Citrus trees are small evergreen trees that are grown in tropical and sub-tropical climates. The trees do not thrive in cold climates. Citrus trees have glossy green leaves with oil glands and white scented flowers. The flowers produced by citrus trees are excellent insect pullers, including butterflies. They produce fruits that are used for various purposes. The fruits are acidic in nature and are rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin C. The fruits are eaten raw, as salads, juices, drinks and are used as flavoring agents too.
Native to South China or Southeast Asia, the sweet orange has been naturalized to North America for commercial purpose. The leaves are green, flowers white and the spherical fruits are orange in color. The plant blooms and bears fruits during periods of good rainfall. Soil required by sweet orange can be acidic, neutral or slightly alkaline. Navel orange is a seedless variety of sweet orange. The other varieties are ambersweet, hamlin and cara cara.
Tangerine or Mandarin Orange
Mandarin is small citrus tree that is native to China. The fruits of mandarin orange are also comparatively small and the skin is loose and peels off easily. The fruits taste excellent, but are not good to be stored for longer periods. Leaves are green colored and the flowers are white. Alternatively called as tangerine, the fruit requires tropical climate and can grow on acidic or slightly alkaline soil. This type of citrus tree has different varieties like mandarin, satsumas, tangerines and tangerine hybrids.
The origins of this tree are not known, however, it was initially found in the Barbados. Grapefruit is a tall tree reaching a height of 50 feet. The leaves are oval in shape while the blooms are white. The light yellow colored fleshy fruits are larger than oranges. These fruits taste sour, sweet and bitter. Grapefruits require bright sunshine and well-drained soil. Different varieties of grapefruit are marsh, redblush, royal and triumph.
Lemons are native of Indochina and have been cultivated for more than 2,000 years in those regions. Lemon trees are evergreen growing up to 20 feet. The trees have thorns, with narrow, light green leaves and white and tinted purple flowers. The fruits are fleshy and turn yellow when ripe. The juice of lemons tastes acidic, tart and bitter. It is used in flavoring and in preparing lemonades. Lemon trees grow well in good sunshine and can thrive on acidic or alkaline soil. Mayer is a popular variety. Other varieties are Lisbon, villafranca and eureka.
Limes are small evergreen trees that are spiny and irregularly branched. Lime trees have small, leathery light green leaves and the flowers are white colored. The fruits are small green in color, with a wrinkled appearance. The juice is acidic and has a distinctive flavor. Some varieties of lime are also sweet tasting. Lime trees do not grow well in cold climates and requires good sunshine. A lime tree can grow well on any type of soil. The different varieties of lime are Mexican lime, kaffir lime and Persian lime.