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Citrus ID






Limonia missionis Wight, Atalantia missionis (Wight) Oliv., Chilocalyx ellipticus Turcz. (sensu Swingle and Reece 1967)

Cultivar or taxon


Pamburus missionis (Wight) Swingle (sensu Swingle and Reece 1967, Mabberley 2004, Bayer et al. 2009; sensu Tanaka sec. Cottin 2002)



Crown compact or dense, not weeping. First-year twig surface glabrous; second- or third-year twig surface mottled; thorns straight; prickles absent or not persistent. Petiole glabrous, length short or medium; wings absent. Leaflets one, margin entire or crenate/crenulate, shade leaflet blades flat, sun leaflet blades weakly conduplicate. Scent of crushed leaflets freshly lemon-like. Fruit as broad as long or longer than broad; rind yellow-orange (11), orange (12), or red-orange (13); navel absent.

Swingle and Reece (1967) provided the following additional notes on the species:

"The original description by Wight reads as follows: "Leaves simple, elliptical-oblong, short-petioled; racemes many-flowered, in the axils of the spines, shorter than the leaves.

A small tree, with a round, very branching, bushy head; the branches round, smooth, bright green, the older ones armed with numerous large, strong, sharp thorns, the flower-bearing ramuli flexuose, with small, straight, axillary spines. Leaves alternate, short-petioled, oval, sometimes emarginate and slightly crenate, oftener entire, smooth, coriaceous, dark shining green, mottled with white spots, and perforated with numerous pellucid points. Racemes in the axils of the spines, shorter than the leaves, somewhat capitate. Flowers numerous, fragrant, pure white. Calyx small, 4- or 5-lobed. Corolla 4-5-petaled, caducous. Petals obovate. Stamens 8 or 10, a little shorter than the petals. Filaments subulate. Anthers erect, large in proportion to the flowers. Pistil: germen superior, elevated on a glandular receptacle, globular, 4- or 5-celled, with several ovules in each cell, only one of which usually arrives at maturity. Style cylindrical. Stigma capitate. Pericarp a 4- or 5-celled berry; cells containing a very glutinous mucilaginous fluid, and one roundish seed, enclosed in a thick, firm, glandular, orange-like fruit.” […]

“Swingle's description of the species given when the genus Pamburus was established (1916a , p. 338) reads as follows: "A much-branched shrub or small tree, armed with stout straight spines, these 2-3 cm long, arising singly (or rarely in pairs?) on the side of the bud in the axils of the leaves. Leaves oval, oblong-obovate or elliptical, 6-10 cm long, 2-4 cm broad, very thick, coriaceous, glandular-punctate, the tip rounded, sometimes slightly emarginate, the base narrowed rather abruptly into the petiole, the margin entire, becoming gray and apparently crenate in drying; lateral veins inconspicuous, tertiary ones not apparent, the two faces very similar in appearance, drying to velvety gray-green unlike those of any other member of the subfamily Citratae [Aurantioideae]. Flowers 12-20 mm in diameter, fragrant, with small pointed sepals and 5 or 4 white obovate caducous petals about 1 cm long. Pistil about 1 cm long. Fruit about 2.5 cm in diameter, orange-colored when ripe, with a thick peel dotted with oil glands, 5-4 celled, the cells containing 1 or 2 seeds surrounded by a sticky gum."

This remarkable plant has leaves unlike those of any other member of the orange subfamily (see fig. 3-15 [in Swingle 1967]). In drying they become pale gray-green and show what seems to be a fine-textured, velvety surface."



Swingle and Reece (1967) additionally noted that: "The plants grown at Coconut Grove thrived on rather poor, sandy soil that thinly covered a subsoil composed of porous limestone rock. The pamburus seems to withstand nearly as much cold as the commonly cultivated species of Citrus. "



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.

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

Mabberley, D.J. 2004. Citrus (Rutaceae): A review of recent advances in etymology, systematics and medical applications. Blumea 49: 481–498.

Ridgway R. 1912. Color standards and color nomenclature. The Author, Washington, D.C. 43 pp.

Swingle, W.T. 1916. Pamburus, a new genus related to Citrus from India. Journal of Washington Academy of Sciences 6: 335–338.

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 or NCBI Nucleotide

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


Citrus ID Edition 2
October, 2011