The Cédrat was the first citrus fruit to be introduced and cultivated in Europe from the 7th century onwards. It was used to rid linen of insects, to treat poisoning, to calm a cough and to aid the digestion. It was superseded by the Citrus limon, a hybrid of the Cédrat, introduced into southern Europe by the Arabs in the 11th century.
Citrus limon has angular twigs with stout spines. It’s ancestor, the Cédrat, is similar but a much larger fruit (15-24 cm), with a thick, warty, knobbly skin (see photo).
The very fragrant flowers are creamy coloured, waxy with 25-40 stamens.
Elliptic oval leaf. Oval, shallowly serrated on narrow winged stalks.
Hesperidium: a lemon is a berry with a leathery rind and parchment-like partitions between sections.
Juice and skin: in confectionary, food preparation, liqueurs such as ‘Limoncello’.
Leaves: produce an essential oil with strong antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Juice useful to treat nausea.