Commune Citrus clementina hort. ex Tan. Klementina
Cassar, Clementina Fina, Clementine, Commune 92, Commune ISA, Commune SRA 63, del terreno, Giamarchi, Land Clementine, Seedless Clementine, Sin hueso, Sodea, SRA
'SRA 63' is the most wide-spread basic Mediterranean Clementina variety. It has many names and clones, some of them ripen earlier, some later. Its origin is unknown, but some botanists speculate that it's a spontaneous mutation of a Mediterranean tangerine seedling. Others think that it might as well be a cross of orange tree with Sour Orange 'Granito' or give it an exotic, Chinese origin (mutation of 'Canton'). Some people state, that it could also be a cross of tangerine and orange, that's why it's sometimes called also "mandarancio". It was sown for the first time by a missionary, father Clement Rodier, the main farmer in an orphanage called "Padri di S. Spirito" (Fathers of the Holy Spirit) in Misserghin, close to Oran, Algeria. In his honor and memory this type of tangerines got its name - Clementina. It was first massively cultivated by Dr. Trabut. Later, in 1914, it was brought to California and therefore it ‘s ironic, that it achieved its first success so late, in 1920, and ever since it has been favored by everyone. 'SRA 63' is the most cultivated tangerine and by far earns the most on the tangerine marker.
'SRA 63' is a small or average tree with compact appearance, wide crown and thornless branches. Its leaves are very dark green, spear-shaped, more oval than other Mediterranean tangerines and it is fairly cold resistant, even more than most of the other Mediterranean tangerines. It produces very unequally, but that might have been because of the culminating temperatures when it blossoms. That affects the fruit production, because this tangerine is not self-pollinating. To have the best fruit, it needs a suitable pollinator, just like 'Dancy' or 'Kinnow'; the most ideal pollinator is tangelo 'Orlando' or oranges 'Marrs' and 'Valencia'. It has smaller, white flower growing both individually and in clusters. The fruit is medium-sized (4-6cm), spherical, with small or no neck and slightly flattened on the poles. Its smooth rind is shiny, intensively orange (dark orange in colder climates), quite thin and very easy to peel. It has nice orange colors even in tropical climates. The pulp is generally dark orange, juicy
and sweet. It is divided into 11 segments. Fruit ripens from October to January and can hang long on the tree after fully ripening. During harvests, it is necessary to use cutting tools, because the calyx remains on the pedicel. Spanish farmers usually use giberelin to prolong the pre-harvest time.
This is one of those varieties that breed easily with other cultivars and citruses. It is the maternal variety to many tangelos, clementines ('Nules' and 'Oroval'). Because of its slower and less vigorous growth it is suitable for growing in pots. Small fruit size is a great market disadvantage, that's why it's advised to cultivate this variety in the most fertile soils of Mediterranean. Cultivar called 'Fina' was introduced as a clone. Each and every clone with suffix SRA was bred in Corsican Breeding Station. Unfortunately, most of the clones produce smaller fruit than maternal variety.