Poncirus trifiliata „Flying Dragon“
Flying Dragon Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf. Poncirus
Dragone volante, Flying Dragon 2n, Flying Dragon 4n, Flying-dragon, Hiryiô, Hiryo, Hiryu, Monstrosa, Monstruosa
Very ornamental dwarf variety known as the ‚Flying dragon is a mutation of the original Poncirus form originating in Japan. It’s distinctive with its tiny leaves organized into three-leaved form (trifoliate) joined with the plant by almost linear petioles. The plant is deciduous and has twisted, snake shaped branches decorated with curved spines. It’s supposedly hardy to -25°C (-13°F).
The fruit is small (4‑5 cm), either ball-shaped or flattened. Its rind is very thin, yellow with a few ridges. The pulp is yellow in color, soft with resin-like aroma. The fruit has 6‑8 segments and lots of seeds.
Flying dragon is idle for growing in pots and as a rootstock for tangerines, because it significantly lowers the mature height and crown size of the grafted plant, yet allows the plant to fruit early in the fourth season. Considering, that the yield calculated for one tree is higher with the classical form of Poncirus, the yield calculated for the crown size is higher with the Flying dragon variety. The fruit quality is excellent, acidic flavor is not passed on to the grafted plant and the fruit has better color. This variety is used as a rootstock in California for high density planting of lemon.
The clone ‘Monstrosa’ has twisted branches with long curved spines and very small leaves. In the past, it was labeled as C. Trifoliata var. monstrosa T. Ito. The clone ‘Hiryu’ can have purple young shoots and the fruit has a warty-like tip with a ridge at the basis.