NAME: Citrus mitis F. M. Blanco
PLANT FAMILY: Rutaceae
COMMON NAME: Panama orange
POLLINATION SYNDROME: Entomophilous
FLOWERING DATE: March - April in Texas
NOTES: Citrus is an Asiatic genus of about a dozen species, of which many are cultivated in Texas and other States. Fruits such as orange, grapefruit, and lemons are from species in this genus. In 1993, the Texas red grapefruit cultivar name "Ruby" (redblush) was designated as the State Fruit. Its scientific name is Citrus x paradisi (C. Linnaeus) J. Macfadyen. It is a cross between Citrus maxima and Citrus sinensis.
Citrus trees are sensitive to freezing. This characteristic restricts their distribution to the warmer parts of the United States including South Texas, Louisiana, Florida, California, and Arizona. Like Texas ebony, Citrus is an important natural marker. Finding this pollen on corn earworm adults captured in Oklahoma, shows that those insects migrated from Citrus growing areas to Oklahoma.
The flowers are whitish and are very fragrant. The flowers are visited by honeybees, butterflies, wasps, and many other insects. Honey made from Citrus nectar is light in color and has a mild honey taste. Citrus honey is considered a premium honey and costs more that honey made from a mixture of wild flowers.