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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Citrus
Species: C. × hebesu
Binomial name
Citrus × hebesu
Hort. ex Fujita ,[1]

Hebesu or hebezu (平兵衛酢) is a small Japanese citrus fruit. It is green in color, rich in acid and reported to have high amounts of a specific flavonoid which supposedly has anti-cancer properties.[2][3]

The fruit is considered a local delicacy of Hyūga, Miyazaki. It has been claimed it is similar to both kabosu (Citrus sphaerocarpa) and sudachi (Citrus sudach) but the fruit is not as well known outside Miyazaki Prefecture.[4][5] Supposedly, the fruit was initially found during the Edo period by a Chōsokabe Heibei, from whom the fruit got its name (which means "Hebe's vinegar"). Chōsokabe began growing it on his land in what is now the Nishikawauchi Tomitaka area of Hyūga city. [6]

Hebesu are grown in greenhouses are available from June, while those grown outdoor ship between the end of July until October.[3]

The essential oils of the peel of the fruit have been studied,[1] as well as an oxygen effects study.[7]


  1. ^ a b "59th TEAC 2015, Symposium on the Chemistry of Terpenes, Essential Oils and Aromatics". Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  2. ^ Tatsumi, Y. "Studies on the storage of hebezu fruits [Citrus sp.]". Miyazaki Daigaku Nogakubu, Kenkyu Hokoku. 47 (1–2). Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Hebesu". Asahi Shimbun Keisai Keyword. Asahi Shimbun Shuppan. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Lady Hebe promotional character intrigues Japan". The Japan Times. Kyodo. August 4, 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Hebesu". Digital Daijisen Plus. Shogakukan. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  6. ^ "長曽我部平兵衛". SIIIS, Inc.
  7. ^ Srilaong, Varit; Tatsumi, Yasuo (2002). "Effects of various oxygen atmospheres on physiology and quality in Cavendish banana and 'Hebezu' citrus fruits" (PDF). Food Preservation Science. 28 (6): 307–315. doi:10.5891/jafps.28.307. Retrieved 19 January 2017.