Citrus maxima (Burm.) Merr.

Last updated: 30 April 2015

Scientific Name

Citrus maxima (Burm.) Merr.


Aurantium decumana (L.) Mill., Aurantium decumanum (L.) Mill., Aurantium maximum Burm., Citrus costata Raf., Citrus decumana L. [Illegitimate], Citrus grandis (L.) Osbeck, Citrus obovoidea Yu.Tanaka, Citrus pompelmos Risso, Citrus sabon Siebold ex Hayata, Citrus yamabuki Yu.Tanaka [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Jeruk bali, jeruk besar, limau besar, limau betawi, limau serdadu [2], limau tebu, limau bali, limau kedangsa, limau masam, limau gading, limau abong, limau bol, limau jambua [3]
English bali lemon, paradise apple [3], forbidden fruit, grape-fruit, pomelo, pu tao you, pummelo, shaddock, pamela [4]
India Bātābī lēbu, chakotra, jāmburā lēbu, mahanibu, sadaphal, pumēlō (Bengali); obakotru (Gujarati); bataawii niimbuu, cakōtarā, mahanibu, sanadāphala (Hindi); chakota, chakota hannu, chakotre, sakkota, tōran̄ji (Kannada) Pamparamasam, pamparamasan (Malayalam); papnasa (Marathi); madhukarkati (Sanskrit); elumicham, pambalimasu (Tamil); nimmapandu, pampalamasam, pampara (Telugu) [2]
Indonesia Jeruk adas, jeruk dalima,jeruk gulung,jeruk karag,jeruk machan, jeruk rawa, limau balak, limau kibau, limau gadang [3], jeruk besar, jeruk bali [4]
Thailand Som-o(General), ma-o (Northern) [2][4]
Laos Kièngz s'aangz, ph'uk, sômz 'ôô [2][4]
Myanmar Shouk-ton-oh[2] [4]
Philippines Lukban, suha (Tagalog, Ilokano) [4]
Cambodia Krôoch thlông [2][4]
Vietnam Bu'o'I [4], bưởi chùm thái Lan [2]
Japan Buntan, pomero, bontan, zabon [2]
Finland Pummelo [2]
Denmark Pompelmus [2]
Netherlands Pompelmoes, pomelo [2]
Papua New Guinea Muli [3]
France Pamplemousse doux des antilles, chadec, shadek [2], pamplemoussier [4]
Italy Pampaleone [2]
Germany Riesenorange, lederorangenbaum [2]
Russia Pomelo [2]
Spain Cimboa, pampelmusa [2]
Saudi Arabia Laymûn hindî [2]

Geographical Distributions

The origin of Citrus maxima is uncertain. There is little doubt that the species is indigenous in Malaysia. It has spread to Indo-China, southern China and the southernmost part of Japan and westwards to India, the Mediterranean and tropical America. However, it remains a fruit of the Orient; neither in India nor further west has it become popular. [4]

Botanical Description

C. maxima comes from the family of Rutaceae. It can grow up to 5-10(-15) m tall. It is a low-branching tree, branches spreading and spiny (seed propagation) or spineless (vegetative propagation), with its spines up to 5 cm long. The young parts are manifestly hairy. [4]

The leaves are ovate to elliptical, measuring 5-10(-20) cm x 2-5(-12) cm, with rounded to subcordate base, entire to shallowly crenate margin, obtusely acute apex and dotted glandular. The petiole is broadly winged, up to 7 cm wide while its wing is obcordate. [4]

The inflorescences are axillary, with a cluster of flowers or a single flower. [4]

The flowers are large, 2-3 cm long in bud, 3-5 cm wide when fully expanded, with 5 parts in the flower whorl and covered with soft hairs. The petals are creamy white. There are 20-25(-35) stamens while the ovary is with 11-16 loculi. [4]

The fruit is a nearly spherical to pear-shaped berry, 10-20(-30) cm in diametre, greenish-yellow and densely glandular-dotted. The peel is 1-3(-4) cm thick. The segments are large, pale yellow or pink pulp-vesicles and filled with sweetish juice. [4]

The seeds are usually few, large, plump, ridged, yellowish and monoembryonic. [4]


C. maxima thrives in the lowland tropics. In the production centres of Thailand, mean monthly temperatures are about 25-30°C with a few cooler (and dry) months; the dry season lasts for 3-4(-5) months and annual rainfall is about 1500-1800 mm. The crop is not grown commercially above elevations of 400 m. C. maxima tolerates a wide range of soils from coarse sand to heavy clay. However, the tree prefers deep, medium-textured and fertile soil free from injurious salts. [4]

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. maxima (Burm.) Merr. [4]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Citrus maxima (Burm.) Merr. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2015 Apr 28]. Available from:
  2. Philippine Medicinal Plants. Suha. Citrus maxima (Burm.) Merr. [homepage on the internet] c2014. [updated 2013 August; cited 2015 Apr 30] Available from
  3. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002. p.194.
  4. Niyomdham C. Citrus maxima (Burm.) Merr. 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. 128-131.