Botanical name: Citrus
Botanical name: Citrus
Citrus (genus Citrus) are a large group of tropical and warm-temperate flowering plants that are of tremendous culinary and commercial importance to humans. Citrus include some of the most popular fruits in the world, including oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, and tangerines. They are thought to have been cultivated since at least 3,000 BCE - that's 5,000 years ago! In addition to being grown for their fruits, these plants are also grown as ornamentals or as nectar-providers for bees.
Species of Citrus
Citrus fruits 'Meyer'
The citrus fruits 'Meyer' is a cultivar of lemon and mandarin orange. It was named for Frank Meyer as he discovered it. California has improved this variety of fruit over the years, specifically improving it to be more disease resident in the 1970s. With pruning this lemon tree can be grown in a pot, making it a great option for someone who doesn't have space for a full-grown citrus fruits 'Meyer' tree.
The mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata) is a citrus fruit tree. It is famed for its Mandarin oranges, a commonly consumed fruit which can be eaten plain or used in salads. During the Chinese New Year, the fruit is considered a symbol of good fortune.
The kumquat is a cold-hardy evergreen citrus tree. In spring, the kumquat produces sweet-smelling white flowers. Its small orange edible fruit, kumquats, can be eaten whole. It will grow nicely as a container plant.
A native to Northern China and Korea, hardy orange is recognizable by the large 3 to 5 cm thorns on the shoots and its deciduous leaves. It is also unique as a citrus plant because its fruit has a downy fuzz similar to a peach. The ripe fruit is very bitter but can be used to make marmalade.
Citron (*Citrus medica*) is a citrus species whose use dates back to the days of Ancient Greece, with preserved pollen indicating its cultivation at least 2,500 years ago. Although it looks scrumptious, this lemon-like citrus is mostly composed of rind and has very little pulp. This variety of citrus actually predates lemons, which were selectively bred into what we know today. The citron fruit is used in various religious ceremonies in the Mediterranean region and elsewhere.
This dwarf citrus tree grows extremely well when potted in a sunny spot indoors, and its maximum height is 1.5 m. Both the kaffir lime's fruit and the distinctive, two-lobed leaves are edible and an important part of many tropical Asian dishes. The fruits can also be used in cleaning solutions and hair care products.
Lemon is a cultivated small evergreen tree known for its yellow, juicy, sour fruits full of citric acid. Its origins are unknown, but it was probably first created in India, China, or Burma as a hybrid of sour orange (Citrus × aurantium) and citron (Citrus medica). It is commercial fruit cultivated in warm regions around the world.
The bitter orange, or Citrus × aurantium, are an ornamental citrus frequently used as root stock for other types of orange trees. Bitter orange trees are colder hardy than their edible cousins and can be grown in large containers outdoors. The fruit and rind are bitter and sour compared to traditional oranges, but can be used to make marmalade.
Citrus fruits 'Eureka Pink Variegated'
The citrus fruits 'Eureka Pink Variegated' (Citrus × limon 'Eureka Pink Variegated') is a cultivar in the citrus family. The tree features white-and-green striped leaves, but the real star of the show is its fruit. Unlike a typical Eureka lemon, its rind is striped green and yellow until maturity, and the cultivar is named after the pink flesh found inside!
Citrus fruits 'Moro'
Citrus fruits 'Moro' is a delicious and sweet citrus fruit, with a distinctive deep red flesh. Originating from Italy, this orange is celebrated for its high levels of vitamin C and anthocyanins, which provide numerous health benefits.
Key lime (Citrus aurantiifolia) is an evergreen fruit tree famous for its golf-ball-sized green limes, which are used to make key lime pie and cocktails. It has dark green leaves and has sharp thorns. It blooms fragrant, white, star-shaped flowers in spring and produces fruit in summer. Grows in full sun with well-drained soil.
Pomelo (*Citrus grandis*) is a greenish, tropical and subtropical fruit originally that is larger than any other citrus fruit on the planet (thus the species name - 'grandis'). Though it is the ancestor of the commonly cultivated grapefruit (citrus x paradisi), the pomelo has a thick, hard-to-peel rind and doesn’t have a lot of juice. Nevertheless, it is commonly eaten in Southeast Asia.
Citrus fruits 'Eureka'
The citrus fruits 'Eureka' is a citrus cultivar created in California from imported Italian lemon trees (Lisbon lemons). It was named by a nursery worker and was first known as Garey's Eureka. This cultivar is sometimes grown as a houseplant in cooler climates. The citrus fruits 'Eureka' is most commonly found in US grocery stores and is known for its many culinary uses.
Australian desert lime
Australian desert lime (genus Citrus glauca) are a large group of tropical and warm-temperate flowering plants that are of tremendous culinary and commercial importance to humans. Australian desert lime include some of the most popular fruits in the world, including oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, and tangerines. They are thought to have been cultivated since at least 3,000 BCE - that's 5,000 years ago! In addition to being grown for their fruits, these plants are also grown as ornamentals or as nectar-providers for bees.