Citrus Curator Given Endowed Chair to Support UCR’s Citrus Variety Collection in Perpetuity
January 14, 2016 | Sean Nealon
The appointment, which went into effect July 1, 2015 and runs through June 30, 2020, allows the collection to be supported and maintained in perpetuity. It was made possible by a $1 million endowment from Givaudan, a Swiss-based company that is the global leader in the creation of fragrances and flavors.
Kahn has been the curator of the Citrus Variety Collection, one of the world’s most diverse assemblages of citrus cultivars and their relatives, since 1995. The collection consists of at least four trees each of more than 1,000 citrus cultivars, including cultivars developed at UCR, new and heirloom cultivars and citrus relatives introduced from around the world since the collection was established in the early 1900s.
This diversity can be seen, smelled and tasted. There are fruits that are as big as a person’s head and as small as a green pea. There are fruits that are orange, red, green and purple in color. They have a wide range of aromas especially in late February and early March when many of the trees are in full bloom.
As curator, Kahn oversees the care of the collection, research on citrus diversity and facilitates research by other researchers who utilize the collection. The collection is a resource for citrus growers, nursery owners, produce providers, chefs, students and the public.