Trifoliate Orange

Biological Name:

Poncirus trifoliata (Trifoliate-Orange)

Natural Habitat:

Trifoliate-Orange: This plant is native to China and Japan, and it can grow in a variety of habitats, including forests and woodlands.


Trifoliate-Orange also known as Poncirus is a plant that is native to grassland and prairie regions of North America. It is a deciduous tree or shrub that can grow up to 15 feet tall and it has large trifoliate leaves and small white or pink flowers that bloom in the spring. The plant is known for its thorny branches and fruit which is similar in appearance to a citrus fruit but is not edible.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Are trifoliate orange thorns poisonous?
A: This plant has low severity poison characteristics. Trifoliate orange or hardy orange is a deciduous thorny shrub or small tree in the Rutaceae (citrus) family native to China.

Q: Can trifoliate orange make you sick?
A: However, the fruits of hardy orange are mildly toxic and highly acidic on top of that. So eating too many oranges or drinking too many smoothies with the trifoliate orange as the main ingredient can make you sick. Symptoms of trifoliate orange toxicity include nausea and sharp stomach pain.

Q: How do I get rid of trifoliate oranges?
A: Pull any seedlings from the ground as soon as you see them. … Cut specimens that are too large to pull with pruning shears or a saw, depending on the diameter of the trunk. … Apply a glyphosate herbicide immediately after cutting and clearing away any dirt or dust.

Q: How cold hardy is trifoliate orange?
A: Trifoliate oranges prefer direct sunlight but can tolerate shade. They are generally easy to grow with few pest and disease challenges. The shrubs are tolerant of sandy and loamy soils and a range of moisture levels as long as the soil is well-drained. WINTER: This shrub is winter-hardy down to -10F!

Q: Is trifoliate orange Evergreen?
A: Characteristics of the Trifoliate Orange Tree The wood of the tree is very sturdy and dense. The branches on the tree will often stay green year-round, contrasting the usual brown winter-scape. Even though it isn’t technically evergreen, the green branches give it an evergreen appearance.

Q: How big does a mock orange bush get?
A: Mature Size The sweet mockorange grows to a height of 10–12′ and a spread of 10–12′ at maturity.

Q: What trees have trifoliate leaves?
A: Paperbark maple (Acer griseum) and box elder (Acer negundo) are two examples of maples with trifoliate compound leaves which means that their leaf blade is divided into three smaller leaflets.

Q: Is trifoliate orange invasive?
A: It is a very aggressive invader, thoroughly outcompeting many native species at ground level. Trifoliate Orange produces myriad seedlings in the subcanopy, and plants can be characterized as branching, thorny, tall shrub thickets.

Q: What is killing the citrus trees in Florida?
A: In the past two decades, Florida’s citrus industry has been threatened with greening and another disease called citrus canker. Citrus canker can cause the leaves and fruit on citrus trees to drop prematurely and create unappealing lesions on the fruit.

Q: Do bitter orange trees have thorns?
A: It is an evergreen tree, so you can expect to smell the scent of its aromatic, deep green leaves all year round. The tree has thorns that can grow as long as three inches, so you will need to practice care when harvesting fruit or pruning branches.

Q: How do you identify trifoliate oranges?
A: The trifoliate orange is recognizable by the large 3–5 cm (1.2–2.0 in) thorns on the shoots, and its deciduous leaves with three (or rarely, five) leaflets, typically with the middle leaflet 3–5 cm (1.2–2.0 in) long, and the two side leaflets 2–3 cm (0.79–1.18 in) long.

Q: What is the rarest orange fruit?
A: They are willing to take this gamble because the Honeybell is widely regarded as the tastiest and juiciest orange on the face of the earth. It is also the rarest and the hardest to find. With an average circumference of 9 inches, the Honeybell orange is larger than most other orange varieties.

Q: Which orange tree is the sweetest?
A: The Juiciest, Sweetest Oranges You Can Grow If you’re looking for an orange full of fresh, flavorful juice, then look no further than a Valencia Orange.

Q: What is a cross between an orange and a lime called?
A: 8) Bergamot Originating in Italy it’s believed to be a cross between a lime and a sour orange. The flesh is suited to jams and marmalades while the rind lends itself well to pastries. It is also commonly used as an ingredient in perfumes and cosmetics.

Q: What is a trifoliate orange tree?
A: Description. The common name Trifoliate Orange is in reference to the three-lobed leaves and orange fruit. This shrub grows 8-15 feet tall. The white flowers have 4-7 petals and are fragrant and showy, and the stems are covered heavily with sharp thorns.

Q: Can you eat trifoliate oranges?
A: TRIFOLIATE ORANGE FACTS It is a large, deciduous shrub that produces an unusually sour, downy fruit considered to be nearly inedible when raw but medicinally beneficial and delicious when cooked. The fruit is commonly juiced, made into marmalades, jams, jellies, or candied.

Q: Can you grow trifoliate orange from cuttings?
A: In both strains, cuttings collected from mature trees in all months and from juvenile trees between October to March failed to form callus and root. June and July seem to be the most appropriate months for the collection of stem cuttings for the propagation of juvenile common and Flying Dragon trifoliate oranges.

Q: How do you control trifoliate oranges?
A: What’s the best way to control it? A: To minimize chemical use, cut the plants close to the ground and spray a little bit of glyphosate (Killz-all, Roundup, etc) or triclopyr (Brush-B-Gon, etc) on the freshly cut stump. The chemical will be sucked down into the roots and will minimize resprouting.

Q: What is the orange that is cross with a grapefruit called?
A: An orangelo (Spanish chironja – C. paradisi × C. sinensis) is a hybrid citrus fruit believed to have originated in Puerto Rico. The fruit, a cross between a grapefruit and an orange, had spontaneously appeared in the shade-providing trees grown on coffee plantations in the Puerto Rican highlands.

Q: What do I do with flying dragon oranges?
A: Flying Dragon oranges are edible, but the fruits contain very little flesh and have an extremely sour flavor, limiting the variety from being a fresh eating cultivar. The fruits are primarily cooked into syrups, jams, jellies, and marmalades, or they can be candied with high amounts of sweetener as a chewy snack.

Q: What does a flying dragon orange taste like?
A: They are orange and measure about an inch-and-a-half across. Its taste has been described as a cross between lemon and grapefruit, and though many find it inedible, it is popularly used for making marmalade.

About the author

Samuel is a gardening professional and enthusiast who has spent over 20 years advising homeowners and farm owners on weed identification, prevention and removal. He has an undergraduate degree in plant and soil science from Michigan State University.