B.C. Melow
Citrus trees are believed to be native to the subtropical and tropical regions of Asia and the Malay Archipelago and it is assumed that they have spread from there to other parts of the world. The citron and sour orange were carried by travellers from India to the surroundings of the Mediterranean. Citrus trees have been cultivated since ancient times and the citron was the first citrus fruit mentioned; documentary evidence of the citron in Jewish sources is found in the representation of this fruit on coins struck by Simon, the Maccabee, in the year 136 B. C. Hundreds of years later the sour orange, lemon and sweet orange became known and were used. Sweet oranges were grown for many centuries in China before they became known to Europeans. The first references in European countries to the sweet orange were made in 1400 A. D., seventeen centuries later than the citron. The mandarines are native to China and were introduced into Europe only in modern times. No citrus species are indigenous to America but the first settlers brought seeds with them and introduced citrus growing to America.

Today the citrus producing regions occupy a belt roughly extending around the world to approximately thirty-five degrees North and South of the equator. Most of the major citrus growing regions of the world are found in sub-tropical climates which seem to favour citrus production more than a strictly tropical environment. Due to the improvement in transportation facilities and the increasing demand for fruit products, citrus growing has grown into a prosperous industry. World production now stands at about 460 000 000 boxes of citrus fruit, representing more than 15 000 000 tons. Half of these fruits are produced in the USA, one quarter in Central and South America and one quarter in the Mediterranean area, Japan, South Africa and Australia. No truly tropical countries are currently listed among the leading world citrus producers.

Melow, B.C. (1971). COMMERCIAL CITRUS GROWING IN UGANDA. Acta Hortic. 21, 90-92
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1971.21.14

Acta Horticulturae