Hardy Orange (Citrus trifoliata) in the Citrus Fruits Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Hardy Orange
Give a thumbs up Japanese Hardy Orange
Give a thumbs up Bitter Orange

Botanical names:
Citrus trifoliata Accepted
Poncirus trifoliata Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 8-15 feet
Plant Spread: 8-10 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Other: Three lobed leaves emerge yellowish-green, mature to glossy dark green in summer and fade to yellow in autumn.
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Other: Small, acidic with bitter, lemony flavor and numerous seeds. Can be used to make marmalade. Let sit a few weeks after picking before juicing.
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Flowers: Showy
Other: 4-7, thin, papery petals
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Provides winter interest
Flowering Tree
Edible Parts: Fruit
Eating Methods: Raw
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Humidity tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Provide darkness
Days to germinate: 3-8 weeks
Sow in situ
Start indoors
Other info: keep seed moist before germinating
Pollinators: Various insects
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth


Photo gallery:

Posted by OldGardener (So Cal - Zone 10b) on Apr 24, 2013 11:17 AM

Drought tolerant once established. Often used to form a "living barbed-wire fence." Good choice for livestock containment, privacy boundary due to the wicked thorns.

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Plant Events from our members
MrsBinWY On December 15, 2017 Seeds sown
From janinilulu. Seeds had been refrigerated 30+ days. 4 out of 5 seeds rotted in shipping. Disinfected remaining seed w/H2O2 half an hour or so & sowed at warm room temp. Checked ~10 days later and found this seed had rotted, too.
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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Absolutely beautiful by ediblelandscapingsc Sep 2, 2018 12:42 AM 1
Seeds by ediblelandscapingsc Sep 12, 2019 10:11 AM 2
"lemon tree" by billyjohnson Jun 21, 2017 8:03 AM 4
I need a new plant addiction by Kabby Sep 14, 2016 7:49 PM 10
Daily gardening thread for everyone by keithp2012 Jul 13, 2020 9:48 PM 20,597

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