Citron

Citrus medica

Citrus Apple, Wild Lemon, Yellow Citron, Etrog, Sitroen (Afr.)

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This ancient citrus is distinguished by its fragrant fruit, leaves and flowers. It bears fruit that few are familiar with, as it is seldom seen or used in its natural unprocessed form. With its trailing branches, its lemon-scented green leaves, its clustered flowers and its large, yellow egg-shaped fruits the Citron plant has been an important attribution to the culinary and medicinal applications ​and is even considered as ornamental - grown as patio plants or even Bonsai.

Related Plants

Planning

Difficulty

Moderate

Flowering time

Spring

Fruiting time

Summer, Autumn, Winter

Harvesting

The citron tree blooms nearly all year, but mostly in spring and the spring blooms produce the major part of the crop. The fruit is dark green​ when young, takes 3 months to turn yellow. To retain the green color, firmness and uniformity desired by the dealers in candied citron, the fruit must be picked when only 12.5 - 15cm long and 7.5 - 10cm wide.

Propagation

Cuttings

Cuttings taken from branches 2 to 4 years old and quickly buried deeply in soil without defoliation.

Special features

Pot plant

Suitable to grow in containers​, note that container must have enough drainage holes.

Attracts useful insects

Attracts insects such as honeybees.

Attracts birds

Indoor plant

Can be grown inside in a container given enough sun.

Special features

Origin

Southeast Asia

Natural climate

Sub-tropical and Tropical

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Acid, Neutral

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Medicinal

From ancient through medieval times it was used to combat seasickness, pulmonary troubles, intestinal ailments, scurvy, etc. Used today as an anthelmintic, appetizer, tonic, in cough, rheumatism, etc.

Edible

The practically inedible fruits are used to make candied citrus peel, jams, marmalade and even liqueur.

Notes

Culinary. Medicinal. Perfume

Personality

Family

Rutaceae

Flower colour

Cream

Scent

Strong

Problems

The citrus bud mite (Eriophyes sheldoni), citrus rust mite (Phyllocoptruta oleivora), snow scale (Unaspis citri) and branch knot are problematic. As with any fruit bearing tree, spider mites, scales, caterpillars and other insects are common.