Ponkan Tangerine

Just curious if anyone has tried the Ponkan tangerine. We vacationed in Florida last week, and I drove up to Just Fruits and Exotics. I was looking to add a few things to my citrus collection. The guy who helped me, Steve, said that Ponkan was best tasting citrus out of everything that they offer. Seemed like a pretty good endorsement to me. So, I bought one. Nice sized healthy tree.

Anyway, I’d never heard of it before (though, it seems to be very popular in other parts of the world). Any opinions on it?

Rob, I’m not familiar with the Ponkan, but I’d love to hear about your Tennessee citrus collection.

I don’t have the nerve to buy any citrus plants from quarantined areas, even if they are already sitting in local nurseries and wearing their inspection clearance necklaces. That’s kept me from buying things I really wanted this year.

Ponkan is a mandarin (the term “tangerine” is actually marketing term, that category of citrus is known as mandarins), and the Ponkan is one of the very best of all the mandarin cultivars. They produce really top quality fruits in many different growing environments. I would put my Ponkan in my top 5 best mandarin cultivars I grow (and I probably have about 20 different mandarin cultivars on my property). Very rich, complex and sweet.


rich and sweet, yet also quite mild with negligible acidity. Probably the first citrus fruit a baby could eat and not elicit the citrus-zapped facial expressions (doesn’t zing one’s tastebuds, unlike oranges, and many other citrus)

Yes, most all mandarin cultivars would fall into that category. Even many or most mandarin crosses.

exceptions may well be those ‘cuties’ and ‘halos’, despite the pediatric population being the target market for those. As those sometimes have this sour, and even bitter, aftertaste.

ponkan has negligible sour or bitter-- even when harvested before full ripeness.

I never buy citrus in the store (having over 100 citrus trees tends to create an “abundance” of citrus, lol!) So, can’t comment on store-bought “Cuties” or “Halos”. The companies that have trademarked “Cuties” and “Halos” will use Clementines then W. Murcott Afourers, both of which are very sweet. In fact, my Clemenules is in my “Top 5” best mandarins. It is exceptional. Clementines for me are ripe in December, so pushing the envelope to pick Clementines in November may result in less than ripe fruit, so you can’t judge a fruit picked too early. In fact, I have very fond memories of Clemenules, asI always got one in the toe of my Christmas stocking every year as a little kid. It was my most favorite thing I got in my stocking - I’d eat that Clemenule before any of the candy I got in the stocking (destined to be a citrus hobbyist!) I think you’ve just had fruit that wasn’t fully ripe, as both are very good, and Clementines are outstanding. What I don’t understand is why these two companies have not used Seedless Kishu in their mix. It is probably the best mandarin out there. For me, in my orchard, Seedless Kishu and Ponkan are tied for the top spot. Seedless Kishu is very small, completely seedless (never found a seed yet), super easy to peel and has the best flavor going. Plant one, and your kids will never eat another piece of candy, again.

Aren’t ponkan on the seedy side? This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, as my Meyer lemons are off the hook seedy, and off the hook good…

Ponkans have some seeds, but I wouldn’t call them “seedy”. W. Murcott Afourer can get very seedy if it is planted with other citrus cultivars. I’m like you - seeds do not preclude a spot in my yard if the cultivar is worthy. And I love the Meyer lemon as well. It makes the best lemonade ever, and also it makes the best limoncello. I actually like our Meyer limoncello better than our Santa Teresa Femminello limoncello.

i have had fully mature clementines but even those have this bitter taste. Maybe it is just me.
nonetheless, how i wish i could resume planting a variety of citrus again. Unfortunately where am at, trifoliates, calamondins and kumquats are the only types could raise with neglect.

Patty, can post some pics of this citrutopia? :grinning:

Bleedingdirt, if I have time to snap some pics :slight_smile: I have a wedding on the horizon (16 days and counting, will be mother of the bride), so things are a just a wee bit crazy here! I might have some older photos on my computer, so if I have time to load a few pics, I will. Juju, that is just so odd. My Clemenules are super sweet and I don’t have any sort of bitter aftertaste at all.

Congrats Patty! Maybe ask the wedding photog to take a few gratuitous snaps. :wink:

Well, wedding is not going to be held here, sadly, as my back yard will not accommodate the guests. I have an odd yard, and most of my orchard is in front of my house on my north slope. Our house is set way back on our acre, due to a water authority easement that runs right through the front of my lot. So, that left us with a rather small back yard, but a very very large front and side yards. Odd, but I made it work for fruit trees.

just as there is color-blindness among some people, there is also taste-blindness(or heightened sensitivity) among others.
there is even this funny and quite intriguing smell-blindness among people who cannot smell the tell-tale scent of asparagus pee, after eating asparagus a few hours ago, and then going to the bathroom to pee.
they seem to be deficient of the ‘appropriate’ olfactory nerves to discern that burnt-rubber smell.

Oh, definitely, juju. Just like some folks see greens and blues differently (especially men and women). And the volatile component of the metabolites of mercaptan, present in asparagus not only are selectively smelled (only about 25% of the population can smell that), but only 25 to 50% of the population actually produce that volatile metabolite. I always thought that was fascinating. There are some folks that really dislike how Meyer lemons taste, too. There are folks who say it has an odd, “piney” aftertaste. I can taste that, especially in overripe Meyer lemons, but it doesn’t bother me at all.

it is the men who see it wrong. Girls don’t even have to be tested for color-blindness in many school districts.
funny that even though boys are the color blind ones, we actually don’t get the gene from our dads(even if dad is also color blind AND mom is not), but in fact, transmitted from mom.

you girls rule, don’t you?

:woman: :thumbsup:

@hoosierquilt, I discarded it for my climate (hot subtropical semi-arid, zone 9b) after reading this:


[quote]Climatically, the ponkan is one of the most tropical mandarins. Under tropical conditions the fruit attains maximum size and quality and finds little competition from other mandarins. In the hot arid subtropics, however, it has generally proven disappointing and other varieties are better adapted and more popular.

Now I think I can give it a try

I, too, doubted Ponkan would do as well here as I know it does in Florida and SC. However, it has proven me wrong, and is one of the few citrus cultivars that has warranted a double spot in my orchard. It is delectable, and is more than decent-sized.

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