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Citrus ID






Bijou, Christmas, Dancy (Weshart), Frost Dancy, Lady, Morgane, Obeni-mikan, Trimble, Welschart, Weshart (sec. Cottin 2002); Dancy Tangerine (sec. Swingle and Reece 1967)

Cultivar or taxon


Citrus reticulata Blanco (sensu Swingle and Reece 1967, Mabberley 1997); Citrus tangerina hort. ex Tanaka (sensu Tanaka sec. Cottin 2002)



Hodgson (1967) noted that:

"Presumably because of the orange-red color of the Dancy variety, which originated in Florida and was introduced in the markets as the Dancy tangerine, horticulturists have tended to restrict the use of the term tangerine to the mandarins of similar deep color. However, this is a usage of convenience only and the tangerines do not comprise a group of natural significance.

Tanaka (1954) has placed Dancy in his species tangerina, winch[sic] he suggests originated in India and was early taken to southern China, where it is still extensively grown. He considers it to be similar to if not identical with the Obenimikan of Japan, which was introduced from China several centuries ago. He believes that it is closely related to the Ladu and Keonla mandarins of India, a view with which the writer is in accord.

The history of Dancy's introduction into the United States (Florida), where it is currently the most important mandarin variety, is somewhat obscure. According to Ziegler and Wolfe (1961) the original tree was a seedling in the grove of G. L. Dancy at Orange Mills, Florida, which was planted in 1867. The parent tree was known as the Moragne "tangierine" and was said to have been introduced from Tangiers (Morocco) and planted at Palatka by a Major Atway, whose place was acquired by N. H. Moragne in 1843. The first mention of the Dancy variety is in the 1877 report of the Pomological Committee of the Florida Fruit Growers Association, in which it was said to be similar but slightly superior to the Moragne tangerine. Although introduced to the industry as early as 1872, its commercial propagation was begun about 1890 by the Rolleston Nursery at San Mateo. Within a few years, Dancy became the leading mandarin variety, a position it has maintained ever since."

The Chiefland Budwood Facility (2010) provided the following notes on the cultivar (clone F-59-8): Originated from a DPI open pollinated selection by Dr. Mort Cohen on the campus of UF. A younger nucellar selection than the Dancy 3A clone. Traits are typical of Dancy. Original Florida parent tree grown by Col. G. L. Dancy in St. Johns Co. Fl., introduced 1871 or 72, India? Florida seedling? "



Crown compact or dense, not weeping. First-year twig surface glabrous; second- or third-year twig surface striate; thorns absent or not persistent; prickles absent or not persistent. Petiole glabrous, length medium; wings absent, if present, narrow, adjoining the blade. Leaflets one, margin entire or bluntly toothed, shade leaflet blades weakly conduplicate, sun leaflet blades weakly or strongly conduplicate. Scent of crushed leaflets mandarin-like. Fruit broader than long; rind yellow (7-10), yellow-orange (11), orange (12), or red-orange (13); rind texture slightly rough (4-5) or medium rough (6-7); firmness leathery; navel absent; flesh orange; taste acidic-sweet.


Hodgson (1967) provided the following additional information on the cultivar:


"Fruit medium in size, oblate to broadly obovoid or pyriform (from development of neck); base generally slightly but sometimes markedly necked; apex broadly depressed. Rind thin, leathery, and tough; loose and easily removed, but not puffy until well past maturity; surface smooth and glossy, becoming bumpy with age; color deep orange-red to scarlet it maturity. Segments about 12, easily separable; axis large and hollow. Flesh deep orange-colored; tender and melting; moderately juicy: flavor rich and sprightly (acidity moderately high). Seeds few to medium, small, highly polyembryonic, and cotyledons light green. Midseason in maturity. Loses quality rapidly and rind puffs badly if held on tree much after maturity, but stores moderately well.


Tree vigorous and large (for the mandarins), upright-spreading in habit; nearly thornless; foliage moderately dense and of the mandarin type, but venation not so pronounced as in satsuma. Productive but with some alternate-bearing tendency. Tree moderately cold-resistant but not the fruit."


The Chiefland Budwood Facility (2010) provided the following additional notes on the cultivar (clone F-59-8): "Description: small fruit, large limb breaking crops, alternaria, fruit plugs, post harvest problems, 6-20 seeds, peels easy, zipper skin type fruit. Season: Mid December-January."



Cottin, R. 2002. Citrus of the World: A citrus directory. Version 2.0. France: SRA INRA-CIRAD.

Chiefland Budwood Facility. 2010. 2010 Annual report July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2010. Bureau of Citrus Budwood Registration, Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Winter Haven.

Mabberley, D.J. 1997. A classification for edible Citrus (Rutaceae). Telopea 7: 167–172.

Swingle, W.T. 1943. The botany of Citrus and its relatives of the orange subfamily. In: Webber, H.J. and L.D. Batchelor (eds.). The Citrus industry 1: 129–474. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles.

Swingle, W.T. and P.C. Reece. 1967. The botany of Citrus and its wild relatives. In: Reuther, W., H.J. Webber, and L.D. Batchelor (eds.). The Citrus industry. Ed. 2. Vol. I. University of California, Riverside.

Tanaka, T. 1954. Species problem in Citrus (Revisio aurantiacearum IX). Japanese Society for Promotion of Science, Ueno. 152 pp.

Webber, H.J. and W.T. Swingle. 1905. New citrus creations of the Department of Agriculture. U.S. Department of Agriculture Yearbook 1904: 221–240.

Ziegler, L.W. and H.S. Wolfe. 1961. Citrus growing in Florida. University of Florida Press, Gainesville. 248 pp.



Search for this cultivar in NCBI Entrez, NCBI Nucleotide, or NCBI Expressed Sequence Tags

Additional information on this cultivar at University of California: Riverside Citrus Variety Collection


Citrus ID Edition 2
October, 2011