Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
Densely filled with spiny branches and three-lobed leaves, hardy orange also bears lemon-flavored, small golden fruits that persist into winter. A large shrub to small deciduous tree that is rounded, it is native to northern China and Korea. The fruits are loaded with seeds and will self-sow in landscapes, and with a viciously spined canopy, makes it difficult and unpleasant to remove. It is considered an invasive woodland intruder in some parts of the eastern United States.
The compound leaves are made up of three oval leaflets, first emerging glossy green and maturing to a medium matte green. The leaves occur all along the young green branches that are lined with sharp spines. In late spring or early summer, cup-shaped white blossoms can be found on branch ends. They are pleasantly fragrant and often recur again in early autumn. The green golf ball-sized fruits ripen to yellow-gold by autumn and persist into the winter. Fall foliage is yellow, and once the foliage drops, the lingering fruits look pretty against the zig-zagging olive-green branches across the winter months. Those of 'Flying Dragon' are much more twistingly ornate.
Grow hardy orange in full sun to considerable shade in any fertile well-draining soil. It is very drought tolerant once established, but in the coldest reaches of its hardiness range, it should be protected from drying winter winds. Use it as an impenetrable hedgerow or as a mixed border accent. Position the plant away from walkways or areas where people would not unknowingly walk into the branches. The fruits are edible but very acidic and seedy. They are usually made into marmalade and the zest can flavor culinary dishes. The disease-resistant and hardy roots of this plant are also used as grafted rootstock for traditional citrus tree cultivars.
9 - 3
5 - 9
2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade
8'-18' / 2.4m - 5.5m
6'-15' / 1.8m - 4.6m
Late Spring, Early Summer
Clay, Loam, Sand
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Green, Light Green
Yellow, Yellow Green
Edible, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break
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