’re not native to America.

Not to hijack your thread , but what do you do with the acorns you forage?