Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Citrus bergamia Risso & Poit.

Small tree with ovate-oblong leaves, flowers white, fragrant, followed by globose to pyriform fruit with yellow rind and green, acid and aromatic pulp. [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Bergamot (C. Bergamia). Fruit pear-shaped, pale yellow, with green, sub-acid, firm, fragrant pulp; fruit and foliage distinct, oil of bergamot is distilled from the rind.’ [American Fruit Culturist p.645/1911].

‘The bitter orange (Citrus bergamia) is of a dwarf habit; the flowers are small, white, and highly scented; leaves, elongated, acute — the underside quite pale; the petiole is more or less winged; fruit, pale yellow; pulp, bitter. There are many varieties of sour and of bitter oranges — some bearing large fruits, the majority of which are worthless, and some bearing small fruit, which is valuable for the manufacture of essence of orange and essential oils. The peel of the bitter orange is used in medicine as an aromatic tonic, and the fruit is also used in making marmalade and preserves. Many of these are grown in Europe for the essential oil they contain, from which is made a substance known as bergamot camphor.’ [Lelong – Orange Culture – The Orange, from Seed to Grove p.8/1890].

The Bergamot Lemon, Citrus medica odoratissima, was figured in ‘Andrews’ Repository’ pl. 609 (c.1814). It was probably introduced from Nice by Mrs. Evelyn of St Clare in Kent. It had been grown for centuries primarily for the production of Oil of Bergamot for use in perfumery.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues as ‘Bergamot Lemon’ [Orange tribe no.22/1843].


Considered by some to be a form of Citrus aurantia L., the Sour Orange.

Published May 04, 2010 - 04:36 PM | Last updated May 04, 2010 - 04:38 PM

Family Rutaceae
Region of origin

Probably Tropical Asia

  • Citrus aurantium L. subsp. bergamia (Risso & Poit.) Wight & Arn. ex Engl.
  • Citrus aurantium L. var. bergamia Loisel.
Common Name

Bitter Orange, Bergamot Orange, Bergamot Lemon

Name in the Camden Park Record

Bergamot Lemon 

Confidence level high