1) Citrus General Information:
- Location on property: Garden S, Garden T, Lono Hale, Hideaway Camp
- Scientific Name: Citrus spp.
- Region of Origin: Citrus is believed to have originated in the part of Southeast Asia bordered by Northeastern India, Myanmar (Burma) and the Yunnan province of China
- Type: Edible
- General History: The first recording of citrus fruit in European history was done by Theophrastus, in 350 BC, following the introduction of the fruit by Alexander the Great. In early European history, writers wrote about Persian citrus. It had a wonderful fragrance and was thought to be a remedy for poisoning, a breath sweetener, and a repellent to moths.
- These plants are large shrubs or small trees, reaching 5–15 m 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 diameter, with five (rarely four) white petals and numerous stamens; they are often very strongly scented. The fruit is ahesperidium, a specialized berry.
2) Plant Uses:
- As Food: Many citrus fruits, such as oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, and clementines, are generally eaten fresh.
- As Medicine or Other Uses: Citrus juice also has medical uses; lemon juice is used to relieve the pain of bee stings. Oranges were historically used for their high content of vitamin C, which prevents scurvy caused by vitamin C deficiency. An early sign of scurvy is fatigue. If ignored, later symptoms are bleeding and bruising easily. British sailors were given a ration of citrus fruits on long voyages to prevent the onset of scurvy, hence the British nickname of Limey. Pectin is a structural heteropolysaccharide contained in the primary cell walls of plants. The extract of it from Citrus Fruits is used in medicine such as Tylenol for the gelling effect of it when broken down.Limes and lemons as well as oranges and grapefruits are among the highest in this level.After consumption, the peel is sometimes used as a facial cleanser.
- A peel of lemons or orange is commonly used as a means to moisten medical cannabis when stored with it. Before the development of fermentation-based processes, lemons were the primary commercial source of citric acid.Citrus fruit juices, such as orange, lime and lemon, may be useful for lowering the risk factors for specific types of kidney stones. Orange juice may help prevent calcium oxalate stone formation. Lemons have the highest concentration of citrate of any citrus fruit. Daily consumption of lemonade has been shown to decrease the rate of stone formation.
3) Growing Instructions
- General: The color of citrus fruits only develops in climates with a (diurnal) cool winter. In tropical regions with no winter at all, citrus fruits remain green until maturity, hence the tropical “green oranges”.
- Best time to Harvest: Citrus fruits go from immaturity to rotten while still on the tree! Once they are picked, they will not increase in sweetness or continue to ripen. The only change that happens after being picked is that they will eventually start to decay. With oranges, color cannot be used as an indicator of ripeness because sometimes the rinds turn orange long before the oranges are ready to eat. Tasting them is the only way to know whether or not they are ready to eat. The trees flower in the spring, and fruit is set shortly afterward. Fruit begins to ripen in fall or early winter months, and develops increasing sweetness afterward.
- Sunlight Requirements: consistently sunny, humid environment
- Soil Requirements: fertile soil and adequate rainfall or irrigation
- Propagation: Citrus trees hybridize very readily – depending on the pollen source. Most commercial citrus cultivation uses trees produced by grafting the desired fruiting cultivars onto root stocks selected for disease resistance and hardiness. Abandoned trees in valleys may suffer, yet survive.
- Controlling Spread: /
- Difficulties with this plant: Citrus plants are very liable to infestation by aphids, whitefly and scale insects (e.g. California red scale). Also rather important are the viral infections to which some of these ectoparasites serve as vectors such as the aphid-transmitted Citrus tristeza virus which when unchecked by proper methods of control is devastating to citrine plantations.
History of this Plant at Hedonisia:
We only have one bearing lemon tree on the property. However, our very generous neighbor allows us to harvest oranges, lemons, and grapefruits from his abundant trees when they are in season.