Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf., Sylv. Tellur. Mant. 143. 1838. Citrus trifoliata L., Sp. Pl. ed. 2. 1101. 1763.

Trifoliate orange.

Trees, small, much branched, deciduous tree with long and stout spines. Leaves alternate, digitately 3-foliolate; petiole narrowly winged. F"lowers solitary, sessile, 4 - 6-merous, wide-opening. Fruits globose, ovoid or pyriform, very fragrant and dull lemon coloured when ripe, 3 - 5 cm across, finely downy-pubescent, rind thick, glandular, rough, segments 5 - 7, pulp-vesicles slender, stalked, linear, strongly acidic, with acrid oil droplets; seeds ovoid or oblong, numerous per fruit.

Native of C. and N. China and cultivated in many tropical and subtropical countries, including India. The plants are highly valued as rootstock for many Citrus species. Hybrids between Poncirus trifoliata and other Citrus spp. are vigorous and show high disease resistance. Dried fruits are medicinal and used for diarrhoea.

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