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Citrus ID






Echinocitrus Tan. (sec. Swingle and Reece 1967)

Cultivar or taxon


Triphasia Lour. (sec. Swingle and Reece 1967, Bayer et al. 2009; sensu Tanaka sec. Cottin 2002)



Swingle and Reece (1967) noted that:

"The genus was represented from 1790 until 1925 by a single species, T. trifolia. The discovery in the Philippines of a second species, a plant with much larger simple leaves which Merrill named Triphasia grandifolia, broadened our concept of the genus.

It now appears that there is a third species, descried as Paramignya brassii from New Guinea by C. T. White in 1926 and made the type of a new genus, Echinocitrus, by Tanaka in 1928. This species, although obviously closely related to the type of Triphasia, differs in a number of characters that justify placing it in a distinct subgenus, for which Tanaka’s generic name, Echinocitrus, is retained."



Crown open, not weeping. First-year twig surface glabrous; second- or third-year twig surface striate; thorns straight; prickles absent or not persistent. Petiole glabrous, length short; wings absent. Leaflets three, margin bluntly toothed, rachis wings absent, shade leaflet blades weakly conduplicate, sun leaflet blades weakly conduplicate. Leaflets not scented when crushed. Fruit as broad as long or longer than broad; rind red or pink, orange (12), or red-orange (13); rind texture smooth (1-3); firmness membranous; navel absent.

Swingle and Reece (1967) provided the following additional notes on the species: "Shrubs or very small trees, 1-2 m high, with paired axillary spines; leaves usually very small (except in T. grandifolia), simple or 3-foliolate, rather thin and without evident reticulation, numerous oil glands visible on both faces; petioles very short (1/10-1/20 the length of the leaves), wingless, pubescent, flattened and slightly channeled on the upper surface, not articulated with the leaf blade; flowers single, or in groups of 2 or 3 in the axils of the leaves; pedicels slender; calyx 3-5-merous, cupulate, persistent; corolla 3-5-merous, petals linear or obovate-spathulate; stamens free, twice as many as the petals, filaments slender, sometimes broadened at the base, anthers small, linear; ovary ovoid or elliptical, tapering more or less toward the base, with 3-5 locules, ovules 1 or 2 in each locule; fruits small, with the seeds imbedded in mucilaginous pulp; seeds plump (sometimes polyembryonic in T. trifolia )."



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.

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.



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Citrus ID Edition 2
October, 2011