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Citrus ID


New Zealand




Poorman, Poorman Orange (sec. Hodgson 1967)

Cultivar or taxon


Citrus x aurantium L., pro sp. [Grapefruit Group] (sensu Mabberley 1997, Bayer et al. 2009); Citrus paradisi Macfad. (sensu Swingle and Reece 1967; sensu Tanaka sec. Cottin 2002)



Hodgson (1967) noted on the naming and origin of the cultivar under Poorman:

"Although obviously not an orange, the names Poorman Orange or Poorman are employed for this fruit in Australia, where it first came to notice. Since it most resembles the grapefruit in both appearance and use and is the citrus fruit most extensively grown in New Zealand, the preferable name for this interesting and distinctive fruit would appear to be New Zealand Grapefruit.

That Poorman originated in the Orient is suggested by Bowman's statement (1956) that it was brought to Australia (presumably the fruit) from Shanghai by a Captain Simpson. The earliest description of record, given in a New South Wales nursery catalogue of 1820, indicates that the original introduction might have been a shaddock (pummelo); hence, the possibility exists that Poorman is of Australian origin. Since the seeds are monoembryonic, early references to the existence of clones varying appreciably in fruit characteristics, and to the possibility of hybrid origin, are understandable. According to Bowman (1956), this fruit was taken to New Zealand by Sir George Grey, who established his home on Kawau Island about 1855. About 1861, Grey provided propagation materials to John Morrison of Warkworth, for whom the clone currently most widely grown in New Zealand was named."

"Almost certainly Poorman is a pummelo hybrid and probably a natural tangelo. The fruit has some resemblance to the Attani of India and the Natsudaidai and Asahikun of Japan."



Crown compact or dense, not weeping. First-year twig surface glabrous; second- or third-year twig surface striate; thorns absent or not persistent; prickles absent or not persistent. Petiole glabrous, length medium; wings narrow, adjoining the blade. Leaflets one, margin entire, shade leaflet blades flat, sun leaflet blades weakly conduplicate. Scent of crushed leaflets somewhat to strongly malodorous. Fruit as broad as long or longer than broad; rind green-yellow (6), yellow (7-10), yellow-orange (11), or orange (12); rind texture slightly rough (4-5) or medium rough (6-7); firmness leathery; navel absent; flesh orange or yellow; taste grapefruit-like.

Hodgson (1967) provided the following additional notes on the cultivar under the synonymous Poorman:

"Fruit medium-large, oblate to broadly obovate to nearly globose; seeds numerous but monoembryonic. Color pale orange-yellow at maturity (deeper than any of the grapefruits). Rind medium-thick with fairly rugose surface (somewhat more so than Wheeny). Flesh color yellowish-orange; coarse-textured, juicy; flavor pleasantly subacid with trace of bitterness. Very early in maturity (as compared to the grapefruits). Much earlier than Wheeny, but holds on tree exceptionally well without loss in quality.

Tree vigorous, large, and prolific; leaves dark green, with petioles suggestive of mandarin or bitter orange rather than grapefruit. Most Australian selections and some in New Zealand exhibit a peculiar and distinctive bark condition, which in California appears to be associated with dwarfing. Surface of trunk and main limbs markedly rough and grayish-black in color; dull-black streaks on smaller branches and twigs."



Hodgson (1967) additionally noted the following under Poorman:

"Although generally distributed and commonly available in the markets, Poorman has not achieved much commercial importance in Australia, presumably because of the availability of grapefruits. In New Zealand, however, where grapefruit does not succeed, under the name of New Zealand Grapefruit it has become the principal citrus fruit grown and currently comprises about 85 per cent of the so-called grapefruit acreage, the balance consisting of the low-heat-requiring Wheeny variety. The 1962-63 crop of 167,000 bushels (40-1b) is said to have accounted for 55 per cent of the total citrus production in New Zealand. While principally used as a breakfast fruit, the juice is also canned and the immature fruits are extensively used for marmalade purposes. Morrison (Morrison Seedless) is considered to be the best clone. It is seedless, however, only in the absence of cross-pollination."



Bayer, R.J., D.J. Mabberley, C. Morton, C.H. Miller, I.K. Sharma, B.E. Pfeil, S. Rich, R. Hitchcock, and S. Sykes. 2009. A molecular phylogeny of the orange subfamily (Rutaceae: Aurantioideae) using nine cpDNA sequences. American Journal of Botany 96: 668–685.

Bowman, F.T. 1956. Citrus growing in Australia . Halstead Press, Sydney, New South Wales. 311 pp.

Cottin, R. 2002. Citrus of the World: A citrus directory. Version 2.0. France: SRA INRA-CIRAD.

Hodgson, R.W. 1967. Horticultural varieties of Citrus. In: Reuther, W., H.J. Webber, and L.D. Batchelor (eds.). The Citrus industry, rev. University of California Press.

Mabberley, D.J. 1997. A classification for edible Citrus (Rutaceae). Telopea 7: 167–172.

Swingle, W.T. and P.C. Reece. 1967. The botany of Citrus and its wild relatives. In: Reuther, W., H.J. Webber, and L.D. Batchelor (eds.). The Citrus industry. Ed. 2. Vol. I. University of California, Riverside.



Search for this cultivar in NCBI Entrez

Additional information on this cultivar at University of California: Riverside Citrus Variety Collection


Citrus ID Edition 2
October, 2011