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Citrus grandis - Honey White.jpg
Pomelo In Village.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Citrus
C. maxima
Binomial name
Citrus maxima
Pomelo, raw
Pummelo flesh.jpg
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
VitaminsQuantity %DV
Thiamine (B1)
0.034 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.027 mg
Niacin (B3)
0.22 mg
Vitamin B6
0.036 mg
Vitamin C
61 mg
MineralsQuantity %DV
0.11 mg
6 mg
0.017 mg
17 mg
216 mg
1 mg
0.08 mg

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

The pomelo, shaddock, or in scientific terms Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis, is the largest citrus fruit from the family Rutaceae. It is a natural, i.e., non-hybrid, citrus fruit, similar in appearance to a large grapefruit, native to the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. The pomelo is one of the original citrus species from which the rest of cultivated citrus have been hybridized. The fruit is used in many festive celebrations throughout Southeast Asia.


Flowering and fruiting branch with numbered fruit segment and flower section, chromolithograph by P. Depannemaeker, c. 1885, after B. Hoola van Nooten

After a Captain Shaddock of an East India Company ship introduced it to Barbados, the fruit was called "shaddock" in English.[1][2] From there the name spread to Jamaica in 1696.[3] It remains a common name for the fruit among English authors.[4]

The fruit is also known as jabong in Hawaii and jambola or chakrota in the Indian Subcontinent.

The etymology of the word "pomelo" is uncertain.[5] It may be an alteration of "pompelmoes": in Tamil pomelos are called pampa limāsu, which means "big citrus". The name was adopted by the Portuguese as pomposos limões and then by the Dutch as pompelmoes. With some deviations, the name may be found in many European languages, such as German (Pampelmuse), Latvian (pampelmūze), Ido (pompelmuso), whereas some other languages use "pomelo" (Turkish, Norwegian, Polish, Bulgarian). In English, the word "pomelo" (also spelled pomello, pummelo, pommelo, pumelo) has become the more common name, although "pomelo" has historically been used for grapefruit. (The 1973 printing of the American Heritage Dictionary, for example, gives grapefruit as the only meaning of "pomelo.")

It has been suggested, but not attested, that "pomelo" is an alteration of a compound of English words pome ("apple") + melon.[6]

Description and uses[edit]

Closeup of pomelo petiole

Typically, the fruit is pale green to yellow when ripe, with sweet white (or, more rarely, pink or red) flesh, and a very thick albedo (rind pith). It is a large citrus fruit, 15–25 centimetres (5.9–9.8 in) in diameter,[7] usually weighing 1–2 kilograms (2.2–4.4 lb). Leaf petioles are distinctly winged.

The typical pomelo is much larger than the grapefruit and has a much thicker rind. It tastes like a sweet, mild grapefruit (believed to be a hybrid of Citrus maxima and the orange).[8] The flesh has none, or very little, of the common grapefruit's bitterness. The enveloping membranous material around the segments is bitter, considered inedible, and usually discarded.

Sometimes, the peel is used to make marmalade. It may be candied or dipped in chocolate. In Brazil the thick skin is often 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, either raw or sprinkled with sugar. Some fatty Asian dishes use sliced pre-soaked pith to absorb the sauce and fat for eating.

In large parts of Southeast Asia, where Citrus maxima is native,[9] it is a common dessert, often eaten raw and sprinkled with, or dipped in, a salt mixture. It is eaten in salads and drinks as well.

Citrus maxima is usually grafted onto other citrus rootstocks but may be grown from seed.

The fruit is said to have been introduced to Japan by a Cantonese captain in the An'ei era (1772–1781).[10] There are two varieties: a sweet kind with white flesh, and a sour kind with pinkish flesh, the latter more likely to be used as an altar decoration than eaten. Pomelos often are eaten in Asia during the mid-autumn festival or mooncake festival.

It is one of the ingredients of Forbidden Fruit, a liqueur dating back to the early twentieth century that also contains honey and brandy. This liqueur is most famously used in the Dorchester cocktail.[citation needed]

Genetic diversity[edit]

A wide variability has been observed in the physical and chemical characteristics of the fruits of various pomelo accessions from Bengal, India.[11]

Drug interactions[edit]

Some medicines may interact dangerously with pomelos and some pomelo hybrids, including grapefruit, some limes, and some oranges.[12]

Other uses[edit]

Pomelo leaves are used for aromatic baths. The essential oil can be extracted from the leaves, peel or seeds of some pomelo species. Oil from the seeds of an inferior pomelo species was used to light opium pipes in Indochina. Perfumes are extracted from the flowers using enfleurage. The moderately heavy and hard timber from pomelo trees can be used to make, among other things, tool handles.


Non-hybrid pomelos[edit]

Possible non-hybrid pomelos[edit]


The pomelo is one of the original citrus species from which the rest of cultivated citrus have been hybridized, (others being citron, mandarin, and to a lesser extent, papedas and kumquat). In particular, the common orange and the grapefruit are presumed to be naturally occurring hybrids between the pomelo and the mandarin, with the pomelo providing the larger size and greater firmness.

The pomelo is employed today in artificial breeding programs:



  1. ^ Pomelo (Pummelo) Citrus maxima
  2. ^ fruitInfo-trdLevel2021.html
  3. ^ American Heritage Dictionary, 1973.
  4. ^ "Shaddock". Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Pomelo", Oxford English Dictionary.
  6. ^ "pomelo". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  7. ^ Growing the granddaddy of grapefruit, SFGate.com, December 25, 2004
  8. ^ "Grapefruit". Hort.purdue.edu. Retrieved 2012-05-12.
  9. ^ "Pummelo". Hort.purdue.edu. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  10. ^ "阿久根市: 観光・特産品(ボンタン)". City.akune.kagoshima.jp. Archived from the original on 2011-11-19. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  11. ^ Bhowmick, Nilesh; Mani, Arghya; Paul, Prodyut Kumar; Prasanna, V.S.S.V. "PHYSIO-CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF PUMMELO [CITRUS GRANDIS (L.) OSBECK] GROWN UNDER NORTHERN PARTS OF WEST BENGAL". Journal of Plant Development Sciences. 9 (9): 887.
  12. ^ Grapefruit–medication interactions: Forbidden fruit or avoidable consequences? CMAJ March 5, 2013 vol. 185 no. 4 First published November 26, 2012, doi: 10.1503/cmaj.120951 David G. Bailey, George Dresser, J. Malcolm O. Arnold, [1]
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Morton, J. 1987. Tangelo. p. 158–160. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL. http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/tangelo.html

MADDI Taklit., Pérez-Román, E., Maiza-Benabdesselam, F. Khettal B., Talon M., Ibanez-Gonzalez V. 2018. New Citrus chloroplast haplotypes revealed by molecular markers using Algerian and Spanish accessions. Genet Resour Crop Evol 65: 2199. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10722-018-0685-7

External links[edit]