Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Chinese Grapefruit, Pomelo, Pummelo, Pumello, Pamplemousse, Shaddock
Citrus maxima

Family: Rutaceae (roo-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Citrus (SIT-rus) (Info)
Species: maxima (MAKS-ih-muh) (Info)

Synonym:Citrus decumena
Synonym:Citrus grandis

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

9 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us


Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 12 photos.
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6 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Caligrown On Feb 27, 2014, Caligrown from Riverside, CA wrote:

I am in a dry hot climate in Southern California. My neighbor grew the tree from a seed he got in Hawaai. It had been in a pot for about 10 years and never produced fruit. When he moved he gave me the tree. I planted it in my back yard and it grew very quickly in un-ammended clay soil with little water. After 2 years it had a bumper crop of enormous Volley ball sized fruit...I knew it was in the grapefruit family, but the fact you had to peel each section of the tough inedible skin kind of worried me. After I read that this is a normal occurance for the fruit I started peeling away. This year it produced delicious fruit of enormous size and before I have picked it all it is blooming heavily again for a second crop. The blooms are the most fragrant "gardenia" scent. I wish I could bottle for perfume. The only down side I have noticed are very large thorns on the tree. And the lack of recipes I have for it.

Positive vossner On Jan 26, 2012, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis is a crisp citrus fruit native to Southeast Asia. It is known mostly as the principal ancestor of the grapefruit. Not as juicy or bitter as a grapefruit, it is usually pale green to yellow when ripe, with sweet white (or, more rarely, pink or red) flesh and very thick rind/pith. It is the largest citrus fruit, (5.99.8 in) in diameter, and usually weighing 2.24.4 lb.

In North America, it is most frequently found in Asian markets, though it is beginning to appear in regular markets as a novelty fruit. A few Mexican farmers are beginning to grow it as a commercial crop.

Positive plantoid On Apr 22, 2010, plantoid from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Having been raised in Hong Kong, I have a hard time understanding the American fondness for the sour and bitter grapefruit. Even the best grapefruit is still sour and bitter compared to a pommelo. If you ever tried to use the term "sweet" to describe a grapefruit, you never tasted a truly sweet pummelo.

Most pummelos sold in North America are unfortunately of the Chandler (salmon flesh color) or Oro Blanco (white flesh color) varieties, which are inferior to the true Chinese pummelos because they still have too much acidity in them, whereas the Chinese pummelos have practically no hint of acidity.

It seems the American consumer taste gravitates towards juiciness at the expense of sweetness. Chinese pummelos are sold by Four Winds Nursery under the variety name of "Chinese Grapefruit." I believe it is the same variety as the "Big Wong" Chinese pommelo. They are shaped like a giant Bartlett pear and ripen to perfect sweetness even in the mild summer climates of the Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area. Oro Blanco is also shaped like a Bartlette pear, but it is not a true Chinese pommelo. Oro Blanco has a sourness kick to it. Oro Blanco is juicy, but has no aroma, whereas the Big Wong has great aroma and is very sweet, although it's less juicy. I'll go for sweetness any day.

Positive Centaurea On Jan 29, 2009, Centaurea from Almere
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

Makes great house trees.
I've been raising pummelos from grocery store seed for years. They have survived cold nights (40-50F) in Idaho spring and fall. They have survived my rather forgetful watering tendencies, to the point of only wilting slightly when the soil is so dry it separates from the pot. They have survived months without much light due to lack of window space and gray northern winters. Despite what I've read about the tendency of citrus to defoliate at the drop of a hat when kept indoors, mine have never done so despite it all.
Slow growing under the above conditions (understandably), but incredibly worthy even without flowers or fruit. Beautiful semi-glossy large double leaves like Kaffir lime smell nice when crushed. I can't wait to build a greenhouse and see what happens when they get moved into it.

Neutral mannydas On Dec 22, 2008, mannydas from Rotonda West, FL wrote:

I purchased the plant (% gallon pot) last week from Home Depot, Englewood, FL. It is a grafted plant.
The tree was planted on Dec. 20 (my birthday), 2008.

Positive gardenwife On Dec 20, 2006, gardenwife from Newark, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I cannot tell you how easy it is to grow, but having tasted one for the first time today, I can tell you it is delicious. Mine was a Sunkist branded fruit given to me by someone. It has a very thick, easy-to-peel skin and the membranes between sections are thicker than those on a grapefruit. Considering my fruit was still more green than yellow, I expected it to be tart, but it was sweet and delicious!

Positive poln8r On Aug 18, 2006, poln8r from Long Beach, MS wrote:

My tree was grown from a seed I brought back from Japan in 1984. It has survived temperatures as low as 15 degrees F at my home in Long Beach, Mississippi since then. It fruits every year with delicious fruit that is ripe beginning in December. The thick skin protects the fruit from occasional frosts and light freezes. The tree survived Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Tucson, Arizona
Castro Valley, California
Merritt Island, Florida
Newberry, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Rotonda West, Florida
Trenton, Florida
Houston, Texas

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