The Chinotto tree is a small, slow-growing compact tree with small, bright green leaves. The flowers are small and white, very fragrant. The orange fruits are small and the pulp is bitter and acidic, they are not edible raw but are used to produce candied fruit, syrups, liqueurs, etc.
- Height 150 / 160cm
The Chinotto tree is a small tree (up to 3 m in height) compact, slow-growing, without thorns (the only one among the Citrus). The leaves recall those of the myrtle (hence the Latin name) and are small, elliptical, pointed, leathery and bright green. The flowers, between April and September, are small, white, very fragrant, solitary or gathered in groups and in axillary or apical position: they are therefore very ornamental (the plant is also cultivated in pots for decorative purposes). The intense orange fruits of the chinotto, produced after 3-4 years of life, are small (slightly less than a mandarin) and flattened at the poles. The pulp, divided into 8-10 segments, is bitter and acidic. Harvest: the fruits are ready between mid-June and December, when they turn from green to orange. They are not edible raw, but are used to produce candied fruit, syrups, liqueurs, jams, mustards and the classic drink of the same name (which in Malta is called kinnie).
Cultivation and Care:
The Chinotto tree is very afraid of the cold but does not even like excessive heat, the ideal temperature is between 18 and 32 ° C, and it does not resist absolutely below zero. It wants sunny positions sheltered from the winds, on loose, medium-textured, fertile, deep, well-drained soils; it does not like clayey soils because it is sensitive to water stagnation. It is planted in March, after having fertilized the planting hole with mature manure. Irrigation should be taken care of, especially in the early years during the summer. Fertilization is carried out in winter every year with mature manure or other organic product.