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Meyer lemon
Meyer lemon
© Jorma Koskinen
About Citrus Pages
Moro blood orange
Moro blood orange
© Jorma Koskinen
Citrus fruits
A little bit of history
World citrus production
Botanical classification
Why different botanical names
Edible citrus
Description of the fruit
Google Language Tool
Citrus Pages photo copyright
Sources of information
Web optimisation

About Citrus Pages
Vangasay lemon
Vangasay lemon
© Gene Lester

Indio Mandarinquat
Indio Mandarinquat
© Joe Real

Yuzu lemon
Yuzu lemon
© Laaz

Shasta Gold mandarin
Shasta Gold mandarin
© Jorma Koskinen
I started Citrus Pages in 2006. I was looking for information on the Internet about the most common citrus types with representative pictures of each variety. I found a lot of information on many sites but I missed a comprehensive approach arranged by groups and species combined with decent photographs. I could not find one. I thought long about creating my own site but the crucial thing was how to obtain good pictures. I wanted my site to differ from so many other citrus sites by having at least one photo of each variety, more if possible.

Before starting I wrote to some of the biggest citrus research centres and universities around the world, presented my plan and asked if they would agree to provide pictures for my non-commercial site. I promised I would credit the organisation or person holding the copyright under each picture. To my surprise many agreed. All of them are listed on the Photos & links page.

My first plan was to include the most common edible citrus fruits only, around 200 varieties. The plan was completed early 2007 and I was happy with it.  I soon received e-mail where people were enthusiastic about the site but asked questions like: "Why no kumquats?", "Where are the Australian citrus?" I gave a deep sigh and was again confronted with the same problem. I have enough information but no photos. Another round of e-mail went out and again I received many replies. By early 2008 this site found its present form, then with around 350 citrus varieties and included further groups like Papedas and Trifoliate orange with other rootstock.

Thanks to research centres like INRA Corsica, University of California Riverside, Texas A&M University and many citrus growers and enthusiasts like Gene Lester, Joe Real and Laaz in the United States and Mike Saalfeld and Petr Broža in Europe I have many new high definition photographs. Citrus Pages has several citrus varieties of which there previously was no information or photo available on the Internet.

After a four-week visit in January 2010 to central California where I was a house guest of Gene Lester I now have a collection of 6000 citrus photographs of which over 3000 are new pictures of my own. Gene took me to the UC Lindcove Citrus Research Station with its collection of several hundred citrus types and to many smaller growers and private gardens. It took me a week in Gene's own orchard alone to take pictures of his 400+ citrus trees of nearly 200 different citrus types, which form the largest private collection of citrus varieties. I shall now be able to slowly go through the over 1500 pictures on Citrus Pages and replace the oldest small pictures with bigger and technically better newer ones.

Citrus fruits
Combined together the citrus family is the largest group of commercially grown fruit. Bananas come second, with grapes in third place. Citrus Pages now also include Kumquats, Papedas, and Native Australian citrus as well as Trifoliate orange and other rootstock. More distant citrus relatives also have  a page. There are 310 varieties with a short description and a photograph. About 90 closely related cultivars are mentioned in addition. Of the 310 citrus types 131 have been assigned a botanical name at one time or another. The botanical index lists approximately 270 alternative Latin names for them, each with its respective author.

A little bit of history
The true story of the arrival of citrus to the West.
'Seedless Lemon' CCPP  California

'Redblush' grapefruit

Persian limes

'Sanguinelli' blood orange

Bearss lime

Citrons were grown in Mesopotamia as early as 4000 B.C. Most citrus types originated in the large areas of temperate climate around the Himalayas or in south-east Asia. The first written mention of citrus fruit is found in Sanskrit literature around 800 B.C. The cultivation of citrus fruit presumably began in China around 500 B.C. The first citrus brought to Europe was the citron, which came with the army of Alexander the Great in 325 B.C. from Persia. The citron was first used as a perfume and an insecticide and was later found to be edible when properly prepared. The Romans imported oranges and lemons from their provinces as expensive luxuries for their banquets. The plants they grew in Rome survived but bore few fruit. There are recognisable images of citrus fruit on the murals in Pompeii, which was destroyed by a volcano in 79 A.D.

