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Poncirus trifoliata

Poncirus trifoliata
It blooms, it blooms!
trifoliate orange
Quite the sight after a december ice storm
Poncirus trifoliata
Those thorns mean business!

Synonym(s) Citrus trifoliata
Common name trifoliate orange
Family rutaceae
Life cycle tree
Flowers white (May)
Size 10-20'

Wrinkly yellow sour oranges are only part of this small tree's attraction. The ferocious spines appeal as well, especially to the sadistic set. If Sleeping Beauty had been guarded by a forest of these, Prince Charming would have had to turn back! The really cool variety is the contorted 'Flying Dragon', but ours is a standard species. This year, after several years of only spines, we saw our first flowers.

trifoliate orange
For all the ferociousness of the thorns, the developing fuzzy fruit are downright cute!
Poncirus trifoliata
and the mature fruit is eye-catching, radiating golden yellow amid the glossy leaves.
trifoliate orange

Sliced open, you can see that the fruit is heavy on seeds. Something in the juice or resins in the peel is surprisingly gummy, clinging to the knife that sliced it even through some good scrubbing.

Poncirus trifoliata
Bark is streaked tan-and-green

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

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