Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Poncirus trifoliata 'Flying Dragon'

Recently I noticed new growth from below the graft of my satsuma 'Dwarf Brown Select.' This is what the rootstock, Poncirus trifoliata 'Flying Dragon' looks like. We grow most of our citrus in this area on trifoliate orange rootstock; it's much more cold-hardy, though not an orange in the truest sense of the word. The fruit produced on trifoliata is bitter and seedy. The 'Flying Dragon' variety is used to dwarf citrus to a more manageable size. That's important to homeowners with limited space for a garden, and also to growers, who want to keep fruit within arm's reach for harvesting.

I should really cut this growth off. It does nothing for my satsuma, and in fact, probably consumes resources that the tree could use for fruit. But I'm enjoying the contorted growth habit, and the forbidding look of the long, downward-pointing thorns. Maybe I'll let it go on just a bit longer...

Read more about trifoliate orange here.

Read more about satsumas and other citrus fruit here.

1 comment:

  1. I have been trying to find flying Dragon root stock for a week and can't find it in Houston. If you decide to trim it back I could use it as a cutting. I am going to graft lemon, lime and tangerine to the FD root stock to make a tree that will give a variety of citrus in a limited space. We use to do this grafting to sour orange stock when I was a kid in Arizona. Works great. I can find FD root stock in a lot of nurseries, but none can ship it to Texas. Let me know if you would like to donate the cutting:)