After the Romans citriculture in Europe fell into oblivion for centuries. It is a common mistake repeated in a lot of citrus literature that the first citrus fruit were brought to Europe by the crusaders returning from Jerusalem in the 11th and 12th centuries. It was the Arab conquerors who brought many cultural novelties, citrus among them, to southern Europe with their Holy War as early as the late 8th century. After they conquered southern Spain around 711 A.D. the Khalifs of Cordoba started building the then biggest mosque in the world, the Mezquita of Cordoba in what they called Al-Andaluz. The building was completed in 987 when the famous Patio de los naranjos, the courtyard of oranges also took its final form. The Caliphs of Cordoba were very fond of sour orange trees and ordered them to be planted in the most prominent public spaces of the most important towns. This was the type that later became the Standard sour orange or Seville orange. Lemon and lime soon followed and after the conquest of Sicily we know that all three fruits were grown on the island in the year 1002 A.D. The crusaders did bring citrus fruit to the northern side of the Mediterranean. They re-introduced the citron and also brought the lemon and a type of sour orange that we now know as the bittersweet orange. This is the type that first reached America and the royal courts of Europe. The great voyages of discovery not only enlarged our view of the world but also introduced us to a type of sweet(er) orange in the early 1500's. But it was not until 1635 that the Portuguese planted a new type of citrus fruit they had found in China. It was the first citrus type that could be eaten fresh, the kind that we today know as the sweet orange, which for more than two centuries was called the Portugal orange.

On his second voyage Columbus introduced the first citrus fruits, the bittersweet orange and lemon among them, to America on November 22, 1493 on the Island of Hispaniola. First citrus plants were planted in the continental America on the coast of present-day Mexico on July 12, 1518. Citrus fruit spread to Florida in 1565, South Carolina in 1577, Arizona in 1707 and to California in 1769. It was in Florida and later in Paraguay where the bittersweet orange soon escaped from orchards and became naturalized still growing wild in many areas.

The last of the common citrus fruits to arrive in Europe and the U.S. was the mandarin as late as the beginning of the 19th century. Since then it has become one of the most popular citrus fruits and a source of continuous development and breeding. The research centre of the French Institute for Agricultural Research on the island of Corsica in the Mediterranean has more than 240 different kinds of mandarin trees.

2007/08 World citrus production
'Redblush' grapefruit

Calamondin, Citrus × microcarpa

Star Ruby grapefruit

Winged lime
In the 2007/08 season the biggest citrus producers  were
1. China, 2. Brazil, 3. United States, 4. Mexico and 5. Spain.

However, the biggest citrus exporters were
1. Spain, 2. South Africa, 3. United States (oranges, grapefruit, grapefruit juice, lemons and limes),
4. Turkey,  5. Argentina, 6. China, 7. Mexico and 8. Morocco.

The biggest citrus importers by far are the 27 EU countries whose main EU external imports come from South Africa, Argentina and Turkey. After the EU the biggest importers are 2. Russia, 3. United States (orange juice, lemons, limes and mandarins), 4. Canada, 5. Japan, 6. Ukraine, 7. Hong Kong, 8. Malaysia, 9. Switzerland and 10. Indonesia.

(Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service: Citrus World Markets and Trade, 4/2008.)

The biggest production areas of orange juice are Sao Paulo, Brazil and Florida, US. The biggest orange juice consumers are U.S., EU, Canada, Russia and Japan. A new feature that has emerged in the last few decades is the year-round availability of citrus fruit in the biggest consumer areas of North America and Europe. Because of the development of new late maturing cultivars the first ripe fruit of the new season are available in South Africa, Argentina, Australia and Brazil before the previous crops are finished in the northern hemisphere. After six months the situation is reversed.

It is important to remember that unlike most other commercially grown fruit the majority of the citrus fruits (oranges, mandarins, lemons, citrons and most grapefruit) mature during the local winter. In Europe the high season is from November to March. Including the early and late varieties the whole season lasts from October to May. Citrus fruit of the tropical climate (limes, pomelos and some grapefruit types) are an exception to this. Some pomelos can bear four crops in a year and some limes are picked once a month throughout the year.

