Citrus sinensis (Bekele-Tesemma, 2007)

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Citrus reticulata
Bekele-Tesemma, Useful trees and shrubs for Ethiopia, 2007
Citrus sinensis (Bekele-Tesemma, 2007)
Combretum aculeatum

Citrus sinensis Rutaceae Southern China, Vietnam

Common names

  • English: Sweet orange
  • Agnuakgna: Lemunat
  • Amargna: Birtukan
  • Nuyergna: Lemun
  • Oromugna: Birtukana, Birtukwani


No longer known as a wild species but now cultivated everywhere in the tropics and subtropics. It does generally better in the subtropics than in the tropics. In Ethiopia, it grows in Dry and Moist Kolla and Weyna Dega agroclimatic zones, best under irrigation, 1,000–2,000 m.


Food (fruit), juice (fruit).


An evergreen shrub or tree, 6–12 m, twigs angled when young, often with thick spines.

  • LEAVES: simple, alternate, spicy aromatic when crushed, Oval, 5–15 cm x 2–8 cm, shiny dark green above, the stalk narrowly winged, having a line or break with the leaf blade (articulation).
  • FLOWERS: Very fragrant, one or many in leaf axils, 2–3 cm across, 5 white petals, 20–25 stamens in groups, style with a round stigma.
  • FRUIT: Rather variable in colour and shape, rounded green-yelloworange, 4–12 cm across, the relatively thin skin hard to remove, the pulp surrounding the seeds sweet-sour but juicy.


Budding onto rootstock of other citrus, for example on rough lemon or on special rootstock cultivars. Root stock grows from seed very easily.


Treatment: Not necessary.


Observe good hygiene in order to minimize incidense of plant diseases. Pruning to encourage branching and keep the tree low. This allows easy harvesting of the fruit.?


The most widely cultivated citrus in plantations giving good quality fruits. The climate in Ethiopia allows oranges to be produced throughout the year. They are eaten and used to make juice. There are many cultivars of the sweet orange. Desirable cultivars are nowadays grafted onto rootstock trees that are themselves grown from seed.