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Hardy Orange

Scientific Name

Poncirus trifoliata

Origin

Native to central and northern China, Korea and Japan.

Habitat

Found in wooded areas, mountains and hills in its original range.  Has since been brought to Europe and North America for gardening and creation of hedgerows. Easily grow plant, preferring well-drained, fertile, & light sandy soils. 

Growth Nature

Is known to grow to a height of 8 to 20 ft. (averaging about 9 ft.) with a spread of 6 to 15 ft.  Produces showy and edible fruit.  Plant can take on the look of a shrub or small tree and is covered with formidable thorns.    

Points of Interest

  • Often grown as a hedge due to what has been described as vicious thorns.

  • Fruit is edible, although much like the tomato, in some old publications it is described as being poisonous.

  • It is a citrus relative and has a flavor described as somewhere between a lemon and a grapefruit. The fruit is small and very acidic and the seeds within are quite large.

  • Fruit mainly used to make marmalade or to flavor drinks. Is high in    vitamin C.

  • Mainly grown as an ornamental plant.  

  • First introduced in the U.S. in 1915 by botanist Walter Swingle.

  • The Chinese have used it in traditional medicines for treatment of typhoid, toothaches, hemorrhoids, pink eye, colds and for itchy skin.