Citron, a fruit which is better known by most of the consumers in its preserved form rather than in its natural form. The fruit citron is borne by a slow-growing shrub or a small tree reaching around 8 to 15 feet high with short or long spines in the leaf and stiff twigs and stiff branches. The leaflets of the citron tree are evergreen and has lemon scent. The leaves are 2 to 7 inch long with short, leathery, wingless or nearly wingless petioles.
The flower buds of the citron tree are large, big and white or purplish in color. The citron fruit has a nice fragrant, mainly oblong, oval or obovoid, occasionally pyriform, but extremely variable. Sometimes different shapes and rough or smooth fruits are occurring on the same branch. In that one form is deeply divided from the peak into slender sections. The size always varies from 3 to 9 inch or sometimes even upto 1 feet long. The color of the peel is yellow when it is fully ripe. Mostly it will be bumpy and rough but sometimes very smooth.
The place of origin of the citron's is unknown but the seeds were found in Mesopotamian. The citron fruit was a staple, commercial food item in Rome in AD 301. In Northern India places like Sitakund Hill, Garo Hills, Chittagong and Khasi have wild citron trees.
The citron fruit was imported from Persia to Greece. Then the Greek colonists began growing the citron in Palestine about around 200 B.C. In Italy, the citron tree have been successfully introduced in the 3rd century. In 4th century, the trees were destroyed mostly by barbarians, but it survived in the "Kingdom of Naples" and in Sardinia and Sicily.
The citron tree was commonly cultivated at Salerno by the year 1003, and the fruits were presented as a token of appreciation and gratitude to Norman lords. The citron trees has suffered more severe cold and damage in the year 1913. The trees of citron are not uncommon in some places of the Pacific Islands but it is rare in the Philippines.