Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website


Citrus maxima (Burm.) Merr.

Family Name: Rutaceae
Synonyms: Citrus grandis
Common Name: Pomelo, Limau Bali, Limau Besar, Shaddock, Pummelo, Limau Betawi, 柚子
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Caterpillar Food Plant Fruit & Vegetable Fragrant Ornamental Flowers Tree


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Chromosome Number 18


Native Distribution Malesia. 
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A tree, it can grow up to 5 to 15m in height with low, irregular branches. Long spines, up to 5cm long are found on the branches of plants propagated via seeds but are absent in those propagated through vegetative means. The young, tertiary branches are angular and often hairy. 
Foliage The leaves are obovate to elliptical. 
Flowers The yellow-white, bisexual flowers are fragrant and are borne singly or in clusters of 2 to 10 flowers in the leaf axils. The plant flowers 2 to 3 times a year in the tropics. The flowering season coincides with shoot growth flushes.   
Fruits The fruit is globular to a pear-shaped (pyriform). It has a thick but soft peel about 1 to 4cm thick, the outer surface of the peel is greenish-yellow to yellow and is dotted with green glands. The peel is easily separated from the segements, consisting of pale yellow or pink pulp-vesicles filled with sweet juice. The seeds are few and ridged. 
Cultivation It is ideally grown in the lowland tropics, at altitudes below 400m, in temperatures of 25 to 30°C under full sun. It can tolerate a wide range of soils but is ideally grown in deep, medium-textured, fertile soils. 
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The fruit is usually eaten fresh or used in fruit salads. The white inner part of the peel may be candied after the outer peel has been removed. It is usually eaten in Asia during festivals such as Mid-Autumn Festival were it is eaten as the shape of the fruits and its time of harvest makes it associated with the moon.)
[Others]: The aromatic flowers are used to make perfume. 

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Fragrant (Flowers)
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens
Thematic Landscaping Economic Garden
Usage Hazard - Cons Spines/Thorns - Stem/Branch
Species record last updated on: 14 October 2021.