Ark of Taste
The Louisiana Satsuma was imported from Japan in the early 1800’s and immediately adapted by the populace with it’s easily separated sections of sweet, brilliant orange fruit and easy to peel, mottled green & yellow skin.
The name, Satsuma, was created by the wife of the US Minister to Japan, General Van Valkenburg, who sent trees home in 1878 from Satsuma, the name of a former province, now Kagoshima Prefecture. During the period 1908-1911, approximately a million Satsuma trees were imported from Japan and planted throughout the lower Gulf Coast states from Florida to Texas. While this fruit is grown primarily for fresh consumption, a portion of the crop is canned as fruit segments or juice.
The Satsuma that was introduced in the early 1880s, possessed more cold hardiness than other sweet citrus plants and prompted the planting of citrus in the more northern latitudes of Louisiana. By the 1890s, Satsuma trees were planted extensively along all the southern Louisiana parishes.
The Owari Satsuma is a leading variety of citrus grown in Louisiana. The fruits ripen from mid-October to early December. The trees have a weeping willow like habit of growth, with large sweeping limbs. The fruits are small with a high percentage of mild juice. The Owari Satsuma is generally seedless, but under all conditions has fewer seeds than mandarin types such as Clementine or Dancy.
This variety produces medium to large fruit that is yellow-orange in skin color when mature. The peel is generally smooth and separates easily from the flesh. Brown’s Select trees are large, productive and have an open spread-branching pattern. Harvest can begin from mid-October into early November.