Common Citrus Fruits and Where They Grow

  • 01 of 17

    Citrus Plants and Berries

    Close-up of orange tree
    James O'Neil/Getty Images

    When most people think of citrus, the usual varieties first come to mind: lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits. However, there are many different kinds of citrus fruits in the Citrus genus. The citrus fruits, which are modified berries called hesperidia, come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Most citrus plants grow best in full sun and in USDA plant hardiness zones 9 through 11, but some can tolerate a little shade, and some are a bit hardier than others. 

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  • 02 of 17

    Bitter Orange

    Fresh orange tree on the organic farm.
    Sirintra Pumsopa/Getty Images

    Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium) may also be known as sour orange or Seville orange. This orange is too sour-tasting to most people for fresh eating. It is the best choice of citrus for making orange marmalade.

    Latin Name: Citrus aurantium
    Origin: Asia ​​
    Preferred Zones: Zones 9–11
    Size: 8 to 30 feet tall, depending on the variety
    Exposure: Full sun
    Soil: Does well in a variety of soils

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  • 03 of 17

    Blood Orange

    Blood orange halves on white surface
    Maren Caruso/Getty Images

    The blood orange is a variety of the sweet orange (Citrus sinensis). The most common varieties are the Moro, the Sanguinello, and the Tarocco. The red coloring is due to the high anthocyanin content.

    Latin Name: Citrus sinensis
    Origin: Likely first in Spain or Italy
    Preferred Zones: Zones 9–11; may need protection in zone 9 winters
    Size: Up to 25 feet tall​​
    Exposure: Full sun
    Soil: Grows best in a soil that drains well

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  • 04 of 17

    Calamondin

    A tree with calamondin fruit
    Ted/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    Calamondin is a cross between a sour Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) and a kumquat (Fortunella marginata). This citrus is not tolerant of freezing or windy conditions. It is drought-tolerant once established but especially needs water during fruiting for proper formation.

    Latin Name: X Citrofortunella Microcarpa; also X Citrofortunella mitis
    Other names: Acid orange, calamondin orange, Panama orange, golden lime, scarlet lime
    Preferred Zones: Zones 9–11
    Size: 6 to 15 feet tall and 4 to 8 feet wide
    Exposure: Full sun
    Soil: Should be grown in well-draining soil and can grow in a wide variety of soil types

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  • 05 of 17

    Citron

    Fingered Citron In Sack
    Volker Hring / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Citron is one of the oldest kinds of citrus fruits. It is often candied and used in desserts, as the citron is mostly rind and offers little or no juice.

    Latin Name: Citrus medica
    Origin: First documented use is in Mesopotamia​
    Preferred Zones: Zones 10–11​
    Size: 10 to 15 feet tall​
    Exposure: Full sun​​
    Soil: Grows in a wide variety of soils; add compost or other amendments to allow oxygen to move through the soil

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  • 06 of 17

    Grapefruit

    Two halves of a grapefruit
    isox4/flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Grapefruit is intolerant of freezing conditions. The grapefruit is believed by most botanists to be a cross between a pummelo and a sweet orange. The pulp may come in shades of white, pink, or red.

    Latin Name: Citrus X paradisi
    Origin: The Caribbean
    Preferred Zones: Zones 9–11
    Size: 10 to 45 feet tall and 15 feet wide
    Exposure: Full sun
    Soil: Grows in a wide variety of soils; choose a grapefruit variety that performs well in your particular soil type for best results

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  • 07 of 17

    Key Lime

    Key limes, Citrus aurantiifolia, in a wooden bowl
    Westend61/ Getty Images

    Key lime is a famous species of lime (Citrus aurantifolia) that may also be called Mexican lime or West Indian lime. It is sweeter than the for Persian lime and is well-known as the base ingredient in a key lime pie. 

    Latin Name: Citrus aurantifolia
    Origin: Indonesia and Malaysian region
    Preferred Zones: Zones 10–11
    Size: 10 to 12 feet tall and wide
    Exposure: Full sun
    Soil: Grows in most soils, but clay soil should be avoided

     

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  • 08 of 17

    Kumquat

    Kumquat fruit
    By Eve Livesey/Getty Images

    Technically speaking, the kumquat (Citrus japonica) is not a citrus fruit, but it is very closely related. It was separated out into its genus around 1915 and formerly classified as a Fortunella. The name kumquat means "golden tangerine" in Cantonese. There are also crosses such as the orangequat, calamondin, and limequat.

    Latin Name: Citrus japonica
    Origin: South Asia and Asia Pacific regions​
    Preferred Zones: Zones 9–11; can be grown in zone 8 with protection
    Size: 4 to 15 feet tall, depending on the variety
    Exposure: Full sun
    Soil: Needs soil that drains well and is nutrient-rich

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  • 09 of 17

    Lemon

    A vast pile of lemons
    16:9clue/flickr/CC BY 2.0

    One of the most for citrus fruits of all is the lemon. The juice, pulp, and peel for in a wide variety of recipes. Lemons are not tolerant of freezing or windy conditions, but they can be hardy during drought if they receive enough water during fruiting for proper formation. 

