(poncirus trifoliata) An orange plant that is hardy down to frigid subzero temperatures may sound like a modern innovation, however the hardy citrus, has been cultivated along its native range from Northern China to Korea for thousands of years. This ancient plant has been employed for everything from livestock fencing to medicinal panacea and was first introduced to the U.S in Colonial times. Less prominent today, the hardy citrus is most frequently grown as an unusual ornamental, adding an exotic look to gardens. Flowers are highly aromatic making it a top choice as a scented hedge and popular with pollinators. The fruits are described as a cross between lemon and grapefruit, making an impeccable marmalade; we used these to make a fantastic ice cream. Trees will reach from 8-20 feet tall, but are easily kept short and tidy with pruning. Hardy from zones 6-9, the fruit laden shrubs add an incredibly novel vibrancy to the winter landscape.
Needs to be started within a few days of arrival or kept cool and moist in the fridge for up to two weeks. It's recommended to soak the seed for up to 24 hours before planting, to help raise the germination.