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PlantFiles: Tangelo Tree
Citrus x tangelo 'Minneola'

Family: Rutaceae (roo-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Citrus (SIT-rus) (Info)
Species: x tangelo (TAN-jel-oh) (Info)
Cultivar: Minneola
Additional cultivar information: (aka Honeybell)

Synonym:Citrus paradisi x reticulata

10 members have or want this plant for trade.

Edible Fruits and Nuts

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By grafting
By budding

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

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There are a total of 21 photos.
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7 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Flgirl407 On Feb 28, 2015, Flgirl407 from Altamonte Springs, FL wrote:

First i will take some pictures and post. My Honeybell is about 11 yrs old now. This tree is amazing!!!! The fruit most are about the size of a small grapefruit. I like those because this fruit is very, very juicy. So the large fruit makes it easier to peel. Like a tangerine. We get frost here and i water and then let it freeze, the sun melts the ice and it is perfect. otherwise the tree is not bother by the cold. I would say that i get a couple of hundred honeybells off this tree, every year so far it has been the way. I make juice every week and drink and eat the fruit also. This is a fairly big tree so you have to make room for it. It is neighbors with a Meyer lemon, and red naval, and key lime. You cannot go wrong if it grown's well in your area.

Neutral TRANQU On Sep 14, 2013, TRANQU from Royal Palm Beach, FL wrote:


Positive cavalrymedic On May 5, 2013, cavalrymedic from Newberry, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

The Minneola most assuredly does grow well in California. Often, the Minneolas in my grocery store are from CA. That said, I have always found the FL Minneolas to be ridiculously juicy. It is my favorite of all citrus. I planted a tree in the yard of my home as a child and when I moved out, the tree was producing 200 and more tangelos the size of grapefruits. That was south Florida. In my home here near Gainesville, my first tree grew very nicely for three years but was ultimately killed two years ago by a freeze that reached 14 degrees and stayed below 32 for 14 days. Which was a record. The foliage was unaffected and I know that I could have easily saved the tree by mounding the trunk before the freeze. But you live, you learn. My newest tree I planted this past fall and it if five feet tall, survived the winter with no help, and is now in full bloom. I shall have home grown Minneolas once again.

Positive RxBenson On Jun 4, 2012, RxBenson from Pikesville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

Seven years ago while visiting FL, I had my first honeybell -- and it had seeds! I saved and planted them and have two lovely small trees still -- only four feet tall -- planted together. I almost lost one when it dried out and had to be severely pruned to revive it -- thus its small size today. One single shoot of one plant had only a one-inch nub of stalk/trunk left and looked totally dead for years.... and then sent up a shoot and is thriving. I am still hoping for blossoms, but it is a tub plant here in the northeast and is resting during regular bloom season.

Positive jdiaz On Dec 4, 2007, jdiaz from Chowchilla, CA wrote:

I have to disagree with the two floridians above. Minneola tangelo does grow well here in california. There are comercial plantations of minneola tangelo throughout the southern and eastern foothills of the San Joaquin Valley in central Cal, and im pretty sure there are other plantations throughout the famed, citrus-growing counties of SoCal. I have a young minneola tangelo that survived our arctic blast of Jan 2007 (temps plummeted into the low 20s for a week) without any protection. It is currently sending out new growth and blooms. Dec 3, 2007. z9 CA

Positive Xenomorf On Oct 24, 2004, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Minneola is a cross between 'Bowen' grapefruit & 'Dancy' tangerine.

Positive marshtackie On Jun 11, 2004, marshtackie from Orlando, FL wrote:

I have twice lost a Minneola tangelo, the second time to a prolonged drought (three years in a row). Forget what happened the first time. I don't mean to suggest that the tangelo is less drought-resistant than an orange: the plant was growing farther from the sprinkler system.

What I particularly like about the Minneola tangelo is its tangy, sprightly flavor. Early in the season I liked the acidic fruit; later in the season, my mother liked the sweeter ones. Everybody happy.

I'll take a tangelo over an orange any old time, especially in Florida. It has a fine-grained flesh, never coarse and yukky. One of its ancestors, the Duncan grapefruit, is regarded far more highly by old-timers than its blander descendants Marsh and Ruby. It is very seedy but flavorful.

The Minneola tangelo is great for eating out of hand, juicing, and using in fruit salads. I even used it in an unusual recipe for chocolate mousse that called for orange juice and grated orange rind, substituting the tangelo for the orange.

Why I prefer tangelos to oranges in Florida: our oranges are juicy but too sweet for my taste. Not so the tangelo. John McPhee, in his entertaining book ORANGES, quoted a Floridian as saying you could hit a California orange with a Mack truck and scarcely wet the pavement; and a Californian as saying you had to get into the bathtub to eat a Florida orange.

Positive Thaumaturgist On Oct 18, 2003, Thaumaturgist from Rockledge, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

The Honeybell, with an extremely short season is very unique among all the citrus fruits. It is so unique that it has created a popular niche in the gift fruit market and is most popular for an "eating-out-of-hand" variety. It has also become a popular fruit commercially.

And whats more? The Honeybells do not grow in California but find only the southern Floridas limestone the most conducive for producing good quality crop.

Honeybells are larger than the Tangerines, and have fewer seeds with much of the desirable flavor of the Tangerines. It is about 3" 3 1/2" in diameter with a shape varying from round to somewhat bell shaped, often with a dome at the blossom end. The peel is fairly loose, varying with the variety, and easily removed. The pulp is often colorful, subacid, of fine flavor and very juicy. It is deep orange to red-orange in color with a smoother, but sometimes pebbly, peel. They have a unique, delicious and distinctive flavor, being rich, tart and aromatic.

Tangelo juice however, does not freeze well nor do the sections.

It has few to no seeds, depending upon how it is grown. If grown in a grove of only Honeybells, it will have no seeds. But it will develop some seeds if grown near other Tangerine or Tangelo varieties, due to cross-pollination.

There are two varieties that are grown in Florida and are available all over the US. One is the Orlando Tangelo and the other being the Minneola or Honeybell Tangelo.

The Honeybell Tangelo is a cross between a Duncan Grapefruit and a Dancy Tangerine. It was developed by researchers in central Florida and released by USDA in 1930.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona
Queen Creek, Arizona
Chowchilla, California
Clovis, California
Sacramento, California
San Jose, California
Altamonte Springs, Florida
Bartow, Florida
Beverly Hills, Florida
Dunnellon, Florida
Englewood, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida
Hampton, Florida
Highland City, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Jupiter, Florida
Merritt Island, Florida
Naples, Florida
Newberry, Florida
Oak Hill, Florida
Ocala, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Sebring, Florida
Stuart, Florida
Venice, Florida
Pikesville, Maryland
Humble, Texas
Spring, Texas

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