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Lee Mandarin

Citrus reticulata 'Lee'

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Lee Mandarin (Citrus reticulata 'Lee') at Roger's Gardens

Lee Mandarin fruit

Lee Mandarin fruit

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Lee Mandarin (Citrus reticulata 'Lee') at Roger's Gardens

Lee Mandarin

Lee Mandarin

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  12 feet

Spread:  12 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  9a

Other Names:  Lee Tangerine

Description:

A nearly thornless selection bearing small, sweet, dark orange fruit; spring flowers are showy and fragrant; a nice landscape plant, as a hedge or screen; great container plant for the patio, or indoors in colder climates

Edible Qualities

Lee Mandarin is a small tree that is typically grown for its edible qualities, although it does have ornamental merits as well. It produces small orange fruit with orange flesh which are usually ready for picking from early winter to early spring. The fruits have a sweet taste and a juicy texture.

The fruit are most often used in the following ways:

  • Fresh Eating
  • Cooking
  • Baking
  • Preserves
  • Juice-Making
  • Sauces

Features & Attributes

Lee Mandarin features showy clusters of fragrant white star-shaped flowers at the ends of the branches from early to mid spring. It has dark green foliage. The glossy oval leaves remain dark green throughout the winter. It features an abundance of magnificent orange berries from late fall to early spring.

This is a multi-stemmed evergreen tree with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition. This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds, bees and butterflies to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spiny

Aside from its primary use as an edible, Lee Mandarin is sutiable for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Hedges/Screening
  • Orchard/Edible Landscaping
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Lee Mandarin will grow to be about 12 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 50 years or more.

This tree is quite ornamental as well as edible, and is as much at home in a landscape or flower garden as it is in a designated edibles garden. It does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by cuttings; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Lee Mandarin is a good choice for the edible garden, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Its large size and upright habit of growth lend it for use as a solitary accent, or in a composition surrounded by smaller plants around the base and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Accent  Screening  Orchard  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features