The University of California, Riverside, will release a new mandarin citrus to nurseries for tree propagation this fall.
DaisySL, as the variety is called, differs from many other commercial mandarins in its distinctive flavor, few seeds and relative ease of peeling, according to a news release.
In Riverside, Calif., where the variety was tested, it matures in mid-December and can be held on the tree until February.
It was developed by Mikeal Roose, a genetics professor, and staff scientist Timothy Williams. They spent eight years evaluating the variety before they released it.
“DaisySL is similar to many other selections we evaluated, but it stood out from the rest, and we knew right off that we had something special,” Williams said in the release.
Roose and Williams developed DaisySL from an irradiated bud of the seedy diploid mandarin cultivar Daisy, a mid-season variety that is a hybrid of the mandarins Fortune and Fremont.
The breeding project was partly funded by California citrus growers and nurseries through the Citrus Research Board and California Citrus Nursery Board.
Budwood will be released to nurseries that have purchased licenses to propagate and sell the variety in the state. Distribution of the variety will be limited to California for three years after release, according to the news release.
It will be at least five years before consumers can purchase DaisySL fruit in the grocery stores.
DaisySL fruit average 2.7 inches in diameter and about 2.4 inches in height.
Each fruit has 10-11 segments.
The fruit is juicy, averaging 47 percent juice and weighs 135 grams on average. It averages 2.2 seeds per fruit in mixed plantings with other citrus varieties.