Famiglia: Aranci Amari – Citrus Aurantium
Nome botanico in latino: C. aurantium “Bizzarria”
Disponibile mezzo fusto o cespuglio
Vaso di diametro 20 o 22 cm
€ 35,00 – € 100,00
This variety is a true rarity because although it has the genetic characteristics of the Seville orange, it bears fruits of both the Seville orange and the citron, together with ugly, lumpy, yellow, orange and green fruit with the morphological features of both species.
The plant is fairly vigorous and assurgent; the leaves are both ovoid-elliptic with alate petiole, and narrow and elliptic, twisted and curly, and sometimes streaked with different shades of green.
In the 1674 text by Pietro Nati, director of the Botanical Gardens of Pisa, we read that the plant was discovered in Florence in 1644 in the garden of a suburban villa, known as Torre degli Agli, owned by the Marchesi Panciatichi. A Bizzaria fruit was drawn by Baldassarre Franceschini of Volterra, known as Il Volterrano, in the 17th century.
Over 300 years later, a great deal of confusion and uncertainty still surrounds the origins of this particular variety, which displays the characteristics of both the Seville orange and the citron in a single fruit. The most accredited theory is that of a chimera, or grafting hybrid, generated by chance by a bud mutation between a Seville orange rootstock and a domestic citron. Such a mutation could have given rise to a shoot with the characteristics of both species. Other botanists have, in the past, stated that it could also represent a union of young plants of different species achieved using rather strange grafting methods, or a sexual hybrid created by the fusion of pollens from the Seville orange and the citron.
Thought to have been lost in the early 20th century, the Bizzaria orange was rediscovered by the author about 20 years ago in the gardens of Villa di Castello, and preserved and propagated by grafting. To prevent this unique rare variety from being lost again it was also taken to the Boboli Gardens in 1995 and introduced to the Botanical Gardens in Florence in April last year.
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