This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Citrus Medica,, Linn.). Rutaceae. Fig. 971. A large lemon-like fruit with a very thick peel and a small amount of very acid pulp; the peel is candied and used in confectionery and for culinary purposes.
The citron is grown in the Mediterranean regions, especially in Corsica, and large quantities are preserved in brine and shipped to the United States to be candied. The Corsi-can citron of commerce was introduced into this country in 1894 by David Fair-child for the Division of Pomology of the United States Department of Agriculture, and it has been grown to some extent in California.
The plant usually is propagated by cuttings but it can be grafted on rough lemon or other stock. In the region of Valencia, in eastern Spain, the citron is used in propagating oranges, since citron cuttings strike root more easily than oranges. A piece of citron twig is grafted into branches of orange which are afterwards set as cuttings whereupon the citron strikes root and later on the orange.
Then the roots are exposed and the citron roots cut away, leaving the orange growing on its own roots.
The citron can be planted and cultivated much as the lemon in cool equable climates, such as in the coastal region of southern California. In Corsica, the trees are kept low and trained in vase form, but otherwise treated like lemons.
There are but few citron orchards in the United States; one at West Riverside, California, about 10acres in extent, is perhaps the largest.
The Etrog or sacred Jewish citron, used by the Jews at the Feast of Tabernacles, has small greenish yellow fruits which, if they are of exactly the prescribed size, form and color, may bring as much as $5 or $10 each. This variety is grown principally in the island of Corfu. See Citrus and Etrog.
The word citron is also applied to the preserving watermelon: see Citrullus and Melon, Water.
Walter T. Swingle.
Fig. 971. Citron-Citrus Medica, Corsican variety. (X 2/5)