Pummelo (Pomelo)

Scientific Name: Citrus maxima

Biggest citrus fruit known in western world, under ideal conditions, fruit grows as large as a basketball
Native to southeastern Asia and Malaysia; grows wild on river banks in Fiji and Friendly Islands
First seeds brought to New World in 17 Century by Captain Shaddock who stopped in Barbados on way to England
Cultivated in Barbados and Jamaica in 1696, has pink or red flesh
Dr. David Fairchild, plant explorer, and first USDA employee, tasted pummelo in 1899 on a ship between Batavia and Singapore
Dr. Fairchild was very enthusiastic to introduce the red flesh pummelo to the US, after several failures, USDA received plants from Thailand
‘Siamese Sweet’ introduced by USDA in 1930
Pummelo crossed with another Pummelo makes a seedy fruit, but Pummelo crossed with sweet orange or mandarin orange = almost seedless plant
Mature fruit stores for a long period because of the thick rind and the rind can be candied
Fruit very popular during Chinese New Year, because fruit looks like the full moon, the Lunar Moon
The color of the skin does not determine ripeness, must taste for yourself


‘Chandler’ –  hybrid of ‘Siamese Sweet’ (white) and ‘Siamese Pink’ (acid) developed at Indio, Ca. in 1961

‘Hirado’ – chance seedling from Nagasaki Japan in 1910; bright yellow skin, pale flesh, sub-acid, medium juicy; tree vigorous
quite cold tolerant; second best commercial cultivar in Japan.

‘Sarawak’ or ‘Tahitian’ – grown from seed; taken from Tahiti to Hawaii, think peel, amber flesh, juicy. Excellent flavor and quality

‘Siamese Sweet’ Tree –  a dwarf with drooping branches and hairy new growth, This variety is one of the parents of Oroblanco and Melogold pomelo-grapefruit hybrids,
Chandler pomelo and Cocktail pomelo-mandarin hybrid

‘Cocktail’ – a cross of the Siamese Sweet pomelo and the Frua mandarin made in 1966, developed in Riverside, California. Thinner peeled than most pomelos, the fruit has seeds and is very juicy.