Sicilian Citron Trees
It is believed to have originated in India and Burma.
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It forms shrubsor little trees, it grows up to 8 meters, and has prickly branches and irregular habit.Its leaves are oval-elongate,medium-to-big-sized, reddishwhen youngand then dark green, and its margins are toothed. Citron tree's flowers are big and red-purplishin bud. When opened they are white inside and withpurple shimmers outside. They are grouped in racemes at the apex of the branches and could be hermaphrodite or male due to the abortion of the gynaecium. Its blossoming is continuous, but the main flows are in spring and autumn. Its fruits are big, elongateand oval, with a flat or wrinkledsurfacefull of protuberances.Its epicarpis thick and its fleshis divided into 5-12 segmentscontaining several mono embryonicseeds. The main economic importance of the citron comes from its peelused to prepare the candied fruits, citron water and syrup and to extract essential oils. Its juice is used to prepare drinks, and in medicine to prepare infusions. It is not very resistantto low temperatures, so it can lose its leaves and restart its vegetative activity in spring.
Varieties The crops are divided in two groups: sourcitrons and sweet citrons. The first ones, as the typical specimen, have red-purplishflowers and budsand theirflesh is sour. The second ones have white flowers and their fleshis sweeter. Some varieties of sourcitrons are: Diamante, Etrog and Buddha's hand (with decorative fruits and without flesh); some varieties of sweet citrons are Corsican and Salò. The lemon citron tree, which we can consider as a hybrid between the lemon and the citron tree, got a lot of importance. They produce fruits looking like the citrons fortheir sizes and the thickness of the flesh,suitable enough to make the candied fruits, while the look of the tree is similar to the lemon one, which has not the same necessities of the citron tree as regards the temperature.