Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Citrus limon (L.) Burm.f., Fl. Ind. 173. 1768. C. medica L. var. limon L., Sp. Pl. 782. 1753. C. limonum Risso, Ann. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. 20: 201. 1813. C. aurantium L. var. limonum Wight & Arn., Prodr. 98. 1834. C. medica L. var. limonum (Wight & Arn.) Hook. f., Fl. Bit. India 1: 515. 1875.

Beng.: Goranebu; Guj.: Motulimbu; Hindi: Baranimbu, Gulgul, Paharinimbu, Paharikaghzi; Kan.: Bijapura, Bijori; Kh.: Dieng-soh; Mal.: Odichukuthinaregam; Mar.: Idalimbu, Thoralimbu; Tam.: Periyaelumichai; Tel.: Bijapuram. The Lemon.

Shrubs or small trees, up to 3 m high, spinous; branchlets glabrous; bark green. Leaves unifoliolate, reddish or purplish when young; petioles marginate or narrowly winged, often articulate at apex with base of blade; leaflet blades ovate or elliptic-oblong, obtuse to rounded at base, subacute or obtuse at apex, glandular-serrulate along margins, 5.5 - 11.5 x 2 - 5 cm. Inflorescences axillary condensed racemes, usually 5 - 7-flowered. Flowers shortly pedicellate, usually bisexual or staminate, 5-merous, purplish in buds. Calyx urceolate; sepals suborbicular, minute, glabrous. Petals ovate-oblong, obtuse, 15 - 20 x 3 - 5 mm, coriaceous, glabrous, purplish tinged abaxially, greenish-white adaxially. Stamens 30 - 40; filaments monadelphous or irregularly polyadelphous at base, free above, glabrous or pubescent; anthers oblong, apiculate, 4 - 6 mm long, greenish-yellow. Disk annular, fleshy, ca 3 mm broad, glandular, glabrous, greenish-white. Ovary subcylindric, 5 - 7 x 3 - 4 mm, greenish; style thick, ca 4 mm long, caducous; stigma globose. Fruits ovoid-oblong or oblate, small to medium-sized, up to ca 6 cm across, 8 - 12-locular; rind thick, glandular, strongly adherent, mamillate, yellowish when ripe; pulp-vesicles pale green to yellowish; juice scanty or abundant, sour, acidic; seeds ovoid, acute, small, 5 - 10 mm long, 5 - 6 mm, whitish inside when cut.

Distrib. Native of S. E. Asia: cultivated throughout India and other tropical and Subtropical countries.

Notes. Fruits are used in the preparation of lemonade , squash and sherbet. Fresh fruits are also used in various culinary preparations. Citric acid, pectine and lemon oil are by-products of the lemonade. Lemon oil is an effective remedy for scurvy, rheuma-tism, dysentery and diarrhoea. Fruits are pickled. They are a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin B1 and carotene (Wealth of India 2: 190 - 191. 1976).

Nath & Randhawa (in Indian J. Hort. 26: 99 - 109.1969), Singh and Nath( 1969) and Malik: et al. (in Hilgardia 42: 361-382. 1974) believed that various types of cultigens classed under Indian lime might have a percentage involving citron (C. medica) and lime (C. aurantifolia). Dass et al. (in Indian J. Exp. Biol. 15: 158 - 160) conducted flavanoid analysis in various cultivars of Citrus lemon through thin layer chromatography and observed that one group of lemons consisting of Asian lemon, Coorg lemon, seedless lemon, matta lemon, hill lemon or gulgul was close to true lemon while another group consisting of Kagzikalan, Italian round, Dominica spineless, Nepali oblong, Lucknow lemon and Baramasi lemon was close to citron.


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