Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Citrus indica Tanaka, Stud. Citrol. 2: 164. 1928; Bhattacharya & Dutta, Class. Citrus Fr. Assam 56. 1956; Swingle, Citrus Ind. 1: 384. 1967.

Kh.: Memang-narag. The Indian wild orange.

Shrubs or small trees, to 3 m high; branchlets cylindric, spreading, spiny, glabrous. Leaves unifoliolate; petioles short, ca 12 mm long, slightly winged, articulated at apex; leaflet blades oblong or lanceolate to elliptic-oblong, acute at base, attenuate at apex, nentire or crenate towards apex along margins, 6.5 - 11 x 2.5 - 4 cm; nerves oblique, reticulate. Inflorescences usually of a solitary flower, very rarely also in pairs, axillary; pedicels ca 4 mm long, glabrous. Flowers bisexual. Calyx cupular, 4- or 5-lobed; lobes deltoid, conspicuously pellucid-punctate abaxially. Petals 5, oblong, obtuse, 10 - 15 x 3 - 6 mm, glandular, white. Stamens 22 - 25; filaments united at base, free above, glabrous, white; anthers ca 3 mm long, introrse. Ovary vase-shaped, 8 - 11-locular; style terete, white; stigma capitate. Fruits small, depressed globose to subpyriform or obovoid, up to 4 cm across, depressed or obtuse at apex, obtuse at base, deep orange to scarlet red, smooth, glandular; pericarp thin, slightly adherent; mesocarp thin, white, spongy, soft, sweet; endocarp segments 8 - 11, slightly adherent, central axis hollow or semihollow; pulp-vesicles white, irregularly shaped , fusiform or polygonal, stalked, white,shiny;juice scanty, bitterly sour; seeds 5 - 7 per fruit, sub orbicular with pointed ends, 12 - 15 x ca 8 mm, smooth; cotyledons green.

Fl. March-April: Fr. Ripens during Nov.- J an.

Distrib. India: Evergreen forests of N.E. India. Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya and Nagaland.

Myanmar (recorded here based on 2 collections (CAL) made by I. H. Burkill in Kobo in 1911).

Notes. Swingle (1967) suspected that the Indian wild orange, C. indica, might be of hybrid origin, probably between Citrus latipes (Khasi papeda) and some other species of the subgenus Citrus.

The fruits are inedible and hence of less possibility for commercial exploitation. The plant maybe used as a rootstock for grafting other species of Citrus.

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