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Facts about Citrus

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The earliest known mention of citrus (citrons and lemons) in Indian writings is from around 800 B.C.E.

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The hybridized types of citrus may or may not be recognized as species according to different taxonomies.

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Citrus is good source of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), which is needed for a range of essential metabolic reactions and is a critical cofactor in the formation of collagen.

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Cultivated Citrus may be derived from as few as three or four ancestral species.

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Citrus is a genus of flowering plants in the family Rutaceae (orange family) and a common name for edible fruits of this genus (and sometimes related genera).

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Citrus juices, rinds, or slices are used in a variety of mixed drinks.

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All commercial citrus cultivation uses trees produced not by seeds but by grafting the desired fruiting cultivars onto rootstocks selected for disease resistance and hardiness.

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Citrus is likely the most widely planted fruit for direct human consumption in the world (Katz and Weaver 2003).

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The numerous Citrus hybrids of natural and cultivated origin include commercially important fruit such as the orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, and some tangerines.

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The color of citrus fruits only develops in climates with a (diurnal) cool winter.

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Citrus fruits may be consumed fresh, as juice, or preserved.

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Compared to many "normal green" shrubs, citrus better tolerates poor container care.

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The citrus plants are small trees or large shrubs, reaching 5 to 15 meters tall, with spiny shoots and alternately arranged evergreen leaves with an entire margin.

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Citrus fruits are notable for their fragrance, partly due to flavonoids (secondary metabolites) and limonoids ( phytochemicals) contained in the rind, and most are juice-laden.

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Many citrus fruits are picked while still green, and ripened while in transit to supermarkets.

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Major commercial citrus growing areas include southern China, the Mediterranean Basin (including Southern Spain), South Africa, Australia, the southernmost United States, and parts of South America.

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Citrus trees grown in tubs and wintered under cover were a feature of Renaissance gardens, once glass-making technology enabled sufficient expanses of clear glass to be produced.

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The skin of some citrus fruits, known as zest, is used as a spice in cooking.

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More astringent citrus, such as lemons and limes are generally not eaten on their own.

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Some modern hobbyists still grow dwarf citrus in containers or greenhouses in areas where it is too cold to grow it outdoors.

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The genus Citrus is generally divided into two subgenera, Citrus and Papeda (Katz and Weaver 2003).

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A Chinese book by Han Yen Chih, dated to 1178 C.E., mentions 27 varieties of citrus (Katz and Weaver 2003).

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Some citrus has a high pectin content, which contributes to soluble fiber consumption, which in turn is linked to cardiovascular health and reduced risk of certain cancers (Katz and Weaver 2003).

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Citrus plants are very liable to infestation by aphids, whitefly, and scale insects (e.g.

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Many citrus fruits, such as oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, and clementines (type of mandarin), are generally eaten fresh.

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Citrus was brought by the Spanish and Portuguese to to the Caribbean, from where it was introduced to North and South America.

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A variety of flavors can be derived from different parts and treatments of citrus fruits.

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The oldest mention of citrus traces to the Yu Kung of China, a book of tributes to the Emperor Ta Yu, who lived from about 2205 to 2197 B.C.E.

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Recent research has suggested that the closely related genus Fortunella, and perhaps also Poncirus and the Australian genera Microcitrus and Eremocitrus, should be included in Citrus.

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More astringent citrus, such as lemons and limes are generally not eaten on their own.

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Citrus fruits are a distinctive berry with the internal parts divided into segments and include oranges, lemons, limes, citrons, grapefruit, pomelos (pummelo, pommelo), and mandarins (tangerines).

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