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Mandarin, Citrus reticulata / Rutaceae
Many varieties come from mutations between different species, but we can classify most of them in three groups: "Satsuma’ mandarins, "Clementina" mandarins, Comunes (Common) mandarins and a fourth group where all the rest are included.

Many varieties originated by spontaneous mutations or crosses with other citruses.

It is very difficult to make up the mandarin tree botanical classification; a simple way to do so is by following commercial criteria. Thus, they are divided in 4 groups: "Satsuma’ mandarin tree, "Clementino’, Comunes (common) mandarin tree, and a fourth group of other mandarin trees.

- Mandarin tree "Satsuma’
With this name it is known the group of mandarin trees original from Japan; they represent most of the plantations in Spain and Japan. Of all mandarins, it is the most resistant to cold.

The " Satsuma" are used at an industrial level for the manufacture of tinned gores in syrup or for natural juice, since they are seedless. Spain and Japan are the maximum exporters of tinned mandarin gores.

The mandarins of this variety are the first to ripen, but they are characterized by their fast acid content decrease once they reach maturation. This fact makes them less tempting than other varieties. The demand of these varieties decreases when the " clementine" ripe period begins.

The most important varieties of this mandarin are "Owari", "Clausellina" and "Okitsu Wase"

- Mandarin tree "Clementino"
With the name of Clementinas, we know a group of mandarins with he same commercial characteristics: size of the fruit between small and medium and origin in the common mandarin tree.

A disadvantage of this variety is its alternate bearing: some years they bear a strong production of small calibre fruits and the following year the production is low with fruit of greater calibre.

The varieties that stand out in this group are "Fina’, "Clemenules", "Oroval", "Marisol", "Oronules", "Esbal", "Clemenpons", "Loretina’, and "Hernandina’.

- Mandarin tree "Comunes"
Within this group, all the mandarins trees of Mediterranean origin are included, and they are practically found in fields of familiar running. They are characterized by their good organoleptic qualities, but the fact of having seeds and their short conservation time cause them a scarce importance in the world market, although they do have it in the local commerce of some places.

- Other mandarin trees
This group includes the mandarin trees that result from the cross between species. Some of the varieties of this group have interesting commercial characteristics, as for example the mandarin " Ortanique’. The varieties of this group usually have the skin more stuck to the pulp. Within this group, the most important late varieties are hybrid.

Description of some varieties:

"Owari’
It belongs to the group of "Satsumas". Average-small size fruit, with high juice content, not very intense orange colour, flattened; sometimes the area of union with the branch has a pear shape. It is a mandarin of scarce quality.

"Clausellina’
It belongs to the group of "Satsumas". The size is greater than the variety "Owari’, although its quality is smaller since it is less sweet. It is a very precocious variety; in the Northern Hemisphere it can be harvested in the middle of September.

"Okitsu wase’
Fruit of the group of "Satsumas". This fruit is more flattened and greater than the varieties Owari and "Clausellina’. Of precocious maturation, in some Spanish places its harvest begins in the middle of September.

"Fina’
It belongs to the group of "Clementinas". Small size fruit, great quality, high content in very sweet juice, with a good level of acidity, seedless and with a strong and pleasant aroma.

"Clemenules"
It belongs to the group of "Clementinas". It is a mutation of the variety Fina. The fruit is bigger than the latter, a slightly rough rind and good juice content without seeds. Its quality is inferior than "Fina’. Its maturation is after "Fina’.

"Oroval"
It belongs to the group of "Clementinas". It is another genetic mutation of the variety Fina. It is a fruit of good size and coloration, rough rind that in many cases tends to be even rougher. Its juice content is high, without seeds although slightly acid. Its harvesting may begin in the middle of October, although it does not last long time in the tree.

"Marisol"
It belongs to the group of "Clementinas". It is a genetic mutation of the variety Oroval. The fruit is similar to the Oroval variety although its shape is more spherical, with a rougher rind and of less quality.

"Oronules"
It belongs to the group of "Clementinas", it has precocious maturation and in Spain it can be harvested from the beginning of October. The fruit is small, spherical, with a very intense colour, without seeds and of very good commercial qualities.

"Esbal"
It belongs to the group of "Clementinas", and it matures a few days before "Fina’. It is a genetic mutation of this variety. The fruit is greater than " Fina’ and has a very good flavour and a very tender pulp.

"Clemenpons"
It belongs to the group of "Clementinas". It is a genetic mutation of the mandarin "Clemenules". The fruit is similar to the Clemenules variety.

"Loretina’
It belongs to the group of "Clementinas" and comes from a genetic mutation of the mandarin " Marisol". The fruit is small, with an intense colour, a slightly rough rind, good organoleptic conditions, seedless.

"Hernandina’
It belongs to the group of "Clementinas". It is a genetic mutation of the variety "Fina’ and its fruit is very similar to the latter, without seeds. Some of the fruits of this variety do not fully develop the colour, and the area of union is left with a slightly green branch.

Mandarin tree "Comunes"
They are round fruits, flattened by the poles, smooth and thin rind, not adhered to the pulp, orange-yellowish colour. The fruit has a pleasant aroma although it has many seeds.

"Ortanique’
It belongs to the group of other mandarins and it is really a tangor, since it comes from the cross between the orange and the mandarin. The fruit is big, with few seeds, its rind is red-orange coloured and it is harvested at the end of May.
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