The evergreen tangerine belongs to the mandarin (Citrus reticulata) orange family. The trees normally remain quite small and only attain a height of 15 to 20 feet. Due to their small size they make an ideal patio or container tree. Small, sweet-smelling flowers are produced in abundance from March to April followed by the tiny orange fruits that measure approximately 2 inches in diameter.
The Dancy tangerine tree was first grown in 1867 on the farm of Colonel F. L. Dancy of Orange Mills, Florida according to the University of Florida. The small tree is a popular dooryard tree in landscapes across Florida. The tree produces brilliant orange fruit that measure 2 1/4 inches to 2 1/2 inches in size and contain from six to 20 seeds. The fruit often has a flat appearance verses a round look. The tangerines have thin skin which damages easily during harvest. It is advised to clip the fruit from the tree. Harvest takes place from January to February.
Murcott Honey Tangerine
The first Murcott tangerine trees were grown by Charles Murcott Smith of Bayview, Florida in 1922. The fruit measures from 2 1/2 inches to 3 inches in size. Fruit appears reddish-orange and contains between 12 to 24 seeds. Harvest takes place from January to March. The tree is cold hardy compared to other citrus trees, but the fruit is easily frost damaged. The Murcott is the most widely grown commercial tangerine in the state of Florida, according to the University of Florida.
The Robinson tangerine was introduced in 1942. The tree is a cross between Clementine and Orlando tangerines. The fruit is a 3/4 tangerine and 1/4 grapefruit cross that produces 2 1/2-inch to 3-inch sized fruit. Each fruit contains approximately 20 seeds. It is marketed as a tangerine despite its origins of being truly a cross. The tree requires a pollenizer to set an abundant crop. Harvesting takes place from October to December. The branches of the tree are extremely brittle and will often break when the tree produces an ample crop of fruit.
The sunburst tangerine was first introduced in 1961 and then released commercially in 1979. The bright orange oblate fruit measures 2 1/2 inches to 3 inches in diameter. Each fruit tends to average 10 to 20 seeds. The fruit peels easily. The tree is a vigorous grower with dark green foliage and no thorns. During harvest the fruit is often clipped from the tree because it will tear if pulled from the stem. Harvest takes place form mid-November to December. The tree offers moderate cold hardiness.