Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

pp 1479-1483

Citrus Fruits: Origins and Development

  • Alison WeisskopfAffiliated withInstitute of Archaeology, University College London Email author 
  • , Dorian Q. FullerAffiliated withInstitute of Archaeology, University College London

Basic Species Information

Citrus fruits (Citrus spp. Rutaceae) are subtropical to tropical perennial fruit trees, producing juicy segmented fruits with thick rinds (Fig. 1). There are numerous named cultigens, with perhaps at least nine widely recognized, including mandarin or tangerine (C. reticulata Blanco), orange (C. x sinensis L. Osbeck), Seville, bitter or sour orange (C. x aurantium L.), the pomelo or shaddock (C. maxima Burm.), citron (Citrus medica Ferr), lime (C. aurantifolia Christm. Swingle), lemon (C. x limon L. Burm. F.), and grapefruit (C. paradisi Macfad.). In addition, makrut lime and leech lime or papeda are of widespread local importance in tropical Asia. However, as many as 300 species have been described, and this group presents taxonomic challenges due to the fact that these species readily hybridize, self-pollinate, and produce parthenocarpic fruit (asexually, with cloned seeds or no seeds). In addition, individual trees can present mutati ...

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