From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Citrus maxima)

Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Citrus
C. maxima
Binomial name
Citrus maxima
Cluster of flower buds
Pomelo flowers
Pomelo tree in southern Vietnam

The pomelo (/ˈpɒmɪl, ˈpʌm-/ POM-il-oh, PUM-;[2][3] Citrus maxima), from the family Rutaceae, is the largest citrus fruit, and the principal ancestor of the grapefruit.[4] It is a natural, non-hybrid, citrus fruit, native to Southeast Asia.[4] Similar in taste to a sweet grapefruit, the pomelo is commonly consumed and used for festive occasions throughout Southeast Asia and East Asia. As with the grapefruit, phytochemicals in the pomelo have the potential for drug interactions.


The pomelo tree may be 5–15 meters (16–50 feet) tall, possibly with a crooked trunk 10–30 centimeters (4–12 inches) thick, and low-hanging, irregular branches.[4] Their leaf petioles are distinctly winged, with alternate, ovate or elliptic shapes 5–20 cm (2–8 in) long, with a leathery, dull green upper layer, and hairy under-leaf.[4] The flowers — single or in clusters — are fragrant and yellow-white in color.[4]

The fruit is large, 15–25 cm (6–10 in) in diameter,[5] usually weighing 1–2 kilograms (2–4 pounds). It has a thicker rind than a grapefruit,[4] and is divided into 11 to 18 segments. The flesh tastes like mild grapefruit, with a little of its common bitterness (the grapefruit is a hybrid of the pomelo and the orange).[4][6] The enveloping membranes around the segments are chewy and bitter, considered inedible, and usually discarded.[4] There are at least sixty varieties.[7] The fruit generally contains a few, relatively large seeds, but some varieties have numerous seeds.[4]



According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the etymology of the word "pomelo" is uncertain.[8] It may be derived from Dutch pompelmoes.[4] Its botanical name, Citrus maxima, means "the biggest citrus". In English, the word "pomelo" (also spelt pummelo, pumelo, pomello, pommelo) has become the more common name, although "pomelo" has historically been used for grapefruit.

After introduction into Barbados by 'Captain Shaddock' of the East India Company (apparently Philip Chaddock, who visited the island in the late 1640s[9]), the fruit was called shaddock in English.[10][11] From there the name spread to Jamaica in 1696.[12] The fruit is also known as jambola in varieties of English spoken in South Asia.[4]



Pomelo, raw
Flesh of a pomelo
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy159 kJ (38 kcal)
9.62 g
Dietary fiber1 g
0.04 g
0.76 g
Thiamine (B1)
0.034 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.027 mg
Niacin (B3)
0.22 mg
Vitamin B6
0.036 mg
Vitamin C
61 mg
0.11 mg
6 mg
0.017 mg
17 mg
216 mg
1 mg
0.08 mg
Other constituentsQuantity
Water89 g

Percentages estimated using US recommendations for adults,[13] except for potassium, which is estimated based on expert recommendation from the National Academies.[14]

Raw pomelo flesh is 89% water, 10% carbohydrates, 1% protein, and contains negligible fat (table). A 100 gram reference amount provides 159 kilojoules (38 kilocalories) of food energy, and is rich in vitamin C (73% of the Daily Value), with no other micronutrients in significant content (table).


Prescription drugs[edit]

Pomelo, while not itself toxic, may cause adverse interactions with some prescription drugs similar to those caused by grapefruit and some other citrus fruits, through the inhibition of cytochrome P450-mediated metabolism of prescription drugs including anti-hypertensives and anticoagulants.[15]


Non-hybrid pomelos[edit]

Possible non-hybrid pomelos[edit]


The pomelo is one of the original citrus species from which cultivated citrus fruits have been hybridized, others being citron, mandarin, and to a lesser extent, papedas and kumquat. In particular, the common orange is presumed to be a naturally occurring hybrid between the pomelo and the mandarin, with the pomelo as larger and firmer of the two. The grapefruit was originally also presumed to be a naturally occurring hybrid of the pomelo and the mandarin; however, genome analysis conducted more than two centuries after this presumption was made shows that it is actually a backcrossed hybrid between a pomelo and a sweet orange which is why 63% of the grapefruit's genome comes from the pomelo.[16]

The pomelo is employed today in artificial breeding programs:



The flesh and juice can be consumed, and the rind is used to make preserves, or may be candied.[4] In Brazil, the thick skin may be used for making a sweet conserve, while the spongy pith of the rind is discarded. In Sri Lanka, it is often eaten as a dessert, sometimes sprinkled with sugar. In large parts of Southeast Asia where pomelo is native it is commonly eaten as a dessert, often sprinkled with salt or dipped in a salt mixture, but it may be made into salads.[4] In the Philippines, a pink beverage is made from pomelo and pineapple juice.[20]

