Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

JSP Page
Citrus medica L., Sp. Pl. 782. 1753; Swingle in Citrus Ind. 1: 370. 1967. C. aurantium L. var. medica Wight & Arn., Prodr. 98. 1834.

Asm.: Bira-jora; Beng.: Bara nimbu, Begpura; Guj.: Turanj, Bijoru; Hindi: Bara nimbu, Bijaura; Mar.: Maha lunga, Mavalung; Mal.: Gilam, Rusakam, Curry narenga; Kan.: Madela, Mahaphala, Rusaka; Tam.: Kadaranarathai; Tel.: Lungamu. The Citron.

Shrubs or small trees, up to ca 3 m high; branchlets angular and purplish when young, glabrous with sharp, stout, axillary spines (ca 4 cm long). Leaves simple; petioles ca 10 mm long, wingless or slightly marginate, imperfectly or not articulated above; leaf blades variable in shape, obtuse or rounded at base, acute or rounded at apex, crenate, serrulate along margins, 10 - 18 x 3 - 9 cm, glabrous. Inflorescences axillary, few-flowered racemes. Flowers oblong in bud, pink or purplish, bisexual and staminate; staminate flowers with or without abortive pistil. Calyx urceolate, 4- or 5-lobed; lobes ca 4 mm long. Petals 4 or 5, oblong or oblanceolate, 2 - 4 x 1 cm, glandular, pink or purplish abaxially. Stamens 30 - 40 or more; filaments polyadelphous, shortly pubescent, white; anthers linear, ca 5 mm long, yellowish. Ovary cylindric, ca 8 x 4 mm, 12 - 14 -locular; style cylindric, ca 15 mm long, purplish; stigma globose, pinkish, sticky. Fruits ovoid-oblong, ellipsoid or obovoid, 10 - 20 x 6 - 14 cm, yellowish, surface smooth, rough or warty on outer, obtuse or depressed at base, obtuse or mamillate at apex; rind very thick, strongly adherent, glandular, foveolate, aromatic; mesocarp whitish, hard, carrot-like consistence; endocarp segments 10 - 12, small, with pale greenish acidic or sweetish pulp-vesicles; seeds numerous, acute at base, ca 10 x 5 mm, smooth, white when cut.

Notes. Based on acidity and sweetness of pulp, different horticultural varieties of Citron have been recognized in India. Swingle (1967) admits three botanical varieties of Citron viz. C. medica var. medica; var sarcodactylis (Noot.) Swingle (fingered-citron-occasionally cultivated in India) and var. ethrog (not known from India). The correct name of the fingered-citron is accepted here as C. medica var. digitata Lush. (1910).


1a. Fruits obtuse or rounded and mamillate at apex; pulp- vesicles present 6.2. medica
b. Fruits with the apical end splitting into finger-like projections as many as the number of carpels; pulp wanting 6.1. digitata


JSP Page
  • Search