By Laurelynn Martin and Byron Martin
The Kumquat is thought to have originated in Southern Japan and China. It was originally known as the “gam kwat” with an early reference in the 12th century. Kumquats are loved for their oval, oblong or round tiny fruit that produce abundantly on small trees in the ground or prolifically in containers. The bite-size, pop-in-your-mouth fruit have edible skin. Some varieties are sweet on the outside and tart on the inside; others are sweet all the way through. In 1864, Robert Fortune, a collector from the London Horticultural Society introduced kumquats to Europe, and shortly thereafter to North America. In 1915, Kumquats were no longer classified as Citrus japonica but were named after Mr. Fortune and the new genus became Fortunella.