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Economic Botany

, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 502–514 | Cite as

The introduction of cultivated citrus to Europe via Northern Africa and the Iberian Peninsula

  • L. Ramon-Laca
Article

Abstract

The circumstances concerning the diffusion of the main cultivated citrus from their places of origin in Asia are studied here, showing that the citron (’Citrus medica L.) was the only one knew in Ancient times in Europe, while the lemon (C. limon [L.] Osbeck), lime (C. aurantiifolia [Christm.] Swingle), pomelo (C. maxima [Burm.] Merr.) and sour orange (C. x aurantium L.) were introduced to Europe by the Muslims via the Iberian Peninsula and Sicily, and that the grapefruit (C. paradisi Macfad.), mandarin (C. reticulata Blanco) and sweet orange (C. x aurantium L.) arrived to the West between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries as a result of the trade with the British and Portuguese colonies.

Key words

citrus history introduction to Europe origin of cultivated plants 

La Introducción de los Citricos Cultivados en Europa vía el Norte de África y la Península Ibérica

Resumen

Se estudian aqui las circunstancias referentes a la difusion de los principales citricos cultivados desde sus lugares de origen en Asia, mostrando que en la antigüedad únicamente se conocia en Europa el cidro (Citrus medica L.), que el lïmon (C. limon [L.] Osbeck), la lima (C. aurantiifolia [Christm.] Swingle), la zamboa (C. maxima [Burm.] Merr.) y la naranja amarga (C. x aurantium L.) fueron introducidos en Europa por los musulmanes a través de la Peninsula Ibérica y Sicilia, y que el pomelo (C. paradisi Macfad.), la mandarina (C. reticulata Blanco) y la naranja dulce (C. x aurantium L.) llegaron a Occidente entre los siglos XVy XIX como resultado del comercio con las colonias britdnicas y portuguesas.

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© The New York Botanical Garden Press 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Ramon-Laca
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute Madrileno de Investigation Agraria y Alimentaria, finca ïdl Encin ”MadridSpain

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