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Citrus ID







Cultivar or taxon


Citrus reticulata Blanco (sensu Swingle and Reece 1967, Mabberley 1997, 2004; sensu Tanaka sec. Cottin 2002); Citrus unshiu Marcov. x Citrus nobilis Lour. (sec. NPGS/GRIN 2010)



Hodgson (1967) noted that:

"Kara, a variety of some interest in California, is a hybrid between Owari satsuma and King mandarin."

"This very late ripening and richly flavored variety is an Owari satsuma-King mandarin hybrid created in 1915 by H. B. Frost (1935) of the University of California Citrus Research Center, Riverside, and named and introduced in 1935. Though outstanding in flavor, Kara has not achieved commercial importance, presumably because of the competition provided by oranges at its season of maturity, and its seediness."



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 narrow, adjoining the blade. Leaflets one, margin bluntly toothed, shade leaflet blades flat or 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 medium rough (6-7); firmness leathery; navel absent; flesh orange; taste acidic-sweet.


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


"Fruit medium-large, moderately to slightly oblate; base commonly slightly necked and furrowed; apex flattened or depressed with visible areolar area. Rind medium-thick, soft in texture, moderately adherent but peels fairly well; surface slightly rough and bumpy; color deep orange at maturity. Segments 10 to 12, separable without difficulty; axis medium and semi-hollow. Flesh color deep orange; tender and juicy; flavor rich, sprightly, and distinctive (tart until very mature). Seeds polyembryonic, numerous and cotyledons pale greenish-yellow. Very late in season of maturity (slightly ahead of King). Retains quality if left on tree but puffs somewhat.


Tree moderately vigorous, spreading and round-topped; similar to satsuma but larger and more vigorous; thornless, with rather stout, spreading and drooping branches; leaves dark green and satsuma-like. Hardy to cold and productive. Slight tendency to alternate bearing."



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

Frost, H.B. 1935. Four new citrus varieties—the Kara, Kinnow and Wilking mandarins and the Trovita orange. California Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 597:14 pp.

Hodgson, R.W. 1967. Horticultural varieties of Citrus. In: Reuther, W., H.J. Webber, and L.D. Batchelor (eds.). The Citrus industry, rev. University of California Press.

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

Mabberley, D.J. 2004. Citrus (Rutaceae): A review of recent advances in etymology, systematics and medical applications. Blumea 49: 481–498.

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.



Search for this cultivar in NCBI Entrez or NCBI Nucleotide

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


Citrus ID Edition 2
October, 2011