The genus Citrus, belonging to the subfamily Aurantieee of the Rutaceae, is indigenous to Central Asia. The large number of varieties of the citrus fruits, known by the collective term of agrumen fruits, is indicative of a very long period of cultivation. The citrus tree, having spread from southern China to Cochin-china and India,3) became known to occidental peoples through the wars of Alexander the Great. Gradually its cultivation spread over Persia and Media to the westward.4) Later, the Romans, and more particularly the Arabians, contributed to the spread of the citrus tree along the coast of the Mediterranean as far as Spain and Morocco. In the course of the crusades the tree and its fruit were spread among the peoples living to the north of the Mediterranean countries. Thus citrus culture has been spread over all countries with a warm or temperate climate so that at present the citrus tree is among the most cosmopolitan of all cultivated plants.

1) R. Reece, Monthly Gazette of Health. London. Febr. 1821, p. 799.

2) Arch, der Pharm. 22 (1827), 229.

3) Bretschneider, On the study and value of Chinese botanical works with notes on the history of plants and geographical botany from Chinese sources. Foochow 1870, pp. 11 and 12. - E. Bonavia, The cultivated Oranges and Lemons of India and Ceylon with researches into their origin and the derivation of their names etc. London 1890.

4) Brandis, Forest Flora of Northwestern and Central India. 1874, p. 50. - Hehn, Die Kulturpflanzen unci Haustiere in ihrem Ubergang aus Asien nach Griechenland und Italien. Berlin. 3rd ed. 1877. - Alphonse de Candolle, Origin of cultivated plants. 1885. p. 176.

Whether the number of citrus species was limited during antiquity and whether the numerous varieties were gradually developed with changed conditions in soil, climate and method of cultivation, does not become apparent from literature. The several names of the agrumen fruits appear to have passed from the Sanskrit to the languages of later peoples of antiquity. Thus the Greeks and Romans knew the lemon but not the orange, bergamot and limette.1) The lemon they named Malum persicum, Malum citratum or citreum. The supposition that the odor of the lemon, like that of the juniper and of the cedarThe Oils Of The Agrumen Fruits 32 of the Greek forests, kept away insects, caused the Greeks to apply this name to the "Persian" or "Median" apple, calling it Malum cedreum, Malum citreum. Hence developed the names Citrus, Citrus medica and Citrus persica.-)

During the period from the 8. to the 10. centuries, the Arabians spread the cultivation of the bitter orange (Citrus Bigaradia, Risso) and of the lemon (Citrus Limonum, Risso) from Oman and Mesopotamia to Syria and Arabia. Thence the cultivation of these trees spread during the crusades along the coast of the Mediterranean to Spain and Morocco.3) In Sicily the tree was cultivated as early as 1002.4)

The writings of the 12. to the 14. centuries frequently reveal the gradual spread of the agrumen fruits and the esteem in which they were held. Idrisi,5) an Arabian geographer of the 12. century describes the lemon, in his travalogues of the African coast lands of the Mediterranean, but apparently did not find other agrumen fruits, although such were cultivated in Spain at that time.1) Jacques de Vitri2) who traveled through Palestine about 1225 found several varieties.

1) Scribonius Largus, Compositiones medicamentorum. Editio Helm-reich. 1887. p. 65. - Oribasius, Medicinalia collecta. Lib. I, cap. 64. - Palladii De re rustica. In Nisard's Les agronomes latins. Paris 1877. p. 585. 2) Theophrasti Historia plantarum. Editio Wimmer. Vol. 1, lib. IV. - Dioscoridis De materia medica libri quinque. I. 166. - Virgilii Georgica. 2,126: Media fert tristis succos tardumque saporem Felicis mali: quo non praesentius ullum, Pocula si quando saevae infecere novercae. Hehn, Kulturpflanzen und Hausthiere in ihrem Uebergang aus Asien nach Griechenland und Italien. Berlin 1877, p. 359.

3) Ibn Baithar, Heii- und Nahrungsmittel. Translated by Sontheimer. 1842. Vol. 2, p. 452.

4) Risso et Poiteau, Histoire et culture des Orangers. Edition Du Breuil. Paris 1872. - Hehn, Kulturpflanzen und Hausthiere in ihrem Uebergang aus Asien nach Griechenland und Italien. 1877, pp. 380-394. - Gotze, Beitrag zur rXenntnis der Orangengewachse. Hamburg 1874, pp. 26-29.

5) Geographic d'Edrisi traduite par Amedee Jaubert. 1836. Vol.1, p. 162.

The sweet orange tree (Citrus Aurantium, Risso) was cultivated for decorative purposes in Nizza in 1336. In 1340 sweet oranges3) (Arancio) were well known in Venice.4) In 1369 Arbores citronum were cultivated in Genoa and along the Ligurian coast. Among the articles of export from Alexandria the lemon is mentioned in a treatise of 1420. In 1486 lemon trees were cul-vated along the Riviera5) and in 1494 in the Azores.6) In 1546 the sweet orange was brought by the Portuguese Juan de Castro (viceroy of India from 1545 to 1548) from China to Portugal and cultivated there.7) Although the sweet orange has been cultivated occasionally in northern Italy, its general culture in southern Europe appears to have spread from Portugal. The name Portu-gallo for oranges has maintained itself in Italy up to the present time. In 1516 Barbosa,8) a Portuguese traveller mentions the lemons as fruits being introduced from the Malabar coast and Ceylon.

Into Germany the citrus fruits appear to have been introduced in the course of the 15. century. According to Conrad Gesner9) they were cultivated during the middle of the 16. century for decorative purposes in hot houses and gardens.

1) Ibn-al-Acram il Ishbilis during the second half of the 12. century wrote an agricultural treatise which was translated into French „Livre d'Agriculture" edited by Clement Mullet. Paris 1864.