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Taxon: Citrus ×limon (L.) Osbeck

Genus: Citrus
Family: Rutaceae
Subfamily: Aurantioideae
Tribe: Aurantieae
Subtribe: Citrinae
Nomen number: 480120
Place of publication: Reise Ostindien 250. 1765 "limonia"
Link to protologue: https://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/51514126
  • • a hybrid of Citrus × aurantium (C. maxima × C. reticulata) × C. medica
  • • Osbeck's Dagb. Ostind. resa (1757) provided a Latin description but no name for the taxon that was identified as "C. limonia" in the 1765 German translation (Resie Ostindien). In the preface of the German translation, Osbeck stated that he had used Linnaeus' names from Sp. pl., where "Malus Limonia acida" appeared as a synonym of C. medica var. limon L. Although Osbeck makes no reference to the Linnaean basionym, nor did he adopt the spelling of the Linnaean epithet, it is clear that he was following Linnaeus, and therefore it is possible to apply Shenzhen ICN Art. 41.4 and Art. 60.1.
Name Verified on: 21-Feb-2018 by ARS Systematic Botanists.
Accessions: 370 (165 active, 0 available) in National Plant Germplasm System (Map)

Autonyms (not in current use), synonyms and invalid designations:

(≡ homotypic synonym, = heterotypic synonym, - autonym, I invalid designation)

Common names:

Economic Importance:

  • Environmental: ornamental
  • Food additives: flavoring; flavoring; gelling agent
  • Human food: fruit; fruit (as Citrus meyeri) fruit (as Citrus limonimedica)
  • Materials: gum/resin; lipids
  • Medicines: folklore; folklore; folklore

Distributional Range:


    • Africa (Mediterranean region)

    • WESTERN ASIA: Iran
    • CHINA: China
    • EASTERN ASIA: Japan

    • INDO-CHINA: Thailand

    • Europe (Mediterranean region)

    Other (origin unknown, likely China)


  1. Bayer, R. J. et al. 2009. A molecular phylogeny of the orange subfamily (Rutaceae: Aurantioideae) using nine cpDNA sequences. Amer. J. Bot. 96:668-685. Note: lists as Citrus × limon (L.) Burm. f.
  2. Cufodontis, G. 1953-1972. Enumeratio plantarum aethiopiae: Spermatophyta. Note: = Citrus limonia Osbeck
  3. Federici, C. T. et al. 1998. Phylogenetic relationships within the genus Citrus (Rutaceae) and related genera as revealed by RFLP and RAPD analysis. Theor. Appl. Genet. 96:812-822. Note: this study included four samples of "Citrus limon (L.) Bur. f." including cultivar 'Eureka'
  4. Garcia-Lor, A. et al. 2013. A nuclear phylogenetic analysis: SNPs, indels and SSRs deliver new insights into the relationships in the 'true citrus fruit trees' group (Citrinae, Rutaceae) and the origin of cultivated species. Ann. Bot. (Oxford) 111:1-19.
  5. Gmitter, F. G., Jr. et al. 2007. Chapter 14. Citrus fruits. Genome mapping and molecular breeding in plants (7 vols.) Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. 4:265-279. Note: mentions as a probable hybrid between Citrus medica and C. aurantifolia
  6. Grosser, J. W. et al. 2000. Somatic hybridization in Citrus: an effective tool to facilitate variety improvement. In Vitro Cell. Developmental Biol., Plant 36:434-449. Note: this review cites hybrids involving "Citrus limon (L.) Burm. f." for both scion and graft stock improvement
  7. Li, X. et al. 2010. The origin of cultivated Citrus as inferred from Internal Transcribed Spacer and chloroplast DNA sequence and Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism fingerprints. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 135:341-350. Note: this study included two cultivars of "Citrus limon": "Eureka" and "Femminello"
  8. Mabberley, D. J. 1997. A classification for edible Citrus (Rutaceae). Telopea 7:169.
  9. Nicolosi, E. et al. 2000. Citrus phylogeny and genetic origin of important species as investigated by molecular markers. Theor. Appl. Genet. 100:1155-1166. Note: lists as "Citrus limon (L.) Burm. f."
  10. Ollitrault, P. et al. 2012. SNP mining in C. clementina BAC end sequences; transferability in the Citrus genus (Rutaceae), phylogenetic inferences and perspectives for genetic mapping. B. M. C. Genomics 13:13. Note: this study examined the usefulness of SNP markers derived from Citrus clementina for understanding the "origin of some secondary species and important cultivars"; it confirmed the hybrid origin of C. limon with a diverse genomic contribution from C. medica
  11. Penjor, T. et al. 2013. Phylogenetic relationships of Citrus and its relatives based on matK gene sequences. PLoS One 8(4): e62574. Note: this study included two samples of "Citrus limon (L.) Burm. f." that grouped within the pummelo cluster
  12. Rouiss, H. et al. 2017. Unreduced megagametophyte production in lemon occurs via three meiotic mechanisms, predominantly second-division restitution. Front. Plant Sci. 8:1211, pages 1-16. Note: lists as "Citrus limon (L.) Burm. f."
  13. Scora, R. W. 1975. On the history and origin of Citrus. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 102:369-375. Note: lists as "Citrus limon (L.) Burm. f."
  14. Swingle, W. T. & P. C. Reece. 1967. The botany of Citrus and its wild relatives.
  15. Wu Zheng-yi & P. H. Raven et al., eds. 1994-. Flora of China (English edition).

Check other web resources for Citrus ×limon (L.) Osbeck :

  • Flora of China: Online version from Harvard University
  • TROPICOS: Nomenclatural and Specimen Database of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Databas of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.
  • PubAg: USDA's National Agricultural Library database of full-text journal articles and citations on the agricultural sciences.

Cite as: USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Plant Germplasm System. 2020. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN-Taxonomy).
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=480120. Accessed 4 July 2020.