Poncirus trifoliata

Poncirus trifoliata - fruit and leaves (340)

Common names:

  • Japanese Bitter Orange

Location in the Gardens:

Season of interest:

  • Fragrant white flowers with 4 or 5 large petals, borne in late spring and often again in autumn, are followed by rounded 2-3cm wide orange-like fruit with thick skins

Description of plant:

A deciduous, very spiny shrub or small tree 8 to 20 ft high, often as much wide, with smooth, green, crooked, angular branchlets.

The spines are from 1 to 2 in. long, very stiff, straight, and sharply pointed.

Leaves of three, sometimes five leaflets, which are obovate, the middle one 1½ to 2 in. long, the side ones half as large; leaf-stalk winged.

Flowers sweetly scented, produced from the axils of the spines before the leaves, pure white, 1½ to 2 in. across, with four or five concave obovate petals.

Stamens pink, not united. Fruit like a small orange in colour and shape, about 1½ in. across, covered with down.

Glossary of terms

Ideal growing conditions and habitat:

Fully hardy, needs sun and fertile, well drained soil.

It should be given a sunny position and a deep, moderately rich, soil.

Country of origin:

  • Native of Korea and North China

Other interesting information:

The fruits are too bitter and acrid to be eaten raw, but they have been made into a conserve by boiling in sugar.

Back to top