Thursday, February 11, 2021

My Sumo seedling and Shiranui fruit tasting 2021

 A year ago I wrote about my Sumo seedling and how it compares to actual Shiranui  This year I didn't get to tasting the fruits at the earlier time, and I can not confirm that my seedling is earlier.  It might well be earlier, but I only started tasting the fruits in February.  What is really different is the juice vesicles of my seedling fruits. They are always more firm than the ones from Shiranui fruits. The seedling fruit density is at about Gold Nugget mandarin level.

The Sumo seedling and Shiranui fruits vary in shape, rind thickness and the amount of sugar even when collected from the same tree. In the pictures below, two left fruits are from my seedling. The top left is from a tree grown in Vacaville, the graft was made directly onto a citrus rootstock (C-32 or C-35). Low left fruit is coming from a graft made onto Minneola Tangelo tree.  Two right fruits are from the same tree of Shiranui grown in Isleton, CA.

The best fruit here is my seedling grafted on Minneola Tangelo, bottom left.  It had the most complexity and sugar along with the firmer structure than Shiranui fruits. It is possible that the rootstock alone defines the difference here. In my experience, any citrus grafted onto my old Minneola Tangelo produces excellent fruits. 

A few days later we tasted my seedling fruits again. On the left is my seedling from Vacaville tree, and on the right is from graft onto Minneola. Both fruits were excellent. Complex and sweet in flavor and as dense as the Gold Nugget fruit.

I think the real test would be to graft Shiranui onto my Minneola Tangelo and compare the fruits from the same tree and same location.  I have a feeling that my seedling is different. However, I need to get a good amount of both fruit types from the same tree to figure this out.


  1. Hi Marta, I am so excited to find your posts about sumo grown from seed- thank you for sharing! I am also trying to grow sumo from seed, have a potted plant and two grafts now. How long after grafting did it take yours to fruit? Regarding your puzzling difference: when your seed sprouted, was the seedling you ended up with the tallest and most vigorous one? I read somewhere that with polyembryonic citrus, the most vigorous seedling is probably the clone/identical to parent, while smaller seedings can be hybrids from pollination w something else. I wish I would have noted the source, so not sure if this is accurate. If yours was hybrid - it would be exciting to think that you found an even better fruit than sumo! I am considering planting my seedling into the ground- but not sure if that may kill it. What did you do with your plant that grew from seed? If you still have it - has it started producing? Thank you, Anya

    1. Hi Anya, the seedling grafts started to produce in 5 years. I only had one seedling coming from one seed, and the seedling was dead after the first season. It now lives only as grafts. They are still very spiny after 7 years. I was pruning them today, and it’s a very dangerous task.


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