Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Citron (Citrus medica), an erect glabrous tree with spinous branches when wild, native to India, but cultivated in various forms in prehistoric times. Its young shoots and the outer surface of its petals are tinged with red, and the fruit is longer than it is wide, ends in a nipple-like point, has a rough, light yellow and often thick skin, and generally an acid juice. Sir D. Brandis and Sir J. Hooker distinguish four varieties, the citron, lemon, lime and sweet lime, the last being said to be wild in the Nilgherries, whilst the citron and the lime are identified with old Sanscrit names. The Jews probably brought the citron from Babylon, and they still carry its fruit at the Feast of Tabernacles. Theophrastus and Dioscorides (q.v.) speak of it as the apple of Media and of Persia, whence it gets its specific name; but it does not seem to have been cultivated in Italy till the third or fourth century of our era. The Arabs extended its cultivation, and it is now also grown in China, Japan, and Jamaica. The fruit is oval or nearly spherical, and is sometimes six inches long.