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Idlimbu, Sour orange, Citrus aurantium - Plant

Note: The image is for reference purpose only. The actual product may vary in shape or appearance based on climate, age, height etc.
A small evergreen, thorny tree up to 10 m high. The flowers are large and white and the fruit is globose, often bright orange-red when ripe. The fruit, leaves, and flowers yield a volatile bigarade oil used in flavoring, liqueurs, perfumes, and medicines.

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Idlimbu, Sour orange, Citrus aurantium Plant

Description for Idlimbu, Sour orange, Citrus aurantium

Plant height: 28 - 44 inches
Plant spread: 5 - 9 inches

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.

Common name(s): Bitter orange, Seville orange, Sour orange, Bigarade orange, or Marmalade orange.
Flower colours: White.
Bloom time: April-June
Max reachable height: 6-10 meters.
Difficulty to grow: Easy to grow.

Planting and care


Sunlight: Full sunlight.
Soil: It can be grown in well-drained loamy as well as in clay soil.
Water: Irrigation should be done an interval of 10-15 days during winter months whereas during summer months it should be done at an interval of 5-7 days.
Temperature: 15-35 degree C
Fertilizer: Use Nitrogen-rich fertilizer such as urea 3 times in a year, once at early spring then in early summer and last in early winter.

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

Special features:

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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