    Latin Name: Citrus limon
    Origin: Uncertain, but thought to be Asia
    Preferred Zones: Zones 9–11
    Size: 10 to 30 feet tall and 12 to 15 feet wide, depending on the variety
    Exposure: Full sun
    Soil: Grows best in loam with good drainage
     

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  • 10 of 17

    Mandarin Orange

    Mandarin orange tree
    Photo by Alex Tihonov/Getty Images

    The mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata) has three classes: mandarin, tangerine, and satsuma. All are commonly eaten by themselves or used in salads and have a sweet juicy flavor that is great for snacking.

    Latin Name: Citrus reticulata
    Origin: Asia
    Preferred Zones: Zones 9–11​
    Size: 10 to 25 feet tall and wide​
    Exposure: Full sun
    Soil: Can tolerate a wide variety of soils but must drain well

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  • 11 of 17

    Orange

    Close-Up Of Orange Fruits Against White Background
    Akepong Srichaichana / EyeEm / Getty Images

    The orange, or Citrus sinensis, is the for sweet orange. Two of the most well-known varieties of the orange are Valencia and Washington Navel.

    Latin Name: Citrus sinensis
    Origin: Asia
    Preferred Zones: Zones 9–11; may need a bit of protection in Zone 9​
    Size: Up to 25 feet (up to 50 feet if very old), depending on the variety
    Exposure: Grows best in full sun, but can be grown in part shade
    Soil: Ideal conditions vary by regions; fine sand is preferred in Florida, while deep loam is best in California

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  • 12 of 17

    Persian Lime

    A cluster of limes on the branch
    Forest and Kim Starr/flickr/CC By 2.0

    The Persian lime (Citrus latifolia) is also known as the Tahiti lime. It is usually seedless and is widely used for lime juices. This is the kind of lime you will usually see in the grocery store or used for a garnish on cocktail drinks.

    Latin Name: Citrus latifolia
    Origin: Unknown
    Preferred Zones: Zones 9–11
    Size: 15 to 20 feet tall​
    Exposure: Full sun
    Soil: Needs soil that drains well

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  • 13 of 17

    Pummelo

    A pummelo on the branch
    Forest and Kim Starr/flickr/CC By 2.0

    The pummelo (Citrus maxima) is the largest of the citrus fruits. It is the ancestor of the grapefruit and tangelo.

    Latin Name: Citrus maxima
    Origin: Asia​​
    Preferred Zones: Zones 10–11; may grow in zone 9 with protection
    Size: 10 to 20 feet tall; can grow up to 50 feet over time
    Exposure: Full sun​​
    Soil: Must have well-drained soil

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  • 14 of 17

    Tangelo

    A pile of tangelo
    Forest and Kim Starr/flickr/CC By 2.0

    The tangelo (Citrus paradisi × Citrus reticulata) is a cross between a mandarin orange and a pummelo or grapefruit. The size depends on the variety chosen; they can be as small as an orange or as large as a grapefruit. Varieties include 'Minneola' and the Ugli fruit.

    Latin Name: Citrus paradisi × Citrus reticulata
    Origin: First bred in California
    Preferred Zones: Zones 10–11
    Size: 10 to 15 feet on average; varies by variety 
    Exposure: Full sun
    Soil: Can be grown in a variety of well-drained soils

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  • 15 of 17

    Tangerine

    Close-Up Of Woman Holding Bowl Of Fruit
    Sylvia Sooyon / EyeEm / Getty Images

    The tangerine is simply one class of the mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata), usually with red-orange skin. The most well-known variety of tangerine is the Clementine.

    Latin Name: Citrus reticulata
    Origin: Asia​
    Preferred Zones: Zones 9–11
    Size: 10 to 25 feet tall and wide​
    Exposure: Full sun
    Soil: Can tolerate a wide variety of soils but must drain well

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  • 16 of 17

    Ugli Fruit

    ugli fruit on white
    Randy Mayor/ Getty Images

    The Ugli® fruit (Citrus reticulata x Citrus paradisi) is the brand name for a Jamaican tangelo hybrid said to have been a cross between the bitter orange, grapefruit, and tangerine. The name comes from its unsightly appearance. It is typically 4 to 6 inches in diameter.

    Latin Name: Citrus reticulata x paradisi
    Origin: Jamaica
    Preferred Zones:  Zones 8B–10
    Size: 15 to 20 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun
    Soil: Does best in well-drained soil

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  • 17 of 17

    Yuzu Tree

    Yuzu in the tree
    DigiPub/Getty Images

    The yuzu isn't usually eaten fresh. Instead, the juice and rind are used in preparing Asian cuisine, including drinks, sauces, and sweets. The oil from the skin is also used as a fragrance. Some interesting recipes to try with yuzu include beef shabu shabu, Modern Smuggler cocktail, and ponzu sauce.

    Latin Name: Citrus ichangensis (Ichang papeda) × Citrus reticulata (sour mandarin); some may use Citrus junos
    Origin: Asia​
    Preferred Zones: Zone 7; hardier than most other citrus plants 
    Size: Shrub or small tree up to 25 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun​
    Soil: Well-drained, slightly acidic soil