World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Trifoliate orange

Article Id: WHEBN0000794154
Reproduction Date:

Title: Trifoliate orange  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Citrus, Citrange, Ponkan, Citrus ichangensis, Citrus unshiu
Collection: Citrus, Flora of China, Flora of Korea, Garden Plants of Asia, Medicinal Plants, Natural Cultivars, Oranges, Rutaceae
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Trifoliate orange

Trifoliate orange
Poncirus trifoliata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Subfamily: Aurantioideae
Tribe: Citreae
Genus: Poncirus (disputed)
Species: P. trifoliata
Binomial name
Poncirus trifoliata
(L.) Raf.

Citrus trifoliata (L.)

Trifoliate orange, Poncirus trifoliata (syn. Citrus trifoliata), is a member of the family Rutaceae, closely related to Citrus, and sometimes included in that genus, being sufficiently closely related to allow it to be used as a rootstock for Citrus and to readily hybridize with all Citrus species.

It differs from Citrus in having deciduous, compound leaves, and pubescent (downy) fruit.

It is native to northern China and Korea, and is also known as the Chinese Bitter Orange or Hardy Orange.[1]

The plant is a fairly cold-hardy citrus (USDA zone 6) and will tolerate moderate frost and snow, making a large shrub or small tree 4–8 m tall. Because of the relative hardiness of Poncirus, citrus grafted onto it are usually hardier than when grown on their own roots.


  • Description 1
  • Uses 2
    • Cultivation 2.1
    • As food 2.2
    • Medicine 2.3
      • Traditional medicine 2.3.1
  • Gallery 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Poncirus trifoliata is recognizable by the large 3–5 cm (1.2–2.0 in) thorns on the shoots, and its deciduous leaves with three (or rarely, five) leaflets, typically with the middle leaflet 3–5 cm (1.2–2.0 in) long, and the two side leaflets 2–3 cm (0.79–1.18 in) long. The flowers are white, with pink stamens, 3–5 cm (1.2–2.0 in) in diameter, larger than those of true citrus but otherwise closely resembling them, except that the scent is much less pronounced than with true citrus. As with true citrus, the leaves give off a spicy smell when crushed.

The fruits are green, ripening to yellow, and 3–4 cm (1.2–1.6 in) in diameter, resembling a small orange, but with a finely downy surface.


Green fruits of Trifoliate orange in a botanical garden in Prague


The cultivar "Flying Dragon" is dwarfed in size and has highly twisted, contorted stems. It makes an excellent barrier hedge due to its density and strong curved thorns. Such a hedge had been grown for over 50 years at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, and is highly student-proof.[1] The plant is also highly deer resistant[2]

As food

The fruits are very bitter and most people consider them inedible fresh, but they can be made into marmalade.[2] When dried and powdered, they can be used as a condiment.


Traditional medicine

Trifoliate Oranges

The fruits of Poncirus trifoliata are widely used in Oriental medicine as a treatment for allergic inflammation, although there is no evidence such treatments are effective.[3]



  1. ^ a b Gerald Klingaman. "Plant of the Week. Hardy Orange or Trifoliate Orange. Latin: Poncirus trifoliat". University of Arkansas. Division of Agriculture. 
  2. ^ a b Green Deane Hardy. "Hardy Orange". 
  3. ^ Zhou H.Y., Shin E.M., Guo L.Y., Zou L.B., Xu G.H., Lee S.-H., Ze K.R., Kim E.-K., Kang S.S., Kim Y.S.,"Anti-inflammatory activity of 21(alpha, beta)-methylmelianodiols, novel compounds from Poncirus trifoliata Rafinesque." European Journal of Pharmacology. 572 (2-3) (pp 239-248), 2007.

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.