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Description for Idlimbu, Sour orange, Citrus aurantium
The tree ranges in height from less than 3m to 10m, is more erect and has a more compact crown than the sweet orange. It has smooth, brown bark, green twigs, angular when young, and flexible, not very sharp. The evergreen leaves, are aromatic, alternate, on broad-winged petioles much longer than those of the sweet orange; usually ovate with a short point at the apex, minutely toothed, dark-green above, pale beneath, and dotted with tiny oil glands. The highly fragrant flowers, borne singly or in small clusters in the leaf axils. The fruit is round, oblate or oblong-oval, 2 3/4 to 3 1/8 in (7-8 cm) wide, rough-surfaced, with a fairly thick, aromatic, bitter peel becoming bright reddish-orange on maturity and having minute, sunken oil glands.
Planting and care
Caring for Idlimbu
- They need pruning each year to maintain an attractive shape. Cut all dead wood and crossing branches.
- Prune ornamental citrus to open the crown foliage to let in light and air.
Typical uses of Idlimbu
Culinary use: The fruit is used in marmalades. An oil is extracted from the fruit peel and used as a flavor in bakery, soft drinks, and candies.
Ornamental use: It can be planted in the pot.
Medicinal use: Sour orange juice is antiseptic, anti-bilious and hemostatic. The flowers, prepared as a syrup, act as a sedative in nervous disorders and induce sleep. An infusion of the bitter bark is taken as a tonic, stimulant, febrifuge, and vermifuge.
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