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 maxima (Burm.) Merr.

Tender, spiny regularly branched tree with a rounded top, the leaves large, dark green, glossy, oval, stalks broadly winged, the flowers white, large, followed by large, pear-shaped, smooth-skinned, lemon-yellow fruit. To 8m. [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Also called shaddock, and in the United States of America grape fruit. Tree vigorous and resistant. Several varieties are grown, weighing from 1lb. to 121bs. each. Some of the smaller varieties, with a fairly thin rind and oblong, which are imported from Singapore, are the best. The larger sorts with a thick, spongy rind are much esteemed for making into preserves and for candying. The pulp is regarded as very wholesome and refreshing, and possessing valuable tonic properties. Large quantities are exported from Jamaica to the United States, and its cultivation is regarded as quite as profitable as that of the orange.’ [Despeissis p.242/1903].

‘The Shaddock, or Pomelo (C. decumana), named after Captain Shaddock, who first brought it to the West Indies, is supposed to be indigenous to the Malayan Islands.’ [American Fruit Culturist p.650/1911].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues as ‘Shaddock’ [Orange tribe no.23/1843]. This plant was originally received per ‘Sovereign’ in February 1831.  MP A2948.


Often mis-identified with the Grapefruit, Citrus x paradisi Macf., which see. The common name Pomelo or a variation, is often applied to both Citrus x paradisi Macf. and Citrus maxima (Burm.) Merr., adding to the confusion between these plants.

Citrus decumana L. is often given as a synonym of Citrus maxima (Burm.) Merr. According to ‘Sorting Citrus Names’ Citrus decumana L. nom. illeg., which I take to be Citrus decumana Murr. non L., applies to this plant while Citrus decumana L. applies to the Grapefruit, Citrus x paradisi Macf. [].  That useage has been followed here.

Published May 04, 2010 - 04:39 PM | Last updated May 04, 2010 - 04:42 PM

Family Rutaceae
Region of origin

Tropical Asia

  • Citrus grandis (L.) Osbeck
  • Citrus decumana Murr. non L.
  • Citrus grandis (L.) Osbeck var. grandis
  • Aurantium maximum Burm.
  • Citrus aurantium L. var. grandis L.
Common Name

Shaddock, West Indian Pomelo, Pummelo, Chinese Grapefruit

Name in the Camden Park Record


Confidence level high