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Citrus ID






Alemon, Alimau, Colo, Macrophylla (sec. Cottin 2002)

Cultivar or taxon


Citrus hystrix DC. (sensu Bayer et al. 2009); Citrus x macrophylla Wester, pro sp. (sensu Swingle and Reece 1967; sensu Tanaka sec. Cottin 2002)



Hodgson (1967) noted that: "Alemow is said to be native to the Island of Cebu, Philippine Islands."

Swingle and Reece (1967) noted that: "This seems to be a hybrid of C. celebica, or some other species of the subgenus Papeda, with a species of the subgenus Citrus, probably a pummelo (C. grandis). It has shown some promise as a rootstock for lemons in California."



Crown compact or dense, not weeping. First-year twig surface glabrous; second- or third-year twig surface striate; thorns absent or not persistent; prickles absent or not persistent. Petiole glabrous, length medium, wings medium or wide, adjoining the blade. Leaflets one, margins bluntly toothed, shade leaflet blades flat or weakly conduplicate, sun leaflet blades weakly or strongly conduplicate. Scent of crushed leaflets freshly lemon-like. Fruit as broad as long or longer than broad; rind green-yellow (6), yellow (7-10), or yellow-orange (11); rind texture medium rough (6-7) or rough (8); firmness leathery; navel absent; flesh yellow; taste sour.

Hodgson (1967) provided the following additional notes on the cultivar:

"Fruit medium-large, oblong to obovate; often with prominent mammilla surrounded by circular furrow; seedy. Rind medium-thick (for size of fruit); surface somewhat rough and bumpy; tightly adherent; color greenish-yellow. Segments numerous (about 15); central axis large and solid. Flesh color greenish-yellow; low in juice; strongly acid and bitter. Seeds polyembryonic.

"Tree vigorous, spreading, very thorny (with short stout spines); flowers and new growth strongly purple-tinted. Leaves small to medium, pale green, narrow elliptical, blunt-pointed, and with broadly winged petioles of the pummelo type.

"Lemon or lime characters in the alemow are discernible, and there is some suggestion of pummelo. The writer has provisionally placed the alemow in [the lemon-like fruit] group, and it is included in this treatment because of its promise as a lemon rootstock in California where the soluble salt and boron content of the soils is unfavorably high for the commonly used rootstocks."

Swingle and Reece (1967) additionally provided the following notes on the cultivar:

"This hybrid, named C. macrophylla by Wester (1915, p. 16, pls. 3b, 6c), is sometimes cultivated in Cebu, P.I. It has large leaves, with the blades 12 to 14 cm long and 6 to 8 cm wide, with much smaller, subtriangular, short-winged petioles, measuring up to 3.5 cm wide near the top. The fruits are very large, 8.5 to 10 cm in diameter, subglobose to oblong, more or less narrowed at the base, with a rough, transversely-corrugated, but rather thin skin. The fruit has 13 to 16 segments and rather dry, sour pulp, considered inedible even by the natives."



Bayer, R.J., D.J. Mabberley, C. Morton, C.H. Miller, I.K. Sharma, B.E. Pfeil, S. Rich, R. Hitchcock, and S. Sykes. 2009. A molecular phylogeny of the orange subfamily (Rutaceae: Aurantioideae) using nine cpDNA sequences. American Journal of Botany 96: 668–685.

Cottin, R. 2002. Citrus of the World: A citrus directory. Version 2.0. France: SRA INRA-CIRAD.

Hodgson, R.W. 1967. Horticultural varieties of Citrus. In: Reuther, W., H.J. Webber, and L.D. Batchelor (eds.). The Citrus industry, rev. University of California Press.

Swingle, W.T. and P.C. Reece. 1967. The botany of Citrus and its wild relatives. In: Reuther, W., H.J. Webber, and L.D. Batchelor (eds.). The Citrus industry. Ed. 2. Vol. I. University of California, Riverside.

Wester, P.J. 1915. Citrus fruits in the Philippines. Philippine Agricultural Review 8: 5–28.



Search for this cultivar in NCBI Entrez

Additional information on this cultivar at University of California: Riverside Citrus Variety Collection


Citrus ID Edition 2
October, 2011