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Bergamot Orange 'Fantastico'

Citrus bergamia, the fragrance citrus plant

Bergamot Orange 'Fantastico'


Article number: 2193648

Free of shipping costs!


This product will be released at 1 April 2018

£55.40 *

Product information "Bergamot Orange 'Fantastico'"

The first and certainly most sensual association that we associate with citrus is the citrus fragrance. Most of the time, however, we are not aware that this fragrance is not just any smell, but the scent of the bergamot orange, more precisely the scent of the essential oil, which is abundant in the peel of the bergamot fruit. This scent is the head note of countless perfumes, and it is, in the form of Eau de Cologne, imprinted into the collective memory of entire generations (at least the now 50-60 year olds). But how can this special citrus fragrance be translated into words? It is the scent of freshness. Of life, of health. Giovanni Maria Farina, the creator of the first Eau de Cologne, described it as the scent of an Italian spring morning, the scent of the mountain daffodils and of citrus blossoms after a rain. If you smell the bergamot oil or even the cologne on your skin, smell again: now the citrus note becomes even clearer, it blends itself with your own smell, making it more vital and lively! And the source of this primordial perfume, this fragrance which characterises us, namely the bergamot citrus plants, can be cultivated without problems on balconies and terraces. The aromatic experience begins with the flowering and then continues with the ripening fruit, which one tries to pinch on the cheek, in order to sneak a foretaste, a first smell and then it ends with the self-made extraction of the fragrance oil. The bergamot orange is the fragrant citrus plant par excellence!
Short description:
Growth: Medium strong habit, with large leaves similar to lemon trees, needs warmth, place in a sunny location close to a radiating wall
Flowers: Blooms in April and May, concentrated in spring, white-flowering
Fruits: Large, round to flat-round citrus fruits, green to yellow at full maturity
Use: The famous bergamot fragrance oil, which we know from many perfumes, especially from Eau de Cologne, is extracted from the peel. Earl Grey tea is also perfumed with this fragrance oil
Winter hardiness/overwintering: Short-term resistance to cold down to approx. -4°C; this property probably originates from the origin of the bitter orange (Citrus aurantium).
Final size: Up to 2 m after more than 10 years in pots; up to 4 m when planted in southern locations
Where does the name 'bergamot' come from?
Bergamo? You may think this first, and then you immediately realise that this region is hardly suitable for growing citrus plants. The word bergamot, however, was stolen in action and truth and was borrowed from the pears. When the bergamot oranges appeared in Calabria, Italy in the middle of the 17th century, the bergamot pears were widely known as their own varieties. And because of a vague similarity of shape (both fruits are roundish, sometimes flat-rounded and rejuvenate themselves more or less conical, but short against the stem). And as was often the case in language – if the words are missing – the designation of a similar thing, also a fruit, was simply used. In the citrus and bergamot descriptions one can still read frequently today that the bergamot oranges are pear-shaped…the pear, to which the word bergamot refers, is however not typically pear-shaped, but rather apple-shaped and round. ;-)
And how did the name of the bergamot pear come about? According to language historians, the name goes back to a Turkish word combination and means "the pear of the Lord," the Lord's pear. Voilà, a suitable name not only for the noble pear, but also for the citrus plant, whose fragrance oil was first used primarily as a men's perfume.
Origin and history
At the beginning of the 17th century, the bergamot oranges appeared in Calabria, at the bottom of the Italian boot tip. They seem to have originated as a spontaneous, accidental crossing between a citron and a bitter orange (Citrus medica x citrus aurantium), but this crossing cannot be ascertained in Calabria or elsewhere. In any case, the bergamot oranges in Calabria still feel very comfortable and one of the largest cultivation areas is located here. The Calabrian people still maintain that fragrant bergamot oranges do not grow anywhere else in the world as well as in their region, and that at least the fragrance, the essential oil, which is also called “green gold”, does not have a comparable quality anywhere else like it does in southern Italy. The cultivation of the otherwise rather acidic fruits developed in parallel with its use as a basis for perfumes. The more popular the bergamot oil and the perfumes developed from it, the more the trees were planted. It is not exactly known how the cultivation started at the beginning, which was at the start of the 17th century.
Growth, flowering and fruits
Bergamot oranges grow normally strong and healthy; they have noticeable, relatively large leaves, which are reminiscent of the leaves of lemon trees. Bergamot oranges are different to many lemons in that they bloom exclusively in the spring; the white flowers are intensively perfumed. In the garden, after taking the citrus plants out of the area where they overwintered, the flowers appear in May and June. The apple-sized fruits are round and flat; the only reminder of the pear, from which they get their name, is probably due to the fact that sometimes they conically rejuvenate against the stem. The green fruits are used rather for high-quality fragrance oil; the oil of the more mature, yellow fruits is used mostly for gastronomy, for the flavouring of food and drinks.
