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Chinese Bitter Orange

Poncirus trifoliata

Also known as

Trifoliate Orange, Japanese Bitter-Orange, Hardy Orange

Full Sun
Moderate care
Light watering
Frost Hardy

H5

RHS hardiness

-15°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

8m

Max

4m

4m

Min

2.5m

Fruiting

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

Chinese Bitter Orange Overview

Poncirus trifoliata is a bushy shrub or small tree that can grow up to 7m tall, with green branches bearing large, stiff thorns up to 5cm long. Its fragrant white flowers, which resemble orange blossom, appear in spring or early summer, have pink stamens and a light fragrance. They are followed by green fruits that ripen to yellow. About the size of a lime, the skin has a downy surface and contain many seeds. If crushed, the leathery foliage has a spicy aroma - like true citrus. A hardy plant, Chinese Bitter Orange (a name it's also known by), needs a south-facing, sheltered, sunny position - out of cold dry winds - and fertile, well-drained soil. Suited to cottage-style gardens, informal beds and borders and coastal locations, the unusual and eye-catching Poncirus trifoliata also makes a good hedge or screen. It can be lightly pruned in late winter or early spring.

Common problems with Chinese Bitter Orange

Generally free from pests and disease

    How to propagate Chinese Bitter Orange

    Cuttings

    Semi-ripe

    Seed

    Special features of Chinese Bitter Orange

    Attractive flowers

    Attractive fruits

    Hedge plant