Citrus hybrids include many varieties and species that have been selected by plant breeders, usually for the useful characteristics of the fruit. Some citrus hybrids occurred naturally, and others have been deliberately created, either by cross pollination and selection among the progeny, or (rarely, and only recently) as somatic hybrids. The aim of plant breeding of hybrids is to use two or more different citrus varieties or species, in order to get intermediate traits, or the most desirable traits of the parents. In some cases, particularly with the natural hybrids, hybrid speciation has occurred, so the new plants are considered a different species from any of their parents. Citrus hybrid names are usually marked with a multiplication sign after the word "Citrus", for example Citrus × aurantifolia.
Major citrus hybrids
Minor citrus hybrids (partial list)
- Shikwasa, Hirami lemon – Citrus × depressa
- Kaffir lime – Citrus × hystrix
- Persian lime – Citrus × latifolia
- Rangpur lime – Citrus × limonia
- Sudachi – Citrus sudachi
- Yuzu – Citrus ichangensis × reticulata
- Ponderosa – Citrus limon × medica
- Lumia – Citrus lumia
- Rhobs al-arsa – Citrus limon
- Florentine citron – Citrus limonimedica
- Oroblanco, oro blanco (white gold) or sweetie and Melogold – (Citrus grandis Osbeck × Citrus Paradisi Macf.)
- Pixie mandarin – a cross between King tangor and Dancy mandarin with possible unknown pollen donor
- Ugli fruit – Citrus reticulata × Citrus paradisi
- Lemonade fruit – a cross between navel orange and lemon
Graft-chimaeras, also called graft hybrids, can occur in Citrus. The cells are not somatically fused but rather mix the tissues from scion and rootstock after grafting, a popular example the Bizzaria orange. In formal usage, these are marked with a plus sign "+" instead with an "x".
Citrofortunella according to the Swingle system, is a hybrid genus, containing intergeneric hybrids between members of the genus Citrus and the closely related Fortunella. It is named after its two parent genera. Such hybrids often combine the cold hardiness of the Fortunella, such as the Kumquat, with some edibility properties of the citrus species. Citrofortunellas, which are all hybrids, are marked with the multiplication sign before the word "Citrofortunella", for example × Citrofortunella microcarpa or × Citrofortunella mitis which refer to the same plant.
These plants are hardier and more compact than most citrus plants, often referred to as cold hardy citrus. They produce small acidic fruit and make good ornamental plants. Citrofortunella hybrids include:
- Calamondin – (tangerine crossed with kumquat)
- Citrangequat – (citrange crossed with kumquat)
- Limequat – (Citrofortunella floridana) – (Key lime crossed with kumquat)
- Orangequat – Citrofortunella nippon – (satsuma mandarin crossed with kumquat)
- Procimequat – (Citrofortunella floridana) – (limequat crossed with kumquat)
- Sunquat – Citrus limon × japonica – (lemon crossed with kumquat)
- Yuzuquat – Citrus ichangensis × reticulata – (yuzu crossed with kumquat)
Citrocirus also according to the Swingle system, is a hybrid genus, containing hybrids between members of the genus Citrus and the closely related Poncirus, which includes the trifoliate orange, a cold hardy plant that is commonly used as a citrus rootstock. Citrocirus commonly refers to the citranges which are hybrids between the trifoliate and sweet oranges. However a molecular investigation suggested that Fortunella, Citrofortunella, Poncirus and Citrocirus should all be equivocally included in the genus Citrus.
- Citrange – Citrus sinensis × Poncirus trifoliata – three cultivars: 'Troyer', 'Rusk' and 'Carrizo'.
- Citrumelo – Citrus paradisi × Poncirus trifoliata
Labelling of hybrids
Citrus fruit taxonomy is still poorly understood, and even modern hybrids of known parentage are sold under general names that give little information about their ancestry, or technically incorrect information.
This can be a problem for those who can eat only some citrus varieties. Drug interactions with chemicals found in some citrus, including grapefruit and Seville oranges, make the ancestry of citrus fruit of interest; many commonly sold citrus varieties are grapefruit hybrids or pummello-descended grapefruit relatives. One medical review has advised patients on medication to avoid all citrus juice, although some citrus fruits contain no furanocoumarins.
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