The use of bergamot oranges in Eau de Cologne, Earl Grey Tea and the fragrance industry
It all began with Giovanni Maria Farina, a perfumier of Piedmontese origin who had emigrated to Cologne, Germany. He invented Eau de Cologne in 1708 and it quickly became the essence of perfume, which could easily cover so many other fragrances. And there was still a different layer of significance of Eau de Cologne, which reminds strongly of modern aromatherapy: Eau de Cologne, so it says on the package of the 4711 perfume, has a positive effect on the body, mind and soul; it is not only a fragrance, but it elevates the mind and mood. Goethe, it is reported, wrote, literally in a cloud of Eau de Cologne...somehow the perfume must have had an intellectual effect...
Back to Eau de Cologne: until almost the 20th century, Eau de Cologne dominated the world of perfumes; it left almost no place for other creations, and still today bergamot oil has a head note, being the first impression of many other and more recent perfumes. The citrus oil is said to be able to harmonise a mixture of fragrances with a harmonious unity like no other ingredient. Of course, success also attracted copiers and competitors, and around 1803 a certain Wilhelm Mühlens, also a Cologne perfumier, created another cologne in a quite questionable manner by getting the naming rights of the brand name Farina (from a distant relative of the perfume dynasty that has been active up to this day). After an epic name dispute between the two companies, Wilhelm Mühlens’ cologne was renamed 4711 in 1881. Yes, the impression can be deceiving: 4711 is by no means the original and “genuine” Eau de Cologne, even if something else is stated on the package. Finally, Earl Grey tea must also be mentioned. It is a typical English mixture of different black teas, perfumed with bergamot oil or fruit peels. How did the English get to it? This is still unclear (even if there are several rumours of the Prime Ministers and their Chinese connections), but they brought together two things, which were originally definitely from China: tea and citrus fruits.
Other uses
Bergamot oil has already been shown to have good antiseptic properties. In any case, wounds of the workers, who separated the citrus husks from the pulp before the oil extraction, were healed noticeably fast. And so bergamot oil has been and is often used in ointments and tinctures; however, one must also be aware that it also has a photosensitive effect, which increases the light and sun sensitivity of the skin. There were times when this property was used as a browning accelerator, but today it is hardly appropriate any more. Be careful with the application of bergamot oil to skin areas that are exposed to the intense sun. In addition to this, bergamot oil is also increasingly used in gastronomy, in haute cuisine, because, like few fragrances and flavours, it can open up and perhaps also elevate our senses when eating.
How to use bergamot oranges from your own garden
Bergamot oranges have strong, beautiful growth and they thrive well on balconies and terraces. Likewise, the fragrance of the flowers is exceptionally strong, but the pulp is rather sour, and is rarely used. The purpose of a bergamot is the same in your garden as in the plantations in Calabria: the fruit peels are supposed to provide the fragrance oil which you can now use yourself. The highest quality fragrance oil can be obtained from the green fruits; the yellow fruits are used rather to produce slightly less intense, milder aromatic oils, which are used in gastronomy. And how can the oil be extracted? This is quite simple: the peel of a ripe green or yellow bergamot orange almost explodes with fragrance oil! And so you only have to carefully take the peel off the fruit pulp and then press it into a fresh sponge. The peel, with the outer layer and the fragrance gland openings against the sponge, should be systematically bent and kneaded, and one oil gland after another discharges its valuable load into the sponge. Then squeeze the oil into a closable glass container. You will never smell and taste a better bergamot oil than this self-made green gold!
How are bergamot citrus plants cared for and overwintered?
Short-term frosts down to -4°C will not affect the bergamot orange much, but of course bergamot oranges must be kept frost-free. The best place is a bright and cool area with a temperature of 5-10°C, from which the bergamot orange can then be taken out in April to flower and to fruit. Pruning is rather restrained after clearing it out of the area where it overwintered and is limited to cutting back the shoots that have grown out of shape.
  • Available April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November
  • Use greenhouses/winter gardens, for containers, South- and West-facing walls, as a specimen plant
  • Hardiness place in an unheated room during the winter
  • Soil moist, dry, moderately heavy, light, neutral, slightly acidic
  • Location full sun
  • Flower Colour white
  • Leaf Colour green

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Mar 5, 2018

Bergamot Orange 'Fantastico' height (Eugene Goodin)

Hi can you tell me how tall this tree is please


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