Citrus

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Important species:
Citrus aurantifoliaKey lime
Citrus maximaPomelo
Citrus medicaCitron
Citrus reticulataMandarin orange

Important hybrids:
Citrus × aurantiumBitter orange
Citrus × latifoliaPersian lime
Citrus × limonLemon
Citrus × limoniaRangpur
Citrus × paradisiGrapefruit
Citrus × sinensisSweet orange
Citrus × tangerinaTangerine
See also below for other species and hybrids.

Eremocitrus
Microcitrus
and see text

Citrus is a common term and genus (Citrus) of flowering plants in the rue family, Rutaceae. Citrus is believed to have originated in the part of Southeast Asia bordered by Northeastern India, Myanmar (Burma) and the Yunnan province of China.[1][2][3] Citrus fruit has been cultivated in an ever-widening area since ancient times; the most well known examples are the oranges, lemons, grapefruit and limes.

The generic name originated in Latin, where it specifically referred to the plant now known as Citron (C. medica). It was derived from the ancient Greek word for cedar, kεδρος (kedros). Some believe this was because Hellenistic Jews used the fruits of C. medica during Sukkot (Feast of the Tabernacles) in place of a cedar cone,[4] while others state it was due to similarities in the smell of citrus leaves and fruit with that of cedar.[5] Collectively, Citrus fruits and plants are also known by the Romance loanword agrumes (literally "sour fruits").

The taxonomy and systematics of the genus are complex and the precise number of natural species is unclear, as many of the named species are clonally propagated hybrids, and there is genetic evidence that even some wild, true-breeding species are of hybrid origin.[6] Cultivated Citrus may be derived from as few as four ancestral species. Natural and cultivated origin hybrids include commercially important fruit such as the oranges, grapefruit, lemons, some limes, and some tangerines.

Research suggests that the closely related genus Fortunella (kumquats), and perhaps also Poncirus and the Australian Microcitrus and Eremocitrus, should be included in Citrus; most botanists now classify Microcitrus and Eremocitrus as part of the genus Citrus.[7]

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