Coming from the name "" mandara "", the mandarin (Citrus reticulata) is a fruit tree of the Rutaceae family, cultivated for its citrus fruits, the mandarins, very rich in vitamin C.mandarin tree is native to Southeast Asia, especially Vietnam and China. Its appearance in Europe dates from the beginning of the XIXth century.

Mandarin tree plantation

A Mediterranean tree, the mandarin tree is used to the sun and will not be able to resist too cold winter temperatures, making its cultivation quite difficult in France. However, in the south of France, where the winter is mild, it can be planted in the ground on a rootstock which will make it more resistant. To the north, to make it an indoor crop, it is advisable to plant the mandarin tree in autumn, in well-drained soil. The pots should be sheltered in winter in an unheated space, but placed frost-free because citrus fruits are very sensitive to it.

Mandarin tree maintenance

In terms of maintenance, it will be necessary to pinch the ends of the branches around March to limit the development of the tree. Pruning is also requested when the flowers appear. Then cut the flowers just above the bouquets, which will allow the sap to concentrate for making tangerines. Even if you appreciate the mandarin for its luscious taste on the palate, an indoor cultivation should not give hope for a large fruit harvest.

Uses of Mandarin

The tangerine fruit rich in vitamin C, mineral salts and citric acid, is used to flavor medicines. Mandarin essential oil is extracted from the bark, which is used in perfumery, but also in the preparation of liqueurs and pastries. The mandarin plant is also placed in pots for ornamental purposes such as clementine plant, a hybrid obtained by crossing a mandarin tree and a bigaradier.

Recipes with tangerine

To prepare candied mandarins, peel the fruits before plunging them into a saucepan or you will have previously prepared a caramel flavored with vanilla. Once the caramel is wet with water and cut in butter, the tangerines will candle over low heat for a good hour. Remember to water them and turn them regularly.