Citrus are evergreens: the trees keep their leaves throughout the year, unlike deciduous plants that drop their leaves or change colour in the colder or drier months. As an evergreen, you can enjoy the dark green foliage and fruits even in the coldest months of the year, which is in fact, prime citrus fruit season.
AN EVERGREEN FOR MORE THAN 250 YEARS – THE MOTHER ORANGE TREE
Mother Orange Tree in California has remained green since 1856! A California Historical Landmark, this tree is a Mediterranean sweet orange variety that was bought by Judge Joseph Lewis in 1856 in the city of Sacramento. The path to 250 years of survival has not been an easy one – the Mother Orange Tree suffered a severe frost in 1998 that stopped it from bearing fruit for a number of years. However, thanks to modern science, in 2003 it was successfully cloned and planted in the city of Oroville where it stands proud to this day.
THE ONLY NON-EVERGREEN CITRUS: TRIFOLIATE ORANGE
The trifoliate orange is an unusual exception in the citrus world as it is deciduous. This bitter, hardy orange is also known as the Japanese bitter-orange or Chinese bitter orange and has downy fruit that is covered in a fuzzy peel. The pulp is bitter and considered inedible whereas the rind is used to make marmalade.