The mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata; Chinese: 橘子 or 桔子; pinyin: júzi; Yue Chinese: 桔, jyutping: gat1), also known as the mandarin or mandarine, is a small citrus tree with fruit resembling other oranges, usually eaten plain or in fruit salads. Specifically reddish-orange mandarin cultivars can be marketed as tangerines, but this is not a botanical classification. Mandarins are smaller and oblate, rather than spherical like the common oranges (which are a mandarin hybrid). The taste is considered less sour, as well as sweeter and stronger. A ripe mandarin is firm to slightly soft, heavy for its size, and pebbly-skinned. The peel is very thin, with very little bitter white mesocarp, so they are usually easier to peel and to split into segments. Hybrids generally have these traits to a lesser degree. The mandarin orange tree is more drought-tolerant than the fruit. The mandarin is tender and is damaged easily by cold. It can be grown in tropical and subtropical areas.
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