Citrus medica L.

Last updated: 30 April 2015

Scientific Name

Citrus medica L.


Aurantium medicum (L.) M. Gómez, Citrus alata (Tanaka) Yu.Tanaka, Citrus alata (Tanaka) Tanaka, Citrus balotina Poit. & Turpin, Citrus bicolor Poit. & Turpin, Citrus bigena Poit. & Turpin, Citrus cedra Link, Citrus cedrata Raf., Citrus crassa Hassk., Citrus fragrans Salisb., Citrus gongra Raf., Citrus hassaku Yu.Tanaka, Citrus hiroshimana Yu.Tanaka, Citrus kizu Yu.Tanaka, Citrus kwangsiensis Hu, Citrus limetta Risso, Citrus limonimedica Lush., Citrus lumia Risso, Citrus nana (Wester) Yu.Tanaka, Citrus odorata Roussel, Citrus pyriformis Hassk., Citrus sarcodactylus Siebold ex Hoola van Nooten, Citrus sudachi Yu.Tanaka [Invalid], Citrus tuberosa Mill. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Limau susu [2], limau batu,limau kerbau, limau mata kerbau, limau kapas, limau pagar, limau hantu [3]
English Citron [2], cotton citron [3]
Indonesia Jeruk sukade, sitrun [2], manow, jeruk kates [3]
Thailand Manao-khwai (Yala-Pattani); somma-ngua (Central); mawo-yao (Chiang Mai) [2]; som manao, som ma ngua [3]
Laos Vëëx [2]
Myanmar Shouk-ta-kwah [2]
Philippines Bulid (Tagalog); sidris (Bisaya); sidras (Ilokano) [2]
Vietnam Thanh yên [2]
France Cédratier [2]

Geographical Distributions

Citrus medica is probably originated in the sub-Himalayan region of north-eastern India and upper Burma. [2]

Botanical Description

C. medica comes from the family of Rutaceae. It is a straggly shrub or small tree that can grow up to 3 m tall. It is with light grey bark and relatively soft wood. The twigs are angular and purplish when young but turn cylindrical later, smooth and with single axillary spines. [2]

The leaves are elliptic-ovate to ovate-lance-shaped, measuring 5-20 cm x 3-9 cm, wedge-shaped or rounded at the base, serrate at the margins and bluntly pointed or rounded at the apex. The petiole is short, wingless or nearly so and not clearly articulated with the blade. [2]

The flower buds are large and pinkish. The flowers are perfect or staminate which are in axillary with a few-flowered racemes and measuring 3-4 cm in diametre. There are 5 petals that are pinkish externally. The stamens are 30-40(-60). The ovary has 10-13-locular with a thick style. [2]

The fruit is an ovoid to oblongoid berry, measures 10-20 cm long and slightly too considerably rough-tuberculate. The yellow peel is very thick and fragrant. The segments are small and filled with pale green pulp-vesicles. The juice is acidic to mildly acid. [2]

The seeds are numerous, ovoid, measuring about 1 cm x 0.5 cm, acute and monoembryonic. [2]


It spread westward to Persia, becoming the first citrus fruit brought under cultivation in the western world, and eastward into China. It has also been taken to most tropical countries, where it is little importance. Commercial planting of C. medica is limited to certain islands in the Mediterranean region (belonging to Italy, Greece and France) and in the mountainous coffee regions of Puerto Rico. It is sparingly cultivated elsewhere. [2]

In the tropics, C. medica grows very well at elevations below 1300 m altitude. The best C. medica locations are those without extreme temperatures. C. medica is very sensitive to frost and to intense heat and drought. It is the tenderest of all Citrus species. The soil should be moist, well-drained, deep and fertile. [2]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of C. medica L. [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Citrus medica L.[homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2015 Apr 28]. Available from:
  2. Jones DT. Citrus medica L. In: Verheij EWM, Coronel RE, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 2: Edible fruits and nuts. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc Scientific Publisher, 1991; p. 131-133.
  3. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of medicinal plants used in Malaysia. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002. p.196.