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Taxon: Citrus aurantium L.

Genus: Citrus
Family: Rutaceae subfamily: Aurantioideae tribe: Aurantieae subtribe: Citrinae
Nomen number: 10684
Place of publication: Sp. pl. 2:782. 1753
Typification: View record from Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project of the Natural History Museum of London.
Comment: treated by some as the hybrid C. maxima × C. reticulata
Name verified on: 19-Aug-2011 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last updated: 01-May-2014
Species priority site is: Natl. Germplasm Repository - Riverside (RIV).
Accessions: 51 in National Plant Germplasm System.
  • all available ) NPGS accessions. or .
  • all available ) NPGS accessions by country.
  • Check PlantSearch database of Botanic Gardens Conservation International for possible non-NPGS germplasm.

Common names:

  • bigarade   (Source: World Econ Pl ) – English
  • bitter orange   (Source: World Econ Pl ) – English
  • Seville orange   (Source: World Econ Pl ) – English
  • sour orange   (Source: World Econ Pl ) – English
  • suan cheng   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – Transcribed Chinese
  • bigaradier   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – French
  • oranger amer   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – French
  • Bitterorangen   (Source: L. Conrad, p.c.) – German
  • Pomeranze   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – German
  • khatta   (Source: Citrus CGC, p.c.) – India
  • khushkhash   (Source: Citrus CGC, p.c.) – Israel
  • arancio   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – Italian
  • arancio amaro   (Source: HerbSpices 2:211.) – Italian
  • melangolo   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – Italian
  • daidai   (Source: HerbSpices 2:211.) – Japanese Rōmaji
  • kaisei-tō   (Source: Citrus CGC, p.c.) – Japanese Rōmaji
  • gwanggyulnamu   (Source: Kulturpflanze 34:91.) – Transcribed Korean
  • laranja-azeda   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Portuguese
  • naranja agria   (Source: CultTropS ) – Spanish
  • naranja amarga   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Spanish
  • naranja mateca   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – Spanish

Economic importance:


Distributional range:

  • widely cultivated in tropics & subtropics

  • probable multiple hybrid origin China & elsewhere


  • Ali, S. I. & S. M. H. Jafri, eds. 1976–. Flora of Libya.
  • Bayer, R. J. et al. 2009. A molecular phylogeny of the orange subfamily (Rutaceae: Aurantioideae) using nine cpDNA sequences. Amer. J. Bot. 96:668–685. [= Citrus × aurantium].
  • Bhusal, R. C. et al. 2002. Selection of rootstocks for flooding and drought tolerance in citrus species. Pakistan J. Biol. Sci. 5:509–512. [this study examined 23 species, including a sample of Citrus aurantium that showed drought tolerance].
  • Bisset, N. G., ed. 1994. Herbal drugs and phytopharmaceuticals. A handbook for practice on a scientific basis.
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences. 1959–. Flora reipublicae popularis sinicae.
  • Citrus Crop Germplasm Committee. 1998. pers. comm. [re. common names].
  • Conrad, L. R. 1998. pers. comm. [re. German common names].
  • Craker, L. E. & J. E. Simon, eds. 1986–1987. Herbs, spices, and medicinal plants, 2 vols.
  • Davis, P. H., ed. 1965–1988. Flora of Turkey and the east Aegean islands.
  • Elevitch, C. R., ed. The traditional tree initiative: species profiles for Pacific Island agroforestry (on-line resource).
  • Encke, F. et al. 1984. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 13. Auflage.
  • Facciola, S. 1990. Cornucopia, a source book of edible plants.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource).
  • Forest Experimental Station, Korea. 1966. Illustrated woody plants of Korea.
  • Garcia-Lor, A. et al. 2013. A nuclear phylogenetic analysis: SNPs, indels and SSRs deliver new insights into the relationships in the 'true citrus fruit trees' group (Citrinae, Rutaceae) and the origin of cultivated species. Ann. Bot. (Oxford) 111:1–19.
  • Gmitter, F. G. et al. 2007. Citrus fruits. In: Kole. C., ed., Genome mapping and molecular breeding in plants (7 vols.) 14:265–279.
  • Gmitter, F. G. et al. 2009. Citrus breeding. Pp. 105–134 in: Jain, S. M. & P.M. Priyadarshan, eds., Breeding plantation tree crops: temperate species.
  • Hackett, C. & J. Carolane. 1982. Edible Horticultural Crops.
  • Hanelt, P., ed. 2001. Mansfeld's encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops. Volumes 1-6.
  • Hara, H. et al. 1978–1982. An enumeration of the flowering plants of Nepal.
  • Jena, S. N. et al. 2009. Molecular phylogeny in Indian Citrus L. (Rutaceae) inferred through PCR-RFLP and trnL-trnF sequence data of chloroplast DNA. Sci. Hort. 119:403–416. [as a hybrid].
  • Krueger, R. R. & M. L. Roose. 2003. Use of molecular markers in the management of Citrus germplasm resources. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 128:827–837. [this study tested the use of molecular markers for the management of mixed collections of monoembryonic and polyembryonic seed; three samples of Citrus aurantium were polyembryonic].
  • Leung, A. Y. & S. Foster. 1996. Encyclopedia of common natural ingredients used in food, drugs, and cosmetics, ed. 2.
  • Li, X. et al. 2010. The origin of cultivated Citrus as inferred from Internal Transcribed Spacer and chloroplast DNA sequence and Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism fingerprints. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 135:341–350. [this study included two samples of Citrus aurantium resolved together (AFLP) or apart (nuclear and cpDNA) within a clade including pummelo C. maxima and mandarin C. reticulata].
  • Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium. 1976. Hortus third.
  • Lombardo, G. et al. 2011. Genetic analysis of Citrus aurantium L. (Rutaceae) cultivars by ISSR molecular markers. Pl. Biosyst. DOI: 10.1080/11263504.2011.557101.
  • Long, R. W. & O. Lakela. 1971. A flora of tropical Florida.
  • Luro, F. et al. 2011. Analysis of genetic diversity in Citrus. Pl. Genet. Resources Charact. Util. 9:218–221. [this study based on primary metabolites and "nine genes involved in primary metabolic pathways" examined nine samples of Citrus aurantium; it found that their analysis did not support the "mandarin × pummelo cross", although it clustered closer to sweet orange (but see page220 for a different interpretation), a subclade sister to pummelo].
  • Mabberley, D. J. 1997. A classification for edible Citrus. Telopea 7:170. [= Citrus × aurantium].
  • Macbride, J. F. et al., eds. 1936–1971. Flora of Peru.; new ser. 1980-
  • Markle, G. M. et al., eds. 1998. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2.
  • McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker. 2000. Herbs of commerce, ed. 2.
  • Mun-Chan, B. et al. 1986. A checklist of the Korean cultivated plants. Kulturpflanze 34:91.
  • Nicolosi, E. et al. 2000. Citrus phylogeny and genetic origin of important species as investigated by molecular markers. Theor. Appl. Genet. 100:1155–1166.
  • Nicolosi, E. 2007. Chapter 3. Origin and taxonomy. Pp. 19–43 in: Khan, I. A., ed., Citrus genetics, breeding and biotechnology. CABI.
  • Ollitrault, P. et al. 2012. SNP mining in C. clementina BAC end sequences; transferability in the Citrus genus (Rutaceae), phylogenetic inferences and perspectives for genetic mapping. B. M. C. Genomics 13:13. [this study examined the usefulness of SNP markers derived from Citrus clementina for understanding the "origin of some secondary species and important cultivars"; it confirmed the hybrid origin of C. aurantium, with its genome derived mostly from C. reticulata].
  • Oyen, L. P. A. & Nguyen Xuan Dung, eds. 1999. Essential-oil plants. In: Faridah Hanum, I. & L. J. G. van der Maesen, eds., Plant Resources of South-East Asia (PROSEA). 19:78–82.
  • Penjor, T. et al. 2013. Phylogenetic relationships of Citrus and its relatives based on matK gene sequences. PLoS One 8(4): e62574. [this study included one sample of Citrus aurantium that clustered within the pummelo clade].
  • Polat, I. et al. 2012. Molecular characterization of sour orange (Citrus aurantium) accessions and their relatives using SSR and SRAP markers. Genet. Molec. Res. 11:3267–3276.
  • Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource).
  • Rehm, S. & G. Espig. 1991. The cultivated plants of the tropics and subtropics.
  • Rehm, S. 1994. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants.
  • Smith, A. C. 1979–1991. Flora vitiensis nova.
  • Snoussi, H. et al. 2012. Assessment of the genetic diversity of the Tunisian citrus rootstock germplasm. B. M. C. Genet. 13:16.
  • Swingle, W. T. & P. C. Reece. 1967. The botany of Citrus and its wild relatives.
  • Tanaka, T. 1954. Species problem in Citrus: a critical study of wild and cultivated units of Citrus, based upon field studies in their native homes. In: Tanaka, T., Revisio Aurantiacearum 9:123.
  • Townsend, C. C. & E. Guest. 1966–. Flora of Iraq.
  • Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. 1952–. Flora of tropical East Africa.
  • Tutin, T. G. et al., eds. 1964–1980. Flora europaea.
  • Uphof, J. C. T. 1968. Dictionary of economic plants, ed. 2.
  • Walker, E. 1976. Flora of Okinawa and the southern Ryukyu Islands.
  • Wu Zheng-yi & P. H. Raven et al., eds. 1994–. Flora of China (English edition).
  • Yildirim, B. et al. 2010. Fruit yield and quality of Santa Teresa lemon on seven rootstocks in Adana (Turkey). African J. Agric. Res. 5:1077–1081.


Check other web resources for Citrus aurantium L.:

Check other web resources for images:

  • Google Images Note: Be advised that their identity may be inaccurate. Proper identification of a plant may require specialized taxonomic knowledge or comparison with properly documented herbarium material.

Abbreviations & symbols in GRIN Taxonomy

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Cite as:
USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program.
Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database].
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
URL: (27 November 2015)

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