The fruit may have been introduced to China around 100 BCE.[4] In East Asia, especially in Cantonese cuisine, braised pomelo pith is used to make dishes that are high in fibre and low in fat.[21]



The seeds of the pomelo are monoembryonic, producing seedlings with genes from both parents, but they are usually similar to the tree they grow from and therefore pomelo are typically grown from seeds in Asia.[4] Seeds can be stored for 80 days at a temperature of 5 °C (41 °F) with moderate relative humidity.[4] Citrus maxima is usually grafted onto other citrus rootstocks outside Asia to produce trees that are identical to the parent; high-quality varieties are propagated by air-layering or by budding onto favored rootstocks.[4]

The physical and chemical characteristics of pomelo vary widely across South Asia.[4]



  1. ^ Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI).; IUCN SSC Global Tree Specialist Group (2019). "Citrus maxima". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2019: e.T62042732A147027490. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-2.RLTS.T62042732A147027490.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  2. ^ "pomelo". The Chambers Dictionary (9th ed.). Chambers. 2003. ISBN 0-550-10105-5.
  3. ^ "pomelo". Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary. Retrieved 2021-01-25.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Morton, Julia F. (1987). "Pummelo: Citrus maxima". Fruits of warm climates. NewCROP, New Crop Resource Online Program, Center for New Crops and Plant Products, Purdue University. pp. 147–151. Retrieved 31 January 2020 – via purdue.edu.
  5. ^ "Pomelo: Growing the granddaddy of grapefruit", SFGate.com, December 25, 2004
  6. ^ Morton, Julia F. (1987). "Grapefruit: Citrus paradisi". Fruits of warm climates. NewCROP, New Crop Resource Online Program, Center for New Crops and Plant Products, Purdue University. pp. 152–158. Retrieved 31 January 2020 – via purdue.edu.
  7. ^ Pomelos, grapefruit's sweeter and mellower relative, have a wealth of flavor, by Jeanne Kelley, in the Los Angeles Times; published February 12, 2016; retrieved November 19, 2021 (via archive.org)
  8. ^ "pomelo". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
  9. ^ Kumamoto, J; Scora, R W; Lawton, H W; Clerx, W A (1987). "Mystery of the Forbidden Fruit: Historical Epilogue on the Origin of the Grapefruit, Citrus paradisi (Rutaceae)". Economic Botany. 41: 97–107. doi:10.1007/BF02859356. S2CID 42178548.
  10. ^ "Pomelo (Pummelo) Citrus maxima". Citruspages.free.fr. 2009-11-14. Retrieved 2020-07-06.
  11. ^ "fruitInfo-trdLevel2021.html". Itfnet.org. 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2020-07-06.
  12. ^ American Heritage Dictionary, 1973.
  13. ^ United States Food and Drug Administration (2024). "Daily Value on the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels". Retrieved 2024-03-28.
  14. ^ National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Food and Nutrition Board; Committee to Review the Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium (2019). Oria, Maria; Harrison, Meghan; Stallings, Virginia A. (eds.). Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium. The National Academies Collection: Reports funded by National Institutes of Health. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US). ISBN 978-0-309-48834-1. PMID 30844154.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ Bailey, D. G.; Dresser, G.; Arnold, J. M. O. (2012-11-26). "Grapefruit-medication interactions: Forbidden fruit or avoidable consequences?". Canadian Medical Association Journal. 185 (4): 309–316. doi:10.1503/cmaj.120951. ISSN 0820-3946. PMC 3589309. PMID 23184849.
  16. ^ "Grapefruit: History, Use, and Breeding in: HortTechnology Volume 31 Issue 3 (2021)". Journals.ashs.org. Retrieved 2022-05-01.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g Morton, Julia F. (1987). "Tangelo". Fruits of warm climates. Miami, FL.: Julia F. Morton. pp. 158–160. ISBN 0-9610184-1-0.
  18. ^ "Mato buntan". University of California - Riverside, Citrus Variety Collection. Retrieved 2022-03-12.
  19. ^ "Citrus ×pseudogulgul Shirai". Retrieved 2024-01-05.
  20. ^ Hargreaves, Dorothy; Hargreaves, Bob (1970). Tropical Trees of the Pacific. Kailua, Hawaii: Hargreaves. p. 51.
  21. ^ "Braised pomelo pith". Week in China. 8 December 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2020.. Note website has ceased publication, so link directs to an archived page.