Difference Between Mandarin and Clementine


Main Difference

The main difference between Mandarin and Clementine is that Mandarin is a sweeter and smaller type of orange whereas, Clementine is a sweetest and seedless type of mandarin orange.

Mandarin vs. Clementine

Mandarin is a small, flat, citrus fruit with thin yellow to orange peel. Clementine is a cross-breed fruit of sweet orange and willow-leaf mandarin orange. The scientific name of mandarin is Citrus reticulata, and clementine is Citrus × clementine. Mandarins are smaller and oblate rather than spherical whereas clementine is smallest and round than oranges. Mandarin is mostly grown in China whereas Clementine in Spain, Algeria, Italy, Turkey and, Morocco. Taste of mandarin is sweeter than oranges, but clementine has a super sweet taste. The mandarin is easy to peel off because of looser and thinner skin while the skin of clementine is smoother, shinier, and red-orange. Mandarins have a richer supply of vitamin C than a clementine. A mandarin gives almost 20 milligrams or 23 percent daily value of vitamin C while a clementine gives 36 milligrams or 40 percent. Mandarins benefit from vitamin A in the form of compounds called carotenoids, whereas clementines do not contain vitamin A content. Mandarin contains less amount of vitamin B than a clementine. A mandarin provides 12 micrograms of vitamin B while clementine has 18 micrograms.


Comparison Chart

It is citrus, somewhat flat, small fruit that has loose yellow to orange skin.It is the smallest, round fruit that is a cross-breed of sweet orange and mandarin willow-leaf orange.
Scientific Name
Citrus reticulataCitrus × Clementina
ChinaSpain, Algeria, Italy, Turkey, Morocco
The smaller type of orangeThe smallest type of orange.
Loose, ThinSmooth, Shiny
Skin Color
Sweeter than orangesSuper sweet
Vitamin C
Rich supplyLess supply

What is Mandarin?

Mandarin is a small, oblate, citrus fruit that has loose yellow-orange skin. It is associated with the family ‘Rutaceae.’ It has a sweeter taste than oranges. The trees of mandarins are short, evergreen woody plants and have originated in Asia, China forests. They look like an ordinary orange shape-wise but have a smaller size and thin skin. So it is easy to peel them. Fresh, dried or zested peels of mandarine are mostly used in candies, baking, drinks, as spices. The essential oils in the peel of mandarine have applications in the perfume industry and skincare products. The harvesting season of mandarins is winter. A mandarin has firmed to moderately soft pebbly skin. The trees of mandarin can tolerate a shortage of water more than the fruit. The dry peel of mandarine has a usage in classic Chinese medicine for the treatment of abdominal diseases, reduction of mucus (phlegm), increasing the digestion, and in Indian Ayurvedic medicine. Mandarines are symbolized in Chinese New Year for wealthy and good fate. During the celebration, people exchange them as gifts and display for decoration. Low concentration of protein, fat, vitamin E and vitamin B6 are present in mandarin. The amount of Vitamin C IN mandarin is 20 mg (23 percent daily value). They benefit from vitamin A in the form of compounds called carotenoids. The health benefits of mandarin include a lower risk of cancer, act as an antioxidant, resolve cholesterol problems, maintains blood pressure, reduce weight, improve the immune system, and skin health.


What is Clementine?

Clementine is a seedless cross-breed fruit of sweet orange and willow-leaf mandarin orange. They mostly grow in Spain, Algeria, Italy, Turkey, Morocco. Clementines have less citric acid than oranges, therefore they are super sweet. Their skin has a deeper red-orange color, glossy appearance, and they are easy to peel. Its taste is super sweet. The oils extracted from clementine consist of limonene, linalool, myrcene, aromatics, and a-pinene. Many sources convey that its existence came into being by accidental hybridization, by Brother Clement Rodier. It can split into seven to fourteen segments. Clementines require lower heat for flowering, fruit set, and fruit maturity periods. The growing season of clementines is winter. Therefore they are also known as“Christmas oranges.” The concentration of vitamin C in it is greater (0.06 mg). The number of micronutrients in clementine is 12% carbohydrates, 87% water, 59% vitamin C and a trace amount of fat and protein ( in 100 gram of serving). There are two types of clementine; Seedless type of clementine is common one which is pollinated by cross-pollination, and Monreal clementine type contains seeds which pollinate itself. It has many health benefits such as free radical damage prevention, strengthening the immune system, controlling high blood pressure, preventing cardiovascular diseases, preventing constipation, assisting weight loss, improving vision health, relieving stress, and improve skin health.

Key Differences

  1. Mandarin mostly grow in China whereas clementine grows in Spain, Algeria, Italy, Turkey, Morocco.
  2. The size of the Mandarin is a smaller type of orange while clementine is the smallest type of orange.
  3. Mandarin has an oblate, flattish shape. On the flip side, clementine is round or spherical.
  4. Mandarin is a purebred fruit while clementine is a crossbreed fruit of sweet orange and willow-leaf mandarin orange.
  5. Mandarin has a sweeter taste than oranges while clementine has a super sweet taste.
  6. The skin of the mandarin is loose and thin. On the other hand, the skin of clementine is shinny smooth and glossy.
  7. Mandarin is a seedy fruit. Conversely, clementine is a seedless fruit.
  8. The scientific name of mandarin is Citrus reticulata whereas the scientific name of clementine is Citrus × clementine.
  9. The skin color of mandarin is yellow-orange while clementine has a deeper red-orange color.


Both fruits resemble orange. However, the differentiation between mandarin and clementine is based on shape, size, and taste. Mandarin has a smaller size, oblate shape, and sweeter taste than the common orange whereas Clementine is a hybrid with super sweet, round and seedless characteristics.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson