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 Citrus × paradisi subsp. var.  Grapefruit
Citrus paradisi (Grapefruit, pink)-2.jpg
Habit: tree
Height: to
Width: to
Height: 5 m to 15 m
Width: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.
Lifespan: perennial
Poisonous: interferes with some prescription drugs
Exposure: sun
Features: evergreen, edible, fruit
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: to
Sunset Zones:
Flower features:
Rutaceae > Citrus × paradisi var. ,

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The grapefruit (Citrus × paradisi), is a subtropical citrus tree known for its bitter fruit, an 18th-century hybrid first bred in Barbados.[1]Template:Clarify When found it was named the "forbidden fruit";[2] it has also been misidentified with the pomelo or shaddock (C. maxima), one of the parents of this hybrid, the other being sweet orange (C. × ​sinensis).

These evergreen trees are usually found at around 5 – 6 m tall, although they can reach 13 – 15 m. The leaves are dark green, long (up to 150 mm, or 6 inches) and thin. It produces 5 cm in 0 white four-petaled flowers. The fruit is yellow-orange skinned and largely an oblate spheroid; it ranges in diameter from 10–15 cm. The flesh is segmented and acidic, varying in color depending on the cultivars, which include white, pink and red pulps of varying sweetness. The 1929 US Ruby Red (of the Redblush variety) has the first grapefruit patent.[3]

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Grapefruit (Citrus grandis). Rutaceae. Figs. 975, 1744. Plate L. A large globose fruit having slightly bitter acid pulp; it is used as a breakfast fruit and also for salads and desserts. It is grown in Florida, California, Arizona, and the West Indies, and is now extensively used by Americans. The name grapefruit, under which this fruit is known commercially, seems to have come from the West Indies and owes its origin to the fact that the fruits are often borne in clusters of three or four to twelve or more, much like a bunch of grapes. This fruit is also known as pomelo. The shaddock or pummelo is a distinct strain, not grown for commerce in this country. See Citrus (page 782) and Pomelo.

Grape fruit trees are large round-topped, with regular branches: lvs. dark glossy green, ovate with broadly winged petioles: spines slender, flexible, borne in the axils of the lvs.: fls. large, white, borne singly or in clusters in the axils of the lvs.; stamens 20-25; ovary globose, sharply set off from the style, which is deciduous: fr. pale lemon-yellow, flattened spheroid or globose, 4-6 in. diam., segms. 11-14, filled with slightly bitter acid pulp; seeds large, flattened and wrinkled; peel ¼ - ½ in. thick, with numerous oil-glands.

The grapefruit appears to have been introduced into Florida by the Spaniards in the early part of the sixteenth century and until a quarter of a century ago it was grown only by the Florida pioneers. Since its culture has been undertaken on a commercial basis, the acreage planted to this fruit has rapidly increased, 1,061,537 boxes having been produced in Florida in 1909 as compared with 12,306 in 1899, and 122,515 boxes in California in 1909 as compared with 17,851 boxes in 1899. The total value of the crop in 1909, as reported by the Census, was over $2,000,000.

An excellent appetizer, the grapefruit is the most popular of breakfast fruits. It is also probable that it possesses valuable tonic properties, and it has been recommended by physicians in cases of malaria and biliousness. The sprightly flavor of the fruit, due to its slightly bitter principle, makes the grapefruit one of the most refreshing of all citrous fruits.

The grapefruit is more susceptible to cold than ordinary citrous fruits and its profitable culture is consequently restricted to regions below the frost line. The selection of a location is a matter of supreme importance in Florida where the occasional freezes have wrought so much damage in the past. The grapefruit, like most citrous fruits, prefers a light, well-drained soil, sandy or porous, though, because of its dense foliage, it grows better on poor soil than does the orange. The trees must be well fertilized in order to produce the best results, for it must be remembered that the care and fertilizer given are important factors in determining the quality and character of the fruit produced. Budded trees usually begin to bear in three to four years and generally reach full bearing in about ten years. They continue to bear for an indefinite period. The trees may be set from 18 to 25 feet apart, depending upon the stock on which they are grown. The seedlings make excellent stocks because of their well-developed root-systems and are extensively used for this purpose. They are hardier than the rough lemon but not so hardy as the orange. Grapefruits are usually propagated by budding because of the variations in the different varieties.

One of the most extensively grown varieties in Florida is the Duncan: fruits medium to large, oblate, light yellow; pulp a pleasant bitter acid flavor with few seeds; peel medium, firm; a late bearer, fruits keep well on the tree. The Duncan is one of the hardiest grapefruits, especially when budded on trifoliate orange stock (Poncirus trifoliata). Among others grown in Florida are Hall (Silver Cluster): fruits yellow, pleasantly bitter, globose, medium to large, in large bunches; a heavy bearer. Pernambuco: fruits large, smooth-skinned. Introduced from Pernambuco, Brazil, by the United States Department of Agriculture. Triumph: fruits medium size, heavy, smooth-skinned, not very bitter; a prolific and a strong grower, but rather tender; season early. The Bowen, Excelsior, Josselyn, Leonardy, Manville, McCarty, McKinley, May, Standard and Walters are Florida seedlings cultivated locally in that state.

In California one of the best varieties is the Marsh (Marsh Seedless): fruit large (see Fig. 1744), subglobose, light yellow, not very bitter, often seedless, tree low and spreading. This variety originated in Florida but is best adapted to California conditions. The popularity of the grapefruit in California has been increasing during the past few years and it seems certain that this fruit is destined to become one of the standard fruits of that state. It should be noted that in California the grapefruit is really a summer fruit; in Florida it is a winter and spring fruit.

Hybrids.—The tangelo, the result of a cross between the tangerine orange and the grapefruit (pomelo) is a striking new citrous fruit. The Sampson tangelo, obtained by the writer in 1897 by crossing the tangerine with the Bowen grapefruit, is the first of this new group of fruits to be grown commercially. Other tangelos are now being tested. See Tangelo.

Diseases.—The grapefruit tree is decidedly resistant to mal-di-gomma or foot-rot and is only slightly affected by scab. It is, however, more susceptible than any other citrous fruit to citrus canker. This disease was first discovered near Miami, Florida, in July, 1913, by E. V. Blackman. It is believed to have been introduced from Japan. In appearance somewhat similar to the scab, this disease has spread over a large area in southern Florida. It is very infectious and has been carried from one grove to another by wagons, birds, and other means. No remedy is known, and Florida growers, in order to check its spread, have been obliged to burn hundreds of infected trees. Investigators differ as to the cause of citrus canker. Walter T. Swingle.

Grapefruit, or pomelo, in California.

Pomelos have been grown for many years in California, but, although they succeed admirably, they have not been produced in a commercial way until within recent years. Even at present, the product is only a small fraction of that of the orange and lemon. Perhaps not more than 400 or 500 cars are annually shipped out of the state. All of the Florida varieties have been tested, many of them proving unsuited to the conditions. At present the Marsh, or Marsh Seedless as it is commonly called, is planted almost exclusively. The Triumph and the Imperial are also grown to some extent, while the Nectar and the Clayson are new varieties which are attracting attention.

But little attention has been paid to the handling of this fruit in California, and it is undoubtedly true that many of the seedling and miscellaneous varieties which have been inadvisedly put on the market have been very much inferior to Florida-grown pomelos. Usually, on account of the poor varieties grown, California pomelos are shipped mainly to Pacific and intermountam states where they do not come in such active competition with the Florida product. It is undoubtedly true, however, that certain varieties of the pomelo when well grown and intelligently handled are equal to the best Florida product. There is no reason why the production of pomelos in California should not be considerably increased. Growers, however, seem to fear an over-production and new plantings are at present quite small.

The pomelo, in its general growth, resistance to frost, propagation, culture, fertilizing, irrigation, and the like, is similar to the orange. The season in California is from February 1 until September 1. J. Eliot Coit.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.



Pests and diseases


Grapefruit comes in many varieties, determinable by color, which is caused by the pigmentation of the fruit in respect of both its state of ripeness and genetic bent.[4] The most popular varieties cultivated today are red, white, and pink hues, referring to the internal pulp color of the fruit. The family of flavors range from highly acidic and somewhat bitter to sweet and tart.[4] Grapefruit mercaptan, a sulfur-containing terpene, is one of the substances which has a strong influence on the taste and odor of grapefruit, compared with other citrus fruits.[5]



  1. A~Z of Barbados Heritage, 2003, Macmillan Caribbean, ISBN 0333920686
  2. Fruits of warm climates
  3. Texas grapefruit history, TexaSweet. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named WHF
  5. Characterization of the Most Odor-Active Volatiles in Fresh, Hand-Squeezed Juice of Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macfayden), J. Agric. Food Chem., 1999, volume = 47, pages = 5189–5193

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