Citrus medica is a small tree that grows to around 10-20ft. tall given full sun or semi-shade positions. It requires moderate water, preferring well-drained soil, and can tolerate hot, dry conditions. The tree produces white, off-white, or yellowish fragrant flowers that not only attract butterflies and hummingbirds, but also have a distinctive aroma. It can be listed as an ethnomedical plant, with the fruit of the tree being edible, and the rind, called citron, is used as a spice. The thorns and spines of the tree offer some form of protection. In terms of hardiness, the mature plant can tolerate cold temperatures down to at least 30s F (USDA zone 9-11).
The Citrus medica fruit is an ovary berry type that can weigh anywhere between 3-6 lbs. The fruit skin is green when it is unripe and turns yellow when ripe. The inside of the fruit contains several lobes filled with pith, and multiple segments and tiny white seeds that separate the edible segments from one another. Additionally, the rind of the fruit is thick, turning dry and spongy when ripe. The inner part of the fruit rind can be used as a flavoring for various dishes as it has a pleasant taste and aroma.
The Citron fruit is a powerhouse of health benefits. It contains a high amount of vitamin-C and other essential minerals. It is also high in dietary fiber and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is credited with improving digestion, decreasing appetite, and reducing belly fat. It helps reduce the risk of inflammation related to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Furthermore, it contains antioxidants that help boost the immune system. Citron fruit also helps in regulating blood pressure and helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. The fruit of Citron can produce up to 40-50 fruits per year.
When growing Citrus medicas in cold regions, it is advisable to plant the trees in a pot and bring the pot indoors during extreme periods of cold weather. Taking indoor care of the plant would help protect it from the harsh outside temperatures. As long as the tree is well-watered, fed with essential nutrients, and properly looked after, the Citron tree will produce healthy fruits with an abundance of health benefits.