Rob's plants
home garden plants wildlife seed photos
plant sale journal topics plantlinks fun guestbook

Citrus reticulata 'Owari' and 'Okitsu-Wase'

Citrus reticulata 'Owari' and 'Okitsu-Wase'
First flowers on 'Owari'

Common name satsuma
Family rutaceae
Life cycle tree (Z8-11)
Flowers white (spring)
Light sun

After the demise of our young lemon tree due to a brief cold snap in our first Houston January, we found out that of the citrus trees, satsuma mandarins are apparently among the hardiest, to the low 20s. So we bought two varieties at the annual Fort Bend Master Gardeners fruit tree sale. 'Owari' is supposedly the gold standard. It ripens late, starting in October, with medium-sized seedless fruit. Vigorous growth habit, with a mature height of up to 12 ft. 'Okitsu-Wase' also has seedless fruit, but starts maturing earlier, in late August or early September, and grows to 15-20 ft high. Both varieties are grown on Carrizo root stock. Oddly, 'Owari' started blooming earlier in our garden, several weeks before 'Okitsu-Wase', and continued to be ahead of Okitsu-Wase approaching fall. They skipped blooming for a year in 2018, most likely because of a hard freeze in January (which didn't otherwise seem to hurt the trees). In 2019, blossoms appeared on both at about the same time in late March.
We let a few fruits ripen on both varieties the first year in our garden, and harvested them when they looked fully orange. Apparently we waited too long, because by that time the compartments were dry, and not very sweet or palatable. The trees skipped a year of fruit-setting following a hard freeze in January '18, and didn't do much the next year either. We finally saw some fruit in 2020, and managed to harvest a few in their green-but-ripe state, which were tastier than those first ones, but I still think we didn't catch them at their prime. Alas, we won't be able to try again with these trees: despite their hardiness, both perished in megafreeze Uri, February '21. Their leaves looked nice and green following the week-long freeze, but the damage had been done. One of them sent up some shoots from the base, but it was clearly from the rootstock. Perhaps we'll try again some time.

'Owari' in bud, late March
Citrus reticulata 'Owari' and 'Okitsu-Wase'
Baby satsumas ('Owari', mid-April)
'Owari' fruit have grown a lot by early June
Citrus reticulata 'Owari' and 'Okitsu-Wase'
First gleam of orange on Owari, early September
Owari, mid-November
Citrus reticulata 'Owari' and 'Okitsu-Wase'
Both trees suffer from a citrus leaf curl condition that disfigures the leaves, making them not particularly attractive through part of the season. It's a relief when, right around the time they start blooming, new leaves push out to take the place of the tired old ones.
Three years after planting, our trees have grown a lot, rising above the fence behind them
Citrus reticulata 'Owari' and 'Okitsu-Wase'
Post-megafreeze, the top growth is lifeless, with just some shoots from the rootstock (looks like trifoliate orange)

In our garden, this plant grows in the following area: back fence border

About my plant portraits
PlantLinks to other web pages about Citrus reticulata 'Owari' and 'Okitsu-Wase'

I welcome comments about my web pages; feel free to use the form below to leave feedback about this particular page. For the benefit of other visitors to these pages, I will list any relevant comments you leave, and if appropriate, I will update my page to correct mis-information. Faced with an ever-increasing onslaught of spam, I'm forced to discard any comments including html markups. Please submit your comment as plain text. If you have a comment about the website as a whole, please leave it in my guestbook. If you have a question that needs a personal response, please e-mail me.

Your name

Your comments