years ago my sister and I saw a citrus-type plant growing in a local
park. It was flowering on bare branches and was citrus-scented.
After much searching, we found it in a plant dictionary - Poncirus
trifoliata or Japanese bitter orange. I enquired of growers
who told me that it was used as rootstock and was not ornamental.
When my son's lemon tree produced shoots, which I recognised as
trifoliata from the leaf type, I took one and grew it. It is now
a small threeyear- old tree in a tub but has not yet flowered. Can
you tell me if it will flower or if I can do anything to promote
it will eventually flower one spring before the new leaves come
out, but you may have to wait another year or two. To try and encourage
it to flower sooner rather than later, don't prune it back at all.
The scented flowers are
followed by small yellow fruit which become quite fragrant when
ripe, but they are inedible.
It's a very hardy plant
from China and Korea that tolerates frost and wind and can grow
quite large and rather thorny, so I recommend you plant it well
away from paths or other places where people are likely to pass
close to it.
Gardener, Issue 176, 2005, Page 34
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.