Famiglia: Pummeli – Citrus Grandis
Nome botanico in latino: C. grandis “Burm. Mer.”
Disponibile mezzo fusto o cespuglio
Vaso di diametro 20 o 22 cm
The pomelo now classified as C. maxima (Burm.) Merrill can almost certainly be considered the ancestor of the grapefruit (C. paradisi Macf.). It is one of the “true” citrus species, along with the citron and the mandarin. The plant has been grown for centuries in the East, particularly Southeast Asia and southern China. The oldest mention of it is in the Tribute of Yu, from around 2200 BC, where we read that “the bundle contained small oranges and pomelos”. It grows spontaneously in Malaysia and is widely cultivated on several islands in French Polynesia, and in Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines. It is presumed to have been introduced by aboriginals to Fiji, where it has naturalized and grows spontaneously in veritable forests up to altitudes of 800 metres.
It reached South America and the Caribbean at the end of the 17th century, when the British Captain Shaddock of the East India Company, returning home across the Pacific, took some seeds from Malaysia to Barbados. The seeds grew successfully and soon produced fruit.
The pomelo subsequently spread to Jamaica and Puerto Rico, but its production has remained largely confined to Asia. China is currently the world’s largest pomelo producer. The fruit is consumed almost exclusively by the domestic market.
The pomelo fruit is the largest citrus cultivar and can reach the size of a football.
It should not be confused with the grapefruit, as frequently happens, from which it differs in its young shoots and its fruit, which are very large, pear-shaped, spherical or flattened, with monoembryonic seeds. The plant is thorny and very vigorous, with angular shoots and large elliptic-oval leaves with a winged petiole. The large flowers grow both singly and in clusters.
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