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Genus Citrus Family Rutaceae

Synonyms: Eremocitrus sp. APNI*

Description: Shrubs or small trees, almost glabrous but with a few simple hairs, armed with solitary or paired axillary spines.

Leaves alternate, dimorphic, 1-foliolate or simple, margins entire to ± crenate.

Inflorescences axillary, 1- or 2-flowered, cymose. Flowers bisexual, 3–5-merous. Sepals 3–5, basally fused. Petals 3–5, imbricate, not persistent in fruit. Stamens 12–30, free or filaments cohering in bundles, erect. Ovary 4–8-locular, ± globose; styles fused, arising terminally from ovary, short; stigma scarcely differentiated from style; ovules 8–20 in each loculus.

Fruit a berry containing stalked pulp vesicles; seeds dull, yellowish grey.


Distribution and occurrence: World: 13-150 spp., S China, India, Malesia. Aust: c. 8 spp. (6 spp. native, 5 spp. endemic, 2 spp naturalized), naturalized, Qld, N.S.W.

Many species and hybrids are cultivated in warmer countries of the world for their edible fruit. These include oranges, grapefruits, mandarins, lemons and limes..The taxonomy of this genus is a matter for debate, as the origins of the commonly cultivate species are obscure, see Mabberley (1997b).

Text by P.G. Richards & G.J. Harden
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Stamens with filaments cohering in bundles; leaves >6 cm long and >3 cm wide; fruit >4 cm diam.Citrus x taitensis
Stamens with free filaments; leaves <6 cm long and <3 cm wide; fruit <3 cm diam.2
2Leaves oblanceolate to spathulate, adpressed grey-hairy, margins entire; ovary with 3–5 loculi, 2 ovules per loculus; fruit globose to ovoid, <3 cm long; western species of arid areas.Citrus glauca
Leaves obovate to elliptic or ± rhombic, glabrous, margins often coarsely crenate; ovaries with 4–8 loculi, 4–8 or more ovules in each loculus; fruit cylindrical, >4 cm long; coastal species in rainforest.
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Citrus australasica

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