Disappointingly, it turns out that I cannot in fact get access to the new red-fleshed Mandared mandarin cultivar being managed by ANFIC. Early discussions indicated that they would send me budwood for an evaluation planting, but.. well, the person who said that no longer works for them, and apparently failed to mention that (a) there are fruit royalties on the variety as well as tree royalties (it’s a PBR variety), and (b) it’s being managed through a massive marketing group for nationwide sales and export, and (c) therefore they’re really not interested in smaller plantings. Like I said: disappointing.
It does mean that the rootstock seedlings I’ve grown can be re-purposed back to their original raison d’etre – all of the other citrus I want to plant. My plans may be a touch excessive (as usual).
In the ground already, I have 2 Yuzu (yes, they can be grown in WA’s soils and climate), a ‘Minneola’ tangelo (adopted from my mum, who had no room for it), a lemon (seedling rootstock, grafted with budwood from my neighbour’s very productive tree, probably a ‘Eureka’), one blood orange (bought from a retail nursery, the specific variety wasn’t marked, but it’s probably an ‘Arnold’), and one Lemonade tree, which got chewed on by kangaroos and grasshoppers last summer so is not doing super well, but may yet survive. I plan to add:
- pink grapefruit ‘Rio Red’;
- limes – both Persian (Tahitian) and Mexican (West Indian);
- mandarins – ‘Nules Clementine’, ‘Daisy’, ‘Avana Tardivo’ (which I believe to be a Mediterranean willowleaf variety), ‘Ellendale’ tangor, and ‘Ortanique’ tangor (or either ‘Topaz’ or ‘Mystique’, both of which are Ortanique seedling selections, which, given Ortanique appears to be nucellular, means they’re almost certainly clones of it);
- oranges – ‘Navelina’ navel, ‘Lane Late’ navel, and of course my beloved Valencia (either ‘Berri’ or ‘Midknight’);
- blood oranges – ‘Arnold’, and ‘Tarocco Ippolito’.
Those are all public access varieties so I should be able to get them easily enough. There are a few others which, sadly, I may not be able to get. The pink-fleshed ‘Pinky’ Eureka lemon (variety owned by The Citrus Men, who are not approved/licensed to send citrus into WA) seems ot be literally unavailable in this state, and I have my doubts about both the Ruby Valencia (managed in Australia by Variety Access) and the M7 Navelina (bred and managed by Chislett Farms), an ultra-early navel orange variety.
I will keep trying, but all the rights-holders seem uninterested in small farms with no export potential, so I don’t hold out much hope. This is what we get from late-stage capitalism and “copyrighting” plant varieities not to protect the breeder from nurseries taking advantage but to try to make $$$ out of marketing and exporting the fruit. Sigh. I’m not bitter.