What is Calamondin or Calamansi (Definitive Guide)

What is Calamondin

Calamondin, also called calamansi, is a citrus fruit belonging to the Family of Rutaceae plants. It is a hybrid cross between kumquat and mandarin (another citrus), so they have called it Citrus x microcarpa. It has acidic pulp like lemon and a lovely sweet skin.

Calamondins are characterized by fragile skin and tiny segments, which are incredibly juicy, aromatic, and fleshy.

Origin and production of calamondin

Its origin comes from the Asian continent, and its current crops are mainly carried out in Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, China, Singapore, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The trees of this beautiful fruit are of small growth, their shape is dense, and their branches grow upwards, reaching a height of 6 meters. 

They were introduced from Asia to America around the 1900s, with the primary objective of being sold as purely ornamental trees. However, since the 1960s, the export and commercialization of this magnificent tree have been increasing.

About the growing of calamondin trees, we can say that they are resistant in the areas of rusticity of USDA 8-11 plants, being one of the most resistant Citrus-Fortunella varieties.

Its flowering occurs in the spring months.

This sturdy evergreen ornamental citrus is an excellent addition to the house garden. If you want to grow calamondin and live in a very cold area, this is one of the few citrus trees that can be grown outdoors without any problems.

Calamondin trees are shade tolerant, although they are most productive when grown in full sun. They are also resistant to drought, although to avoid stressing the plant. You must water it deeply during prolonged periods of drought.

Calamondin can be propagated through seeds, rooting softwood cuttings in the spring or with semi-mature cuttings in the summer. 

Calamondin trees can be grown indoors quickly for ornamental decoration. Still, many believe they are more suitable for outdoor cultivation if it is in half shade or direct sun.


Its flowers have a very peculiar shape, similar to that of a star, and emit a delightful aroma of orange, which become the fruits (calamondins) reaching up to 3 cm in diameter.

The leaves are slightly oval and have an intense and bright green color. 

The fruit of this tree is tiny and easy to peel. The fruit’s interior is composed of several segments with no seeds, and its taste is exceptionally acidic with a sweet touch for its peel

Calamondin takes almost a year to mature, so many people use the tree ornamentally because it lasts a little longer than most citrus fruits.


Like its mother fruit (kumquat), the flavor of this fruit is acidic inside, and its exterior (peel) is sweet, and the combination of both flavors gives the perfect balance to its taste.

Climate and temperature

This species of citrus moderately resists drought. The most adaptable temperatures for it are those between 21° and 32 °C (70°F – 90°F).

Soil type

Like most citrus plants, calamondins are fond of radiant sunlight and permeable clay sandy soils. This type of tree needs soils where water drains very fluidly since excess moisture can rot the roots and kill the calamondin.

Benefits of calamondin for the health of the human body

Calamondin contains numerous vitamins and minerals which are very beneficial for the human body, and the most outstanding component of all is vitamin C which provides us with multiple benefits such as:

  • It is a powerful antioxidant that strengthens the body’s natural defenses. [1]
  • It helps control high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. [2]
  • Enhances the function of the immune system. [3]
  • It fights infections and skin impurities such as pimples, blackheads, and sunburn. It also contains healing effects for the skin. [4] [5]

What uses does calamondin have?

  • It is used ornamentally, is usually used in interior decorations and gardens, and is popularly used as a potted tree or bonsai.
  • It is a fundamental ingredient in recipes for drinks, liquors, desserts and dishes, jams, sauces, meats, fish, cakes, and many other exquisite straights for you to taste at home.
  • It is also used to eliminate dandruff and the itching sensation on the scalp. The way to do it is by mixing the juice of calamondin with the shampoo.
  • The juice of this fruit is also applied in the bites of insects, such as mosquitoes, to eliminate or alleviate the sensation of itching and irritation of the skin.

Frequently asked questions:

Calamondins are fruits that are little known and commercialized in many parts of the world, so you may have some questions based on them. Well, do not worry. Here we will help you to give answers to each of those doubts.

When and how does calamondin bloom?

This small evergreen tree of small size and oval shape blooms in spring and produces many white leaves that will turn into fruits measuring between 2 to 3 centimeters in diameter.

How to care for a calamondin tree?

The calamondin tree is very resistant. However, in the summer and spring seasons, they become somewhat susceptible due to the diseases and conditions that attack them. To prevent such pests and diseases, you must keep the tree leaves clean, without dust, to avoid mealybugs and mites. It is also of utmost importance that you help the care of calamondin by placing a natural organic insecticide.

Not to mention that the details for the tree care are critical. For example, details such as pruning, watering, and substrate should not remain excessively moist as this causes fungal infections to the tree and rots its roots.

Can calamondin trees also be used as bonsai?

Calamondin bonsai are very popular and traditionally used ornamentally in China and Japan. This impressive hybrid between kumquat and tangerine is a beautiful miniature tree that brings beauty and a pleasant aroma to the environment wherever it is located. 

Now, to make bonsai look good, it is necessary to follow a series of recommendations that are strictly as valid for kumquat, and that is why we have the article on how to keep a kumquat bonsai within reach of a click.

If you want to know even more about the relatives of this rich fruit and the infinite ways to use them, follow our website, where you will find the best content.

[1] https://journals.humankinetics.com/configurable/content/journals$002fijsnem$002f7$002f1$002farticle-p1.xml?t:ac=journals%24002fijsnem%24002f7%24002f1%24002farticle-p1.xml

[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22492364/

[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25157026/

[4] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0891584998001324

[5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16297506/