If you love oranges and grapefruits, chances are you love other fruits that are considered citrus as well. Read on for a citrus fruit list that has all your favorites in one place, as well as some new varieties to enjoy!
These lovely little hybrids come from Japan, and their name means “sweet summer” in Japanese. Their sweet flesh and juice are used in all kinds of dishes, and apparently make a spectacular ice cream too.
“Citron” is the French word for lemon, and these Mediterranean fruits are one of the original three species that spawned all modern citrus fruits.
When life gives you lemons… use them whenever humanly possible! These gorgeous, sour berries (yes, berries!) brighten up dishes from soups and salads to desserts.
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4. Meyer Lemons
These beauties look like regular lemons, but are three-way hybrids with pomelos and tangerines. While they smell a lot like standard lemons, their flesh and juice aren’t as tart. Instead, they have a gentler, sweeter flavor that’s ideal for desserts.
What would we flavor margaritas and mojitos with if we didn’t have these gorgeous, bright green beauties? These are some of the most popular citrus fruits on the planet, and have been traded across continents for thousands of years.
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6. Finger Limes
If you haven’t tried these yet, try to get your hands on some. They come from Australia where they’re known as “caviar limes”, as their inner fruit segments resemble fish eggs when scooped out.
7. Persian Limes
You might think that these limes hail from antiquity, when in fact, they’re quite recent developments. They were cultivated in Persia, which is how they got their name, and are crosses between key limes and lemons.
8. Key Limes
These citrus fruits are most commonly associated with pie, as key lime pie is one of the most heavenly indulgences on the planet. Interestingly, they’re the result of crossing citrons with papeda fruits.
9. Kaffir Limes
These mini orange fruits are both citrus fruits, and members of the Fortunella family. Unlike most other fruits on this list, it has a delicate, thin skin that can be eaten, so it doesn’t need to be peeled beforehand.
11. Standard/Common Oranges
These oranges are available just about everywhere in the world, and most of the ones in the US are cultivated in Florida and California. They’re among the fruits that are cultivated year-round, and are breakfast juice staples worldwide.
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12. Navel Oranges
If you’ve ever seen a navel orange, you can understand how these citrus fruits got their name. They grow a second “twin” orange internally, opposite their stem, and the protrusion that erupts out of the skin resembles a human navel.
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Don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of a kabosu before. These lime-looking fruits only grow in the Oisa region of rural Japan, and although they look like limes, they’re actually more closely related to bitter oranges and yuzus.
These mandarin-type oranges only grow in Pakistan, where they were developed as intentional hybrids in the 1930s. They’re harder to peel than standard mandarins, but are juicier and sweeter than their cousins.
15. Seville Oranges
In the Tudor era, these bitter Spanish oranges were referred to as “golden apples”. They were highly prized and insanely expensive to import back then, and were often given as Christmas gifts. This led to the tradition of receiving oranges in holiday stockings: as a bright burst of vitamin C and exotic flavor in the dead of winter.
16. Cara Caras
Now, cara cara fruits are fascinating little mutations. They seem to have evolved from navel orange varieties growing in Venezuela, and are dark pink inside rather than orange. This is because they contain lycopene: the same substance that makes tomatoes red, and they taste like citrusy berries.
17. Blood Oranges
These oranges got their name because their deep purple-red flesh and juice look almost “bloody”. Well, guess what? That dark pigmentation is caused by antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which are usually found in black, purple, and blue fruits. Blood oranges are the only citrus fruits that contain these.
Kiyomis also come from Japan, and are seedless citruses that are related to mandarin oranges. They have some of the lowest acidity of any fruits that are considered citrus, paired with an incredibly sweet flavor.
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These mandarin + standard orange hybrids were named after the French missionary who discovered them in Algeria: Brother Clément Rodier. They’re seedless, and incredibly sweet, but will develop seeds if they’re accidentally cross-bred with other orange species. These are some of the most popular citruses grown in California.
20. Ugli Fruit
Once upon a time, on the beautiful island of Jamaica, a half orange/half tangerine tree fell in love with a grapefruit tree, and they made really ugly babies. Ugli fruits, so named because they’re startlingly unattractive, taste like sweet grapefruits. They’re much more delicious than they look, and are well worth trying!
If you like mandarins and kumquats, you’ll enjoy calamondins too. These are hybrids between those two species, and are grown primarily for their juice. Tip: these thrive as small container trees, so if you’ve ever wanted to grow your own citrus fruits, try growing a couple of these in pots indoors.
22. Mandarin Oranges
Although these are named “mandarin” because traders found abundant quantities of them in China, they actually originated in India. They’re related to standard oranges, but are sweeter, and their looser skin makes them much easier to peel.
What looks like a cross between a lime and a grapefruit, but tastes like neither? A pomelo! These Southeast Asian fruits are at their ripest when they’re pale green, and once you’ve fought through their thick skin to get to the fruit within, you’ll find that it tastes like a sweeter, less acidic orange, with slight lychee notes.
These are also known as satsumas, and are cheerful little orange bundles of delight. Of all the oranges available, tangerine sections are the easiest to remove from their peel. Try juicing them along with ruby grapefruits, and blending them with frozen strawberries for a super vitamin C smoothie!
Related Article: What Does a Tangerine Taste Like?
Can you guess how these citrus fruits got their name? If you guessed because they’re a cross between a tangerine and a pomelo, go get yourself a gold star sticker and a cookie.
These citron cousins are native to India and Israel, and according to Jewish literature, may have been the original fruit from the garden of Eden, rather than the apple. It’s one of four plants used in the feast of Sukkot, and interestingly, it’s neither sweet, nor sour, but somewhere in between.
No citrus fruit list would be complete without these bittersweet beauties. Whether you like ruby, white, or pink grapefruits, you’ll be happy to know just how much vitamin C you’re consuming every time you eat one. Furthermore, regularly drinking grapefruit juice can help prevent kidney stones.
Do you enjoy alcoholic bitters? If so, you’ve probably already tasted chinotto and never knew it. These incredibly bitter fruits are used to flavor liqueurs like Campari, and there’s also an Italian soda called Brio that’s flavored with chinotto juice.
29. Buddha’s Hand
These almost squid-looking fruits look like open hands with dangling fingers when they’re ripe. Unlike other citrus fruits, they don’t create any juice or edible pulp. Use them aromatically, instead. Grate them to add to various dishes, or use them in perfumes and other personal care products.
Rangpurs are also known as Rangpur limes. Unlike the rest of the limes on this citrus fruit list, they’re bright orange instead of green. They taste quite a bit like standard limes, but with a smoky, musky flavor.
Hyunanatsu fruits come from the Miyazaki region in Japan, and have only been cultivated since the early 1800s. They have pale yellow skins and a light citrusy flavor, and they contain nutrients that may help to prevent osteoporosis.
These tumorous-looking citruses are from tropical regions in southeast Asia, and are apparently so bitter that they’re rarely eaten. That said, they’re very aromatic, and a bit of their juice can be added to foods to add a sour note.
If you love grapefruit and lemons, you’ll probably love yuzu too. These Japanese citrus fruits have a similar sharp, bittersweet taste that grapefruit has, but their skins are much more aromatic. Try grating them into desserts for a lemony flavor that isn’t quite as sour.
Use citrus fruits to add a bright, sharp, sunny flavor to all kinds of dishes. Some of them are amazing when eaten raw, others (like lemons and limes) bring an extra splash of joy to drinks and sorbets. Hopefully you’ll find some new and exciting ways to try all the beautiful fruits on this list!
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