Citrus Fruit ClassificationCitrus fruit classification

Citrus Fruit Classification, Distribution and Importance

Citrus fruit classification creates complications among horticulturist and botanist. Here you can get complete information about citrus fruit, horticultural citrus fruit classification, citrus fruit taxonomy and complete history of citrus fruit.

In 1943 famous scientist Swingle classified citrus fruit into 3 genera

  • Citrus (Includes 16 species)
  • Poncirus (Include 1 specie)
  • Fortunella  (Includes 4 species)citrus fruit classification

Moreover, Hodgson in 1961 classified citrus into thirty-six species. Usually Swingle’s classification is followed.

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Citrus Fruit Classification

Taxonomy of citrus:

Family ………………..Rutaceae



Genus………………..  1. Citrus

  1. Fortunella
  2. Poncirus

Genus Citrus.

It includes evergreen shrubs and trees. They have usually leathery thick leaves with winged petiole. Flowers are pink or white, calyxes are small, sepals are hard, petals are thick with oil cells. Stamens are up to 15 to 60 and ovary is superior. It comprises of few ovules and 8 to 15 carpels. Botanically fruit is called as hesperidium berry. Seeds are polyembryonic.

It is divided into 2 sub-genera. All edible species are under Eucitrus while Papeda species are inedible. Some important species are ;

  • Sweet orange
  • Mandarin
  • Grapefruit
  • Chakotra
  • Sweet lime
  • Kahgzi lime
  • Lemon
  • Citron
  • Sour orange
  • Rough lemon

Genus Poncirus.

It has only, P. trifoliate Raf., specie. Trees are deciduous in nature, with compound leaves and three leaflets. Trees are small in size with spines. Flowers have following characteristics;

  • Sessile
  • Born on previous year wood
  • Open
  • Wide
  • Flat
  • Creamy white

This specie is mostly used as rootstock in low temperature areas.

Genus Fortunella.

It comprises of four species but 2 are commercially important. One is F. margarita Swing and 2nd is F. japonica Swing. These are locally called as oval kumquat and round kumquat respectively.


  • Small
  • Small green leaves
  • Paler on outerside


  • White
  • Smaller than citrus


  • Small
  • Orange color
  • 3—6 cells
  • Acidic
  • Juicy
  • Sweet and edible rind

The other two species are;

  • crassifolia Swing
  • hindsii Swing

Hybrid Species.

Citrus group have many hybrids which are commercially important. Here are some important crosses and their hybrid produce;

  • Poncirus  *   sweet orange  =  Citranges
  • Citrange  *   Fortunella      =  Citrangequats
  • Mandarin *  grapefruit       =  Tangelos
  • Lime  *   Fortunalla      =  Limequats
  • Poncirus *   grapefruit       =  Citrumellos
  • Poncirus *   mandarins      =  Citrandrins                                  Also visit

Distribution and importance of citrus fruit:

Tropical and subtropical climates are best for citrus cultivars. Its cultivation in any country depends on following factors;

  • Minimum temperature
  • Temperature tolerance of cultivars
  • Latitude
  • Altitude
  • Water bodies
  • Ocean currents
  • Air drainage
  • Rainfalls
  • Local conditions

Important citrus producing countries are;

  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • Pakistan
  • Syria
  • Turkey
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • France
  • Greece
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • Algeria
  • Tunis
  • Egypt
  • Libya
  • Sudan
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • USA
  • Australia

Citrus is widely growing in Pakistan almost in all provinces but Punjab covers 95% of total crop. Total production area is about 160,000 hectares and annual production is 1.5—2 million metric tons (MMT).

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