What is a Calamondin Tree?

S. Gonzales
S. Gonzales
Calamondin trees often attract fruit flies.
Calamondin trees often attract fruit flies.

The calamondin tree is a citrus plant that can be found on native soil in China and the Philippines. Its fruit is an important crop in these countries, but in America, its function is mainly decorative. Hardy and the tough, it can survive cold weather, but it thrives in the welcoming, moist and sunny areas of California, Florida and the Gulf Coast. Physically, the calamondin tree can be identified by its upright branches, evergreen leaves, lack of thorns and average height of 10 feet (3.05 m).

Fruit from calamondin tree fruit is used in some acne treatments.
Fruit from calamondin tree fruit is used in some acne treatments.

The calamondin tree blooms all year long. Blooming consists of both flowers and fruit. The tree's flowers are small in size and white in color. Its fruit is less than two inches wide (5 cm) and is ripe when it reaches an orange-yellow color. The fruit's interior is naturally segmented, acidic and has a sweet and sour taste that closely mirrors the taste of lemons and limes. Because of its similarity to lemon and limes, the fruit of a calamondin tree can be used to prepare foods and drinks like tea, seafood, meats, sauces, marmalade, chutney, curry, gelatin salads and desserts like pies.

In addition to its uses as decor and a crop supplier, the calamondin tree can also be a source of beauty and good health for its owner. Shampoos, deodorants, acne treatments, creams to even the skin tone, cough medicines, laxatives, itch relievers and decongestants can all be made from the juice of the calamondin tree fruit. The juice can even be used as a cleaning agent and does fairly well in removing stains like ink from fabric.

Despite their many favorable attributes, calamondin trees also have a few disadvantages connected to owning them. For example, it is a popular host for Caribbean and Mediterranean fruit flies. It is also not immune to common citrus plant problems like psorosis, crinkly leaf, exocortis, xyloporosis and tristeza. While they favor well against scab and canker, they may be negatively effected by chlorosis or deficiencies in magnesium and calcium.

The tree, when incorporated into a home's decor, can liven up any space. Many owners of calamondin trees use them as a doorway decoration. Since they are able to be potted and moved to different locations, they may also be used in other parts of the house and transported to more hospitable locations when inclement weather arises. Owners may also appreciate a calamondin tree's novel ability to be used as a Christmas or bonsai tree.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


I use my calamondin to make all kinds of sauces and desserts. They are a little sweeter than lemons, so I prefer them when adding flavor to food.

I like to use the juice on fish. I sprinkle it with dill and add a bit of butter, and then I squeeze the juice on top. It imparts a very nice flavor to the fish.

I have also used the juice to spruce up an apple cobbler. To me, this taste is way more exciting than the ordinary version.

I also like to make a sort of lemonade with the fruit. Basically, I freeze cubes of the juice and add them to water and sugar in a pitcher. It's slightly sweeter than lemonade, and I actually like it better.


@shell4life – I do eat calamondin, but you have to be very patient if you want to do this. It can take as long as twelve months for the fruit to ripen.

Some people who love the acidic taste will eat them when they are still yellow, but I like to wait until they turn at least halfway orange. Sometimes, if you wait until they are totally orange, it can be too late.

Also, once you pick them, you should eat them soon. They go bad in a few days, so only pick what you need. You can make them last just a little longer if you refrigerate them.


Can you eat a calamondin fruit by itself, or is the flavor too intense, like a lemon? I use lemons to flavor many dishes, but I would never eat one as it is.

I always thought that the smaller the citrus fruit, the more pungent it will be. Limes and lemons are significantly smaller than oranges, and this is true for them.

I would like to grow a calamondin tree, because I have heard that they can survive temps down to 20 degrees, and I live in an area with mild winters. However, I would like to be able to eat the fruit of any tree that I grow, and I'm not sure this would be possible with the calamondin.


I absolutely love my calamondin citrus tree. I keep it in a large pot, and it spends the summer outside and the winter inside.

Summers where I live are very hot, and the tree appreciates this. If we are in a dry spell, I will mist the leaves and fruit with a spray bottle in the early morning, since this tree does best in humid conditions. I keep it well watered, but I don't let the soil remain saturated and risk rotting the roots.

Since it tends to get dry in the house during winter, I spray the tree twice a day, and I make sure that the soil is moist at all times. I love having a small tree in my foyer, and I do my best to keep it happy.

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Calamondin trees often attract fruit flies.
      Calamondin trees often attract fruit flies.
    • Fruit from calamondin tree fruit is used in some acne treatments.
      By: Ocskay Bence
      Fruit from calamondin tree fruit is used in some acne treatments.