Grierson, William Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Last reviewed:December 2019
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A shrubby, evergreen citrus tree, Citrus medica, in the order Sapindales cultivated for its edible, large, lemonlike fruit. The citron, a species of true citrus, was very highly valued in ancient times, especially when it was the only known citrus fruit. It has a long and interesting history, being the first contact between citrus, which came from East Asia and Western Judeo-Christian civilization. The citron fruit (see illustration), which in Hebrew is known as the etrog, was the “hadar” or “goodly fruit” offering at the ancient Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. At the time of the first Jewish revolt against Rome in Judea (ad 66–70), the rebels minted their own coins with the etrog substituting for Nero's imperial visage. See also: Evergreen plants; Fruit; Fruit, tree; Sapindales
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