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A picture of a Citron


Citrus medica

Also known as

Citrus Apple, Wild Lemon, Yellow Citron, Etrog, Sitroen (Afr.)

Citrus medica 002 by H. Zell (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








10 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

The citron tree blooms nearly all year, but mostly in spring and the spring blooms produce the major part of the crop. The fruit is dark green​ when young, takes 3 months to turn yellow. To retain the green color, firmness and uniformity desired by the dealers in candied citron, the fruit must be picked when only 12.5 - 15cm long and 7.5 - 10cm wide.

More images of Citron

A close up of a Citrus medica plant with green leaves
A close up of a unripe Citrus medica fruit
A photo of Citron

Citron Overview

Citrus medica is a large, evergreen shrub species from the Rutaceae family. This ancient Citrus is distinguished by its fragrant fruit, leaves and flowers. This tender plant is spiny and produces dark green, oval-shaped leaves. Flowers are scented, white and measure around 3.5cm in diameter, sometimes flushed with pink colouring. Leading onto large, yellow fruits up to 30cm long. Few are familiar with these fruits, as they are seldom seen or used in the natural unprocessed form. With its trailing branches, its lemon-scented green leaves, its clustered flowers and its large, yellow egg-shaped fruits the Citron plant has been an important attribution to the culinary and medicinal applications. It is considered an ornamental plant and it can be trained as a Bonsai.

Common problems with Citron

The citrus bud mite (Eriophyes sheldoni), citrus rust mite (Phyllocoptruta oleivora), snow scale (Unaspis citri) and branch knot are problematic. As with any fruit bearing tree, spider mites, scales, caterpillars and other insects are common.

How to propagate Citron


Cuttings taken from branches 2 to 4 years old and quickly buried deeply in soil without defoliation.

Special features of Citron

Pot plant

Suitable to grow in containers​, note that container must have enough drainage holes.

Attracts useful insects

Attracts insects such as honeybees.

Attracts birds

Indoor plant

Can be grown inside in a container given enough sun.

Attractive fruits

Attractive flowers

Other uses of Citron

Culinary. Medicinal. Perfume


From ancient through medieval times it was used to combat seasickness, pulmonary troubles, intestinal ailments, scurvy, etc. Used today as an anthelmintic, appetizer, tonic, in cough, rheumatism, etc.


The practically inedible fruits are used to make candied citrus peel, jams, marmalade and even liqueur.