  Botanical names of citrus plants
Tangelo 'Nova' © C. Jacquemond / INRA
Why are some botanical names on Citrus Pages different from names used on other websites?
Starting from 1994 the oldest correct classification of a plant is the one to be used in scientific studies accompanied by the name of its author (Tokyo Code 1994, Chapter II, Section III, Article 11.3. where it says: "For any taxon from family to genus inclusive, the correct name is the earliest legitimate one." There is a more detailed discussion of legitimate botanical names on the Citrus classification page where the famous classifications of Volkamer, Gallesio, Risso & Poiteau, Swingle, Tanaka and Mabberley are discussed. There are links to recently digitised versions of the three earliest books, which make for fascinating reading with their many already extinct varieties.

Edible citrus
Volkamer lemon

Variegated Pink-fleshed Eureka lemon

'Perrine' lemonine

'Shambar' grapefruit

Mandarin 'Nasnaran' © C. Jacquemond / INRA

Of modern botanists D.J. Mabberley (b.1948), since 2005 president of IATP, has presented the most interesting new views on citrus and the relationships between citrus types. In A classification for edible Citrus from 1997 and CITRUS Linnaeus from 2008 Mabberley states that in the edible citrus group there are only three citrus species, citron, pomelo and mandarin, which are then involved in several hybrids as follows:

1. Citrus medica, citron, which is involved in four citron hybrids.

  • Citrus × limon(citron × sour orange) lemon and its hybrids like Volkamer and Meyer lemons and Palestine lime.
  • Citrus × jambhiri(citron × mandarin) rough lemon and similar hybrids like  Rangpur lime, Mandarin lime and types like 'Otaheite'.
  • Citrus × aurantiifolia(citron × lemon × Ichang papeda) lime (Mexican lime) and Persian lime (lime × lemon).
  • Citrus × bergamia, (citron × sour orange) bergamot, like lemon is also considered a citron × sour orange cross.

2. Citrus maxima, pomelo, which is involved in
  • Citrus × aurantium (pomelo × mandarin) which includes three pomelo hybrids
  1. Citrus × aurantium (pomelo × mandarin) sour orange. The sour orange has inherited more features of pomelo than mandarin.
  2. Citrus × sinensis (pomelo × mandarin) sweet orange. The sweet orange has inherited more features of mandarin than pomelo. This group also includes all the crosses of orange, mandarin and grapefruit such as tangors, ortaniques, tangelos and their backcrosses like Page and Nova.
  3. Citrus × paradisi (pomelo × orange) the grapefruit.

3. Citrus reticulata Blanco, mandarin. This includes mandarin, satsuma, clementine and tangerine.

According to Mabberley: "This scheme provides a workable system for botanists and fruit-growers alike."
Citrus Pages follow the Mabberley system in edible citrus types.
The botany of other citrus types is discussed on the Citrus classification page.
Descriptions of all of these varieties can be accessed through the page.

Description of the fruit
The actual division into fifteen groups in this presentation is, however, that of the present author and takes note of recent research using molecular analysis. Sometimes the division into groups is determined solely by the food use of each fruit. Thus the fruits in the lime group are not all closely related but form a collection of several different kinds of citrus fruit that are used in the kitchen in much the same way as limes. The same is true of lemons. The only completely homogeneous groups are pomelos, grapefruit and sweet oranges, all of which contain cultivated varieties of only one species or hybrid.

Example: Calamondin, Citrus × microcarpa Bunge (example 1).

The botanical name of each type is given first. The complete scientific name of a plant includes the name of the author, the person who first described the fruit and named it. Sometimes two authors are given: first the name in brackets of the person who originally used the Latin name followed by the name of the person who later amended the description and reassigned the name to the plant type in question. An author name is often given as an abbreviation. Only Carl von Linné has an initial (L.) Where needed or available, several synonyms of the botanical name are given (example 2).  For a detailed discussion of botanical names see Which botanical name is the correct one? on the Citrus classification page.

This is followed by a brief description of the fruit and its most common food uses (example 3). Common names follow, first in English, sometimes with local variations. These are followed by the most common names in a handful of selected languages, when available. The author is fully aware of the enormous range of geographical variants. The Photos & links page has links to several sites presenting large indices of names of citrus types and cultivated varieties in multiple languages.  At the bottom of the pictures the copyright owner of each photograph is credited (example 4).
Fruit description
example 1

Fruit description
example 2

Fruit description
example 3

Fruit description
example 4

Google Language Tool
Google Translate Tool

As a new feature from November 2009 a language selection tool is placed at the top of each page. This service is provided by Google Translation and includes about 50 most common languages of Citrus Pages visitors. The translations are done by a computer and are not always accurate but hopefully they make visiting Citrus Pages easier for non-native English speakers.

The following abbreviations are used in plant names:
sp. = species
. = subspecies
syn. = synonyms, other versions of the Latin or variety name
var. = botanical variant
× = hybrid

The × may refer to a single plant: Citrus limon × Citrus medica means that the fruit is a hybrid of lemon and citron. An × may also refer to a whole species: Citrus × paradisi is the Latin name used of the grapefruit meaning that it is a man-made hybrid (of pomelo and orange)  and cannot as such be found in nature.

The abbreviations of the selected languages are :

DAN Danish IND some common Indian languages
ENG English ITA Italian
FIN Finnish LAT Latin
FRA French SPA Spanish
GER German SWE Swedish
'Oroblanco' grapefruit © C. Jacquemond / INRA
Clementine © C. Jacquemond / INRA
'Lemonime' © C. Jacquemond / INRA
Persian lime, Citrus latifolia © C. Jacquemond / INRA

Citrus Pages photo copyright
'Eureka' lemon
Eureka lemon
© Jorma Koskinen
Citrus Pages has at present about 1500 citrus-related photos provided by over 35 institutions and individuals, many of whom have taken photos for this site exclusively. Photos may be downloaded for private use only. They may not be printed or published on other websites without prior consent of the copyright owner. I am contractually unable to give permission to use photos owned or taken by third parties and requests should be addressed to the copyright owner directly. 

I can only authorize the use of my own photos and will do so for certain non-commercial purposes. In this case a link or reference to Citrus Pages is required and a credit to
© Jorma Koskinen must be shown. Please send photo requests to
Citrus Pages.

More information on the sources of the photographs is given
on the  Photos & links page.
'Daisy' mandarin
Daisy mandarin
© Jorma Koskinen

Literature and references 
Much information on citrus fruits is available both in printed form as well as on the Internet. I have made an effort to ensure that
the botanical information and classifications are as correct and up-to-date as possible.

The botanical information used on Citrus Pages is based on the following literature and it has been amended
and up-dated by the information from the recent scientific studies listed at the bottom:


Editors: W. Reuther, H.J. Webber, L.D. Batchelor. University of California Press © 1967
The magnum opus of citrus information unsurpassed in the wideness of its scope and the thoroughness with which it handles its subject matter. Now available also on the Internet.

Walter T. Swingle and Philip C. Reece: The Botany of Citrus and Its Wild Relatives. Chapter 3 of The Citrus Industry Vol 1 pp 190 - 430. Originally published in 1943 this is one of the best known taxonomic descriptions of citrus fruit. Now also available in its entirety on the Internet.

Robert Willard Hodgson: Horticultural Varieties of Citrus  Chapter 4 of The Citrus Industry.
An extensive description of both common and rare cultivated varieties of citrus.

Fresh Citrus Fruits. Edited by: W.F.Wardowski, S. Nagy, W.Grierson, Macmillan UK © 1986

Julia F. Morton: Fruits of Warm Climates, Creative Resource Syst., Inc. Miami, FL. © 1987
A thorough presentation of commercially important citrus types and their history, cultivation and food uses. Available on the Internet.

R. Cottin: Citrus of the World, A citrus directory, SRA - INRA - CIRAD © 2002   A catalogue of more than 5500 citrus names, classified by botanical, common and cultivar names. Includes a useful comparison of Swingle and Tanaka terminology listing equivalent names of both.

D.J. Mabberley: The Plant-Book, Second edition, Oxford University Press © 1997
D.J. Mabberley: The Plant-Book, Third edition, Cambridge University Press UK © 2008

James Saunt
: Citrus Varieties of the World,  Second edition, Sinclair UK © 2000, 160 pp.
University of California, Riverside Citrus Variety Collection, Citrus varieties
A presentation of the most important common varieties at the UCR Experiment Station.

University of California, Riverside CCPP Citrus Clonal Protection Program, Variety data
A presentation of the holdings of the CCPP citrus variety collection with the relevant data.

Répartition des variétés par espèces. Station de recherche agronomique SRA-INRA Corse.
Détails des variétés par espèces. Station de recherche agronomique SRA-INRA Corse.

These two large databases detail the holdings of the INRA Citrus Research Station in Corsica, France.

  A classification for edible Citrus

   D.J. Mabberley,  Rijksherbarium, University of Leiden, Netherlands and
   Royal BotanicGardens,
Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia (1997)  Telopea 7(2): 167–172.  

   RFLP analysis of the origin of Citrus bergamia, Citrus jambhiri, and Citrus limonia                 
   Federici, C.T., Roose, M.L. and Scora, R.W. 2000. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 535:55-64

  Citrus phylogeny and genetic origin of important species as investigated by molecular markers
   E. Nicolosi, Z. N. Deng, A. Gentile, S. La Malfa, G. Continella and E. Tribulato
   Istituto di Coltivazioni arboree, University of Catania, Italy. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 100(8): 1155-1166.   

Australian Citreae with notes on other Aurantioideae (Rutaceae)
   Mabberley, D.J. Rijksherbarium, University of Leiden, Netherlands and Royal Botanic Gardens,
   Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia (1998)  Telopea 7(4):333–344.
CITRUS Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 782. 1753.
   Zhang Dianxiang, David J. Mabberley, Fl. China 11: 90–96. 2008.

   M. A. Nor Azah, J. Abdul Majid, S. Abu Said , M. Z. Zaridah & Z. Mohd. Faridz
   Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM)
  Molecular characterization and genetic diversity among Japanese acid citrus based on RAPD markers 
   A. Asadi Abkenar and S. Isshiki 2002. Laboratory of Biotechnology and Plant Breeding, Saga University, Japan.

   Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology
(2003) 78 (1) 108-112
  Native Australian Citrus – wild species, cultivars and hybrids
   Primary Industries and Resources, Government of South Australia (PIRSA) FS No: 7/03
  The International Plant Names Index (IPNI) database of authors.
  Hardy Citrus for the South East
   Tom McClendon
   Southeastern Palm Society SPS Publishing

  Assessment of polyembryony in lemon: rescue and in vitro culture of immature embryos
   O. Pérez-Tornero and I. Porras
   Instituto Murciano de Investigación y Desarrollo Agrario y Alimentario, C/ Mayor s/n, 30150 Murcia, Spain
   Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture 2008, 93: 173-180
  Studies on Polyembryony and Improvement of Breeding Efficiency of Oranges.
   Hwang A-shiang and Yeuh Ching-shi.   
  Polyembryony in Citrus
   Accumulation of Seed Storage Proteins in Seeds and in Embryos Cultured in Vitro
   Anna M. Koltunow, Tetsushi Hidaka and Simon P. Robinson
   Plant Physiol. (1 996) 11 O: 599-609
  Marker enrichment and construction of haplotype-specific BAC contigs for the polyembryony genomic region in Citrus
   Michiharu Nakano, Tokurou Shimizu, Hiroshi Fujii, Takehiko Shimada,Tomoko Endo, Hirohisa Nesumi, Takeshi Kuniga and Mitsuo Omura
   Breeding Science Vol. 58 (2008) , No. 4 375-383
  Polyembryony and identification of Volkamerian lemon zygotic and nucellar seedlings using RAPD
   María Andrade-Rodríguez, Angel Villegas-Monter, Guillermo Carrillo-Castañeda, and Armando García-Velázquez.
   Pesq. agropec. bras., Brasília, v.39, n.6, p.551-559, jun. 2004 

  Performance of various grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.) and pummelo (C. maxima Merr.) cultivars under the dry tropic conditions of Mexico
   Becerra-Rodríguez Salvador (1) ; Medina-Urrutia Víctor Manuel (1) ; Robles-González Marciano Manuel (1) ; Williams Timothy (2) 
   Euphytica Y. 2008, vol. 164, No. 1, pages 27-36 [10 pages] [bibl. : 3/4 p.]

Volkamer lemon

'Yen Ben' Lisbon lemon

Star Ruby grapefruit

Meyer lemon

Marrakech limonetta

Ruby light blood orange

Yuzu, Citrus junos

Star Ruby grapefruit

Washington Sanguine light blood orange

Ginger lime

Washington Sanguine light blood orange

'Eureka' lemon

Web optimisation
Citrus Pages are optimised for the screen resolution width of 1280 pixels on Google Chrome and Firefox.

The design and compilation of Citrus Pages are mine. 
Comments and suggestions are welcome.
Have fun!

Jorma Koskinen

e-mail to Citrus Pages

These are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others. (Groucho Marx)

Page revised on 06 April 2010
Up-dated on 13 March 2011