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Citrus trifoliata

Japanese bitter orange

C. trifoliata is a bushy shrub or small tree to 7m tall, with green branches bearing large, stiff thorns to 5cm long, and fragrant white flowers like orange-blossom in spring or early summer, followed by orange fruits 4cm across

Other common names
bitter orange
Chinese citron
see moreflying dragon
golden apple [4]
hardy orange
trifoliate orange
Synonyms
Poncirus trifoliata
Aegle sepiaria
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Size
Ultimate height
4–8 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
2.5–4 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring White Green
Summer White Green
Autumn Green Orange
Winter Orange
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Rutaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Citrus are typically evergreen shrubs or trees, frequently spiny, with simple, leathery, aromatic leaves, usually with winged stalks, and often fragrant white or pink-tinged flowers, followed by large, juicy fruits

Name status

Correct

Plant range
C & S China

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun, with shelter from cold, drying winds

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in containers in a cold frame in autumn. Alternatively, take semi-ripe cuttings with bottom heat in summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Coastal
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Hedging and screens
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Pruning group 1

Pests

Generally trouble free

Diseases

Generally trouble free

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