How to Identify a Grapefruit Tree


Grapefruit, known botanically as Citrus X paradisi, is a hybrid citrus tree fruit that combines the orange with a pummelo, according to Purdue University. Grapefruit have numerous cultivars, including pink,,white and red flesh or seedless varieties. All of the trees thrive in subtropical to temperate climes where ambient temperatures remain above freezing. Depending on their growing location and conditions, grapefruits can take between seven and 13 months to develop on the tree, according to Texas A&M University.

Step 1

Look for trees growing in full sun exposures, in warm climates where temperatures remain above 30-degrees Fahrenheit The planting site and soil will be well-drained and slightly dry and may appear to be poor quality or gravelly. Texas, California and Florida are well-known locations for growing grapefruit in the United States.

Step 2

Identify grapefruit trees by their rounded and roughly symmetrical canopy with mid-tone green foliage and a grayish taupe bark in the trunk. The leaves are an elongated and pointed oval with a central vein running down the central length of the leaf. The trees reach a maximum height of roughly 15 feet with a 12-foot spread.

Step 3

Find grapefruit trees by their fruit that will be apparent on the tree in late spring and summer and fully ripe at the end of summer into fall. Grapefruits are round in form, or a slightly flattened round shape. The size ranges from 3 inches to 6 inches in diameter and the skin can be bright pale yellow, deep golden yellow, pale coral pink or even yellow-orange hue, all of which depend on the cultivar. The skin can be thin and smooth or very thick and nubby in texture and will often present with small round pores over the surface.


  • Purdue University: Grapefruit
  • Texas A&M University: Home Fruit Production Grapefruit
Keywords: grapefruit tree, Citrus paradisi, characteristics of grapefruit

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An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.