Plant Family / Citrus
Citrus are evergreen shrubs or trees prized for their large, juicy fruits. All are extremely decorative plants with glossy, dark green leaves that set off the fragrant white flowers and then the vibrantly colored fruits. Most citrus bear fruit without cross-pollination and require little pruning. Exotic-looking, they are terrific additions to the landscape, patio containers or as houseplants. Wouldn't it be wonderful to pluck your homegrown lemons, limes, oranges or pummelos fresh from the tree?
Remarkably cold-hardy, Citrus japonica (Kumquat) is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree prized for its glossy lance-shaped leaves and very small, oval, orange fruits. The orange rind is sweet and the light orange flesh is acidic. The fruit is unique in that you eat the whole thing, skin and all. Heavenly scented white flowers bloom in summer.
A popular blood orange variety, Citrus sinensis 'Moro' is a medium-sized, evergreen tree prized for its medium to large, juicy oranges with deep, wine-colored flesh. Frequently borne in clusters, they are the most intensely colored of the blood oranges.
A sport of the popular Eureka lemon, Citrus x limon 'Eureka Pink Variegated' is a medium-sized, evergreen tree prized for its variegated foliage and round fruits. When young, the fruit are covered with green and creamy-yellow stripes. When fully ripe, the stripes fade, and the rind turns creamy-yellow with distinct pink oil glands. The flesh is pale pink when mature, low-seeded, and very acidic.
A popular lemon variety, Citrus x limon 'Eureka' is a medium-sized, almost thornless, evergreen tree of spreading and open growth habit, prized for its abundant crops of oblong, bright yellow fruits. The fruit is pleasantly fragrant, thick-skinned, with a short neck and a conspicuous nipple. It is juicy, with a highly sour flavor, and noted for having very few seeds.
Citrus x limon 'Meyer' (Meyer's Lemon) is a compact, spiny, evergreen shrub prized for its large rounded orange-yellow fruit, 3 in. across (8 cm), adorned with a smooth, thin skin. It is less acidic, juicier, sweeter than common lemons and enjoys a pleasant hint of tangerine.
Citrus x microcarpa (Calamondin) is a bushy evergreen shrub of upright and columnar habit, prized for its elliptic, glossy rich green leaves and very small, round, orange fruits. The orange flesh is acidic, juicy, and contains a few seeds. The peel is thin and smooth, yellow-orange and easily separable. Calamondin flowers and sets fruit intermittently throughout the year, adding to the shrub's decorative appeal and filling the air with the aroma of citrus blossom.
Delicious and easy to grow, Citrus × aurantiifolia (Key Lime) is a spiny evergreen shrub or small tree, prized for its rounded fruit, 2-3 in. across (4-6 cm), with juicy green pulp. Green and glossy when immature, the fruit turns pale-yellow when ripe. It is aromatic, juicy, very acid and flavorful. Valued for its unique flavor, it lends itself to many culinary uses.
Citrus × latifolia 'Bearss Lime'(Persian Lime) is a dwarf, nearly thornless evergreen shrub prized for its oval fruit, 2-3 in. across (4-6 cm), with juicy light greenish-yellow pulp. Vivid green and glossy when immature, the fruit turns pale-yellow when ripe. It is aromatic, juicy, acid, but without the distinctive bouquet of the Key lime. It is bigger and seedless, with a lower acidity and a thicker rind than that of the Key lime (Citrus x aurantiifolia).
The most widely cultivated lime, Citrus × latifolia (Persian Lime) is a medium-sized, nearly thornless evergreen shrub or small tree, prized for its oval fruit, 2-3 in. across (4-6 cm), with juicy light greenish-yellow pulp. Vivid green and glossy when immature, the fruit turns pale-yellow when ripe. It is aromatic, juicy, acid, but without the distinctive bouquet of the Key lime.