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The Pomelo

The pomelo, Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis, is the largest citrus fruit from the family Rutaceae. It is a natural, non-hybrid, citrus fruit, similar in appearance to a large grapefruit, native to South and Southeast Asia. The pomelo is one of the original citrus species from which the rest of cultivated citrus have been hybridized. 

Typically, the fruit is pale green to yellow when ripe, with sweet white (or, more rarely, pink or red) flesh, and a very thick albedo (rind pith). It is a large citrus fruit, 15–25 centimetres (5.9–9.8 in) in diameter, usually weighing 1–2 kilograms (2.2–4.4 lb). Leaf petioles are distinctly winged. The typical pomelo is much larger than the grapefruit and has a much thicker rind. It tastes a sweet.

Pummelo trees reach 6–13 meters (20–43 feet) in height. The evergreen oval leaves have broadly winged petioles (leaf stems) and are downy on the lower surface, as well as the young shoots. The flowers are large and white, the spheroid or pear-shaped fruits are among the largest of the citrus fruits, being able to reach 30-35 cm in diameter and weighing 8-12 kg. The fruit has a smooth, greenish-yellow epicarp, rich in essential oils and a mesocarp, or albedo, white, membranous, spongy, and very often; epicarp and mesocarp constitute the peel. The endocarp is divided into several segments which are delimited by thin membranous walls containing the pulp, bittersweet and not very juicy, and numerous monoembryonic seeds. For consumption the segments should be peeled one by one.

Pummelo, like all citrus fruits, prefers warm temperate climates, fears winter colds. The optimal thermal oscillations for vegetative and reproductive development vary from 20 to 28 ° C, while the winter rest begins with temperatures below 7 ° C, thermal values ​​below zero can cause serious damage to the plant. The best exposure is in full sun in environments sheltered from the wind, otherwise you have to build windbreaks. The pomelo adapts to poor soils, but prefers loose soils, of medium texture, deep, fertile, well drained and with a good content of organic substance, while it shuns the compact and too calcareous ones, as sensitive to water stagnation and to the phenomenon of ferric chlorosis, trace elements such as iron are insolubilized by the limestone present in the soil.

  • Category Citrus
  • Families Rutaceae
  • Genus Citrus
  • Species maxima
  • Geographical Area of Origin South-East Asia
  • Climatic Zones Sub-tropical, USDA 10 b (Southern Italy and islands)
  • Habit Tree
  • Leaves Evergreen
  • Colore Foglie Verde
  • Flowering Period March / April / May / June / July / August / September / October / November / December
  • Flower Raceme
  • Colore Fiori Bianco
  • Favorite soil Sub-acid / medium acid / Acid / Middle-Dough / Medium soil
  • Water needs Medium
  • Light Exposure Medium shade / Half shade / Full light / Full sun
  • Form Espalier / Pyramid / Inverted cone / Tree
  • Colore Frutti Verde   Giallo
  • Parfumed yes
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