The Minneola Tangelo or Honeybell Tree is a natural cross of the tart Duncan grapefruit and the sweet Dancy tangerine. This citrus tree has shiny dark-green pointed leaves, and fragrant blooms. These Trees produce large, juicy, sugary-sweet, easy to peel, seedless bell-shaped fruits that are called “Honeybells”.
Tangelo Trees are amazing evergreen citrus trees from the flowering family Rutaceae. They are in an entirely different class of their own and are neither pomelo (Citrus paradisi) nor tangerine (Citrus reticulata) but a natural cross of the tart Duncan grapefruit and the sweet Dancy tangerine. Because of its lineage, this citrus tree can grow to the size of the standard orange tree. It is also more cold hardy than a grapefruit tree but less so when compared to a tangerine tree.
One of the most popular tangelo trees released is the fabulous Minneola Tangelo Tree, which was released by the USDA Horticultural Research Station in Orland in 1931. This tangelo tree grows bushy and small, about 8’ to 12’ in height, when planted in the ground and smaller when grown in a pot. This fruit tree has a rounded growth habit, shiny dark-green pointed leaves, and fragrant blooms. The white flowers appear in spring making it a wonderful container subject or an accent tree. For the tree to reach its optimal size, it is best grown in USDA growing zones 8-11. If grown in other regions of the US, it can be planted in a container and brought indoors during winter.
The Minneola Tangelo Trees produce large, juicy, sugary-sweet, easy to peel, seedless bell-shaped fruits that are called “Honeybells”. Because of its large size – bigger than an orange and slightly smaller than a grapefruit – and refreshing flavor that is very similar to a tangerine but is more substantial and more flavorful, honeybell has made a name in the gift fruit industry. Honeybells are in season in spring and are typically pre-ordered online and rarely available in stores.