Acronychia acidula

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Acronychia acidula
Acronychia acidula1.jpg
Acronychia acidula, leaf and fruit, cultivated
Scientific classification
A. acidula
Binomial name
Acronychia acidula

Acronychia acidula, lemon aspen, is a small- to medium-sized rainforest tree of the family Rutaceae native to north Queensland, Australia. The aromatic and acidic fruit is harvested as a bushfood.


Victorian state botanist Ferdinand von Mueller described the lemon aspen in 1864.[1] Its species name acidula is Latin "slightly acid".[2]

Common names include lemon aspen, hard aspen and lemonwood.[1] The true aspens of the Northern Hemisphere belong to the genus Populus in the willow family Salicaceae.[3] The genus Acronychia is a member of the rue family Rutaceae, the same family as the genus Citrus which contains true lemons.


The fruit are eaten by the topknot pigeon (Lopholaimus antarcticus).[4]


Lemon aspen fruit has a grapefruit and lime-like flavor, and is popular in beverages, sauces and confectionery. The fruit has high antioxidant activity.[5]


The tree is grown in small-scale commercial bushfood orchards on the east coast of Australia from North Queensland to northern New South Wales. The tree is quick-growing and requires regular pruning to maintain a practical harvesting height. It has a moderate crop yield, and bears in four years from seedlings. It prefers well-drained and fertile clay loam soils, with a sunny aspect and extra moisture when young.[2]


  1. ^ a b Hyland, B. P. M.; Whiffin, T.; Zich, F. A.; et al. (December 2010). "Factsheet – Acronychia acidula". Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants. Edition 6.1, online version [RFK 6.1]. Cairns, Australia: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), through its Division of Plant Industry; the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research; the Australian Tropical Herbarium, James Cook University. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b Elliot, Rodger W.; Jones, David L.; Blake, Trevor (1982). "A-Ca". Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants suitable for cultivation. 2. Port Melbourne, Victoria: Lothian Publishing. p. 141. ISBN 0-85091-143-5.
  3. ^ "technology transfer fact sheet: Populus spp" (PDF). Forest Products Laboratory: R&D USDA. Madison, Wisconsin: United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
  4. ^ Barker, RD; Vestjens, WJM (1984). The Food of Australian Birds: (I) Non-passerines. Melbourne University Press. p. 301. ISBN 0-643-05007-8.
  5. ^ Zhao, J., Agboola, S., Functional Properties of Australian Bushfoods - A Report for the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, 2007, RIRDC Publication No 07/030 [1] Archived 21 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine

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