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Bush Orange

Citrus trifoliata, commonly referred to as the trifoliate orange or bitter orange, is a deciduous shrub or small tree in the Rutaceae family from eastern Asian countries. The Chinese Bush Orange is more like a lemon than an orange. They are excellent for lemonade. Though commonly considered a citrus fruit, many botanists consider it to belong to the Poncirus genus.

Citrus trifoliata, commonly known as the "trifoliate orange," gets its common name from its leaves that are divided into three leaflets and resemble a clover.

Citrus trifoliata can grow throughout India, especially warm and humid climates


Natural Habitat and Growth Type:

Citrus trifoliata prefers warm, humid climates but can tolerate cold winters as well. It thrives best in well-drained soils with a pH between 5.5-7.5.


Sunlight Requirements:

Though it can manage in partial shade, Citrus trifoliata does best when exposed to full sun.


Growing Tips and Planting Distance:

When planting Citrus trifoliata, it is essential that the soil be well-drained rich in organic matter. 

Bush orange is a shrub that typically grows to a height of 10 to 12 feet. When planted on the ground, give a spacing of 8-10 feet.

Bush Orange is ideal for planting in a pot, where it can remain compact while producing a large number of fruits.

The bush orange is a thorny plant. The plant has dense foliage with glossy leaves. Hence it is often grown as a hedge.


Water Needs and Ease of Care:

Citrus trifoliata requires regular watering, especially during dry spells. Otherwise, this plant is relatively low maintenance.

Though it is optional, Citrus trifoliata can be pruned to maintain its shape and size.


Fruit Description, Taste, Size and Color:

Citrus trifoliata fruit are small in shape and orange in color, measuring 3 to 4 cm across. 

A bush orange is excellent for making lemonade. The fruit is used along with the peel to get a nice flavour. It is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. It is used for making jam and pickles. 

It is  highly acidic and bitter to be consumed raw.


Medical Uses:

Citrus trifoliata has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat various ailments, such as coughs, colds and digestive troubles. Additionally, it acts as an insecticide and produces essential oils.

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