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Citrus x paradisi

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Citrus paradisi
Phonetic Spelling
SI-trus par-ih-DEE-see
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

One of the newest citrus fruits, grapefruit is a small evergreen tree in the Rutaceae family that grows 10 to 30 feet tall and just as wide and usually has sharp thorns on its twigs. Grapefruit are grown in tropical, sub-tropical climates around the world.  In the 19th century, it was found growing in Barbados, and in most of Jamaica.  Originally, it was thought that grapefruit was a mutation of the pumelo.  In the mid 1900s, citrus specialists decided it was an artificial hybrid cross between an orange and a pumelo.  The fruit is pale yellow (when ripe) with areas of pink and has several varieties with pale yellow, nearly white, pink, or even deep red pulp. The fruit is very juicy, and the juice is acidic. In cooler zones it can be grown in a container that can be overwintered indoors.

Grapefruit requires full sun and cannot tolerate shade.  It prefers a deep, well-drained but moist, loamy soil.  Do not overwater.  Established plants are drought tolerant.  It prefers a pH of 5 - 6 and is sensitive to high salinity.  Grapefruit will tolerate a neutral or alkaline pH range as well with proper fertilization.  They need very little pruning, only to keep its shape or to remove dead or damaged branches.  Grapefruit are propagated by grafting as seeds will not produce fruit true to type.

The leaves, flowers and the fruit are all used for medicinal purposes.  Grapefruit are high in Vitamin C which is good for the body.  A concentrate prepared from the flowers can be taken to overcome insomnia.  The fruit and its juice can improve an appetite and aid in digestion.  Also, as a cardiotonic. The pulp is considered an effective aid in the treatment of urinary disorders. Leaf extractions have shown antibiotic activity.

Plant outside in full sun for year-round enjoyment in tropical or subtropical climates or put in a planter for movement inside when the weather turns cold.  If you choose to leave some of the fruit on the tree throughout the winter, it will continue to ripen on the tree and become sweeter.  Be aware that in doing so, it may reduce the size of the following year's harvest.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  This plant can cause contact dermatitis in some people.  Many of the same insects and diseases affecting the sweet orange also affect the grapefruit.  The tree is highly susceptible to citrus canker and several viruses including crinkly leaf virus, psorosis, tristeza, xyloporosis, and infectious variegation. 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#houseplant#white flowers#frost tender#medicinal#glossy leaves#yellow fruits#edible fruits#evergreen tree#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#tropical feel#container plant#wet soils intolerant#shade intolerant#edible#full sun#showy fruit#fragrant fruit
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#houseplant#white flowers#frost tender#medicinal#glossy leaves#yellow fruits#edible fruits#evergreen tree#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#tropical feel#container plant#wet soils intolerant#shade intolerant#edible#full sun#showy fruit#fragrant fruit
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Citrus
    Family:
    Rutaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The fruit is commonly used to make juices (fresh, canned, or dehydrated as powder, or concentrated and frozen) or used to make jams, and jellies. The peel is candied and used in cakes. It is also used as a source of pectin, used to preserve other fruits. An essential oil obtained from the peel is used as a flavoring in soft drinks, chewing gum, sweets, baked goods, ice cream. An oil can also be obtained from the seed that when refined, makes a good culinary oil.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Grafting
    Distribution:
    All tropical, sub-tropical regions around the world
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Colorful
    Edible fruit
    Fragrance
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Drought tolerant when established.
    Edibility:
    Fruit is eaten fresh or juiced or used to make jams, jellies or in baking.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 15 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Houseplant
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
    Appendage:
    Thorns
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Pink
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Long-lasting
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is large and green when unripe, yellow when ripe often with patches of pink on the skin. It is extremely juicy.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Cross
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Small, white, axillary flowers have 4 petals and are highly fragrant, singly or in clusters.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenulate
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The evergreen leaves are ovate, 3 to 6 in long, and 1 3/4 to 3 wide, dark green above, lighter beneath, with minute, rounded teeth on the margins
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    New stem growth will be green.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Lawn
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heavy Shade
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Vomiting, diarrhea, depression; potential dermatitis. The fruit is edible, skins and plant material can cause problems
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Essential oils and psoralens
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes