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 medica L.

Irregularly branched tree with short spines, oblong, toothed leaves and large, white, red-tinged flowers followed by large oval fruit with a rough, thick rind, the flesh white and acid. [RHSD, Hortus]. The fruit is rarely eaten fresh but the rind is traditionally candied in southern Europe. It is also grown for its aromatic oil. The Buddha’s Hand Citron has long finger-like protrusions and is sometimes grown as an ornamental plant.

Horticultural & Botanical History

An ancient garden plant, reputedly cultivated before any other citrus species.

‘The citron (Citrus medico cedra) is usually grown as a shrub or small tree; the flowers are large and externally of a violet color; the branches, weighed down by the enormous fruit, are continually rooting at the ends and spreading, causing a neglected bush to expand in time into a dense thicket. It is very tender and best grown from layers or cuttings, which quickly spring up again if killed down by frost. It is supposed to be the parent of the lemon, and between the two occur an endless variety of intermediate forms or hybrids. Chiefly valued for the thick and tender rind, which, after having first lain in strong brine, is freshened and stewed in syrup till saturated, and then, after being candied and dried, is familiar to every one as the citron of commerce. A fragrant oil, used by perfumers, is also distilled from the rind. For preserving it must be used in a green state.’ [American Fruit Culturist p.650/1911].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues as ‘Citron’ [Orange tribe no.17/1843].


Published May 04, 2010 - 03:35 PM | Last updated May 04, 2010 - 03:37 PM

Family Rutaceae
Region of origin

Tropical Asia, probably India and Burma

  • Citrus medica L. var. cedrata Risso
  • Citrus medica L. var. medica
  • Citrus aurantium L. var. medica Wight & Arnott
  • Citrus cedra Link
  • Citrus cedratus Raf.
  • Citrus crassa Hassk.
  • Citrus fragrans Salisb.
  • Citrus odorata Roussel
  • Citrus tuberose Mill.
Common Name


Name in the Camden Park Record


Confidence level high