Botanist's Glossary

Mandarin Tree - Citrus reticulata

  • Description
    • The mandarin tree (Rutaceae family) is a small evergreen tree that grows to 5 to 8 meters tall. It is a very old cultivated variety that originated in Indochina or the Philippines. The smell of mandarin peel is very fine. The flesh is sweet and fragrant and one of the least acidic citrus fruits. Introduced into Europe around 1840, the mandarin tree is now superseded by its hybrids, such as the clementine - a cross between the bitter orange and mandarin.
  • Traditions
    • The name "mandarin" reminds us of the fact that in ancient China, this fruit was reserved for the Mandarins. In Vietnamese medicine, the dried peel of the fruit is used to treat coughs and chest pains.
  • Properties
    • Mandarin essential oil, obtained by pressing its zest, is recommended for its antiseptic and toning properties. It is also used for its fresh and fruity notes.