I have a couple of these trees at my place at Wayanad and they produce heavily every year in fact two crops a year. I use them for juice for
pickles. The mother of one of my friends prepares wonderful chutney out of its leaves that could be preserved for months.
I believe fruit of C. medica to be oblongish, or could even be of irregular (and strange) shape, rarely (¿ or never ?) spherical.
What is given in the photos are not the Citrus medica,
I do not think this to be Citrus medica.
The picture in … mail is different from what I know as bitter Orange. Bitter orange normally has very rough rind. It is not smooth externally. Moreover it is much smaller than the citron shown in … picture which is quite tender. It becomes much bigger as it matures. The leaves of the bitter orange are much smaller. I can not imagine somebody calling a fruit that is more than double the size of orange as bitter orange. However, it is only the thought of a novice.
Petiolar wings are too wide for C. medica, where they hardy visible. Toss is between C. maximum (syn: C. grandis: midrib and veins pubescent; pulp vesicles loosely packed; seeds ridged) and C. paradisii (midrib and veins glabrous; pulp vesicles tightly packed; seeds smooth)
The pictures sent originally by … are a different species with winged petiole shorter than leaf length, not C. medica but possibly C. maxima or related species.
With all due respects to all the experts. I have just returned from the citron tree after going through your response. I found that the tender branches are having the winged petiole, some of them large, some of them short and some of the leaves (normally matured) do not even have the winged petiole on the same plant. I observe that the fresh shoots (the second picture) has winged petioles that are large and the slightly mature stems have the petiole that are short, the fully mature stem do not have winged petiole at all. All these are from one tree.
Incidentally adjacent to the citron tree, we have a regular orange plant and even on it the winged petioles are found on the tender shoots.
I must thank all you people for having ignited the desire in me to study plants more closely. I still have a lot to learn.
Perhaps Citrus is one of the genera with lot of taxonomic confusions, equally so in common names. What we commonly call as oranges (santara) is Mandarine (R. reticulata) for western world and what we know as Mousambi or Malta are oranges for West (C. sinensis). Spines on young shoots, presence and size of petiole wings, size of petals, size of fruit, colour, thickness of rind, and how easily it can be peeled off, numberof fruit segments and colour of seed leaves (cotyledons) are features helpful in identification. A note of these together with photographs should be help a lot..
IT MAY NOT BE A WILD SP. MAY BE CULTIVATED AND RUNNING INTO WILD. WHERE was it found? whether in the forests or behind cultivations?
I feel it is Citrus maxima– Pomelo