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Edible uses


Fruit - raw or cooked. Very acid, they are usually pickled, preserved or used in drinks, teas, marmalades, chutneys etc[1]. They can be used in all the ways that lemons or limes are used[2]. The fruit is less acid than a lemon and makes a very acceptable raw fruit, especially if eaten with the skin which has a pleasant sweet flavour[K]. The whole fruit is fried in coconut oil with various seasonings and is eaten with curry[1]. The fruit is about 25 - 35mm in diameter[2]. The preserved peel is used as a flavouring in other foods[1].

Unknown part


Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Citrofortunella microcarpa.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

There are no medicinal uses listed for Citrofortunella microcarpa.


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


The following notes are based on Citrus species. They are probably applicable here as well, even though this is a bi-generic hybrid, since any seed might be produced polyembrionically.

The seed is best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it ripe after thoroughly rinsing it[3][2]. Sow stored seed in March in a greenhouse[4]. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 3 weeks at 13°c. Seedlings are liable to damp off so they must be watered with care and kept well ventilated. The seed is usually polyembrionic, two or more seedlings arise from each seed and they are genetically identical to the parent but they do not usually carry any virus that might be present in the parent plant[2]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least three growing seasons before trying them outdoors. Plant them out in the summer and give them some protection from the cold for their first few winters outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Layering in October.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Citrofortunella microcarpa. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Requires a position in full sun in a fertile well-drained but not dry soil[5]. Prefers a moderately heavy loam with a generous amount of compost and sand added and a very sunny position[6][2]. When growing plants in pots, a compost comprising equal quantities of loam and leafmould plus a little charcoal should produce good results[7]. Do not use manure since Citrus species dislike it[7]. When watering pot plants it is important to neither overwater or underwater since the plant will soon complain by turning yellow and dying. Water only when the compost is almost dry, but do not allow it to become completely dry[7]. Plants are not very hardy in Britain but they do tolerate a few degrees of frost[2], so it should be possible to grow them in selected areas in the mildest parts of the country[K]. So long as the temperature falls gradually over a period of several days to allow the plant to become dormant, this species can tolerate short periods where temperatures fall to about -6°c[7]. Plants are susceptible to lime-induced and magnesium-deficiency chlorosis[5]. A popular house plant[2], pot-grown specimens less than 30cm tall can carry a dozen or more fruits[K]. There are several named varieties, selected both for ornament and for fruit[1][2].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Citrofortunella microcarpa. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Citrofortunella microcarpa.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Citrofortunella microcarpa
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Drought
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
5 x
Flower Colour
Flower Type


  1. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (32202/01/01)
  2. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (32202/01/01)
  3. ? Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 4. Thompson and Morgan. (32202/01/01)
  4. ? Simmons. A. E. Growing Unusual Fruit. David and Charles ISBN 0-7153-5531-7 (32202/01/01)
  5. ? 5.05.1 Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (32202/01/01)
  6. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (32202/01/01)
  7. ? Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Conservatory and Indoor Plants Volumes 1 & 2 Pan Books, London. ISBN 0-330-37376-5 (32202/01/01)