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Citrus

Botanical Name:

Citrus

Common Name:

Citrus

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Description

Slices of various citrus fruits TreeEdit These plants are large shrubs or small to moderate-sized trees, reaching 5–15 m (16–49 ft) tall, with spiny shoots and alternately arranged evergreen leaves with an entire margin. The flowers are solitary or in small corymbs, each flower 2–4 cm (0.79–1.57 in) diameter, with five (rarely four) white petals and numerous stamens; they are often very strongly scented, due to the presence of essential oil glands. FruitEdit The fruit is a hesperidium, a specialised berry, globose to elongated, 4–30 cm (1.6–11.8 in) long and 4–20 cm (1.6–7.9 in) diameter, with a leathery rind or "peel" called a pericarp. The outermost layer of the pericarp is an "exocarp" called the flavedo, commonly referred to as the zest. The middle layer of the pericarp is the mesocarp, which in citrus fruits consists of the white, spongy "albedo", or "pith". The innermost layer of the pericarp is the endocarp. The space inside each segment is a locule filled with juice vesicles, or "pulp". From the endocarp, string-like "hairs" extend into the locules, which provide nourishment to the fruit as it develops. Many citrus cultivars have been developed to be seedless and easy to peel.Citrus fruits are notable for their fragrance, partly due to flavonoids and limonoids (which in turn are terpenes) contained in the rind, and most are juice-laden. The juice contains a high quantity of citric acid and other organic acids giving them their characteristic sharp flavour. The genus is commercially important as many species are cultivated for their fruit, which is eaten fresh, pressed for juice, or preserved in marmalades and pickles. They are also good sources of vitamin C. The content of vitamin C in the fruit depends on the species, variety, and mode of cultivation. Fruits produced with organic agriculture have been shown to contain more vitamin C than those produced with conventional agriculture in the Algarve, but results depended on the species and cultivar. The flavonoids include various flavanones and flavones. Acidity indicatorsEdit The Moroccan professor Henri Chapot discovered that the acidity in the more common citrons or lemons is indicated by red on the inner coat of seeds specifically on the chalazal spot, violet pigmentation on the outer side of the flower blossom, and by the new buds that are reddish-purplish. The acid-free varieties of citrus are completely lacking the red color in all the mentioned spots. This designation was cited by Herbert John Webber and Leon Dexter Batchelor, the editors of the fundamental treatise on citrus, namely The Citrus Industry, which was published by the University of California, Riverside in 1967.

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Taxonomy

Order

Sapindales

Family

Rutaceae

Genus

Citrus

Characteristics

Bloom Time

Late winter or early spring, Spring

Plant Type

Tree

Lifespan

Perennial

How to Grow

Sunlight

Full Sun

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