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Jakfruit - Exotic Tropical Fruit - Cape Tribulation
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Pummelo (Citrus maxima)
Pummelo - Exotic Tropical Fruit - Cape Tribulation

A very large citrus fruit with a very thick rind, and sweet juicy segments without the bitterness of grapefruit.

Pummelo grows as wild seedlings throughout much of Malaysia and Indonesia, but there is some evidence that it has been introduced into these areas by Chinese settlers.

Introduced into the West Indies in the late 1600's as seed. It is more closely related to the orange than other citrus, and it is believed that crosses with orange are responsible for the development of the grapefruit.

Soil
Characteristics

Soil must be well drained as it is vulnerable to root rot problems. Best on slightly acid sandy loams.

Climate Requirements

Best adapted to the tropics but it will grow in cooler regions. The flesh however becomes sourer. Not as cold tolerant as grapefruit.

Culture

It is unusual for a seedling tree to produce fruit of good eating quality. Trees grow quite large so an 8 meter spacing is desirable. Crosspollination from other nearby citrus will produce seedy fruit.

Harvesting

Several crops a year are possible in a hot climate. In Australia, the main flowering flush is in spring following the winter dormancy. The fruit matures 6 - 9 months later. A yield of 100 kg per tree would be expected from mature trees. Fruit can be left on the tree for several months after it colours.

In Thailand, the fruit are harvested just as they lose the dark green colour. They are then stored for 1 -2 months during which time the fruit improves in flavour and colour.

Length of time
until first crop

Four years from planting budded or marcot trees on rough lemon stock.

Marketing Notes

The large size and thick rind mean that costs are high for packaging and transport, so small varieties are more popular. It does not bruise easily and has a long shelf life, storing for up to 2 months under suitable conditions.

 

Food Preparation

The flavour is sweet and mildly acidic but some bitterness can come through. The rind is very thick and the segment walls are also very thick and tough, so the fruit is served after removing and peeling the individual sections. The rind can be crystallized with sugar solutions to make a very acceptable sweet.

Chilled Pummelo

Further information

Purdue University - Centre for New Crops and Plants - Pummelo
This site is a chapter from a book written by Julia Morton. Gives a detailed description of the different varieties, climate, soil, season, pests and diseases and food uses. You can purchase this classic book Fruits of Warm Climates online from Amazon.

Germplasm Catalogue of Pummelo in Nepal
A systematic assessment of diversity of pummelo in Nepal. This catalogue is the output of a research programme(R6389) funded by the Department for International Development, UK.

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Cape Tribulation Bed and Breakfast accommodation on an exotic tropical fruit orchard in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest
Cape Trib Exotic Fruit Farm, Lot 5 Nicole Drive, Cape Tribulation, Queensland, 4873, Australia - Tel: 0740 980057 - Fax: 0740 980067
info@capetrib.com.au.

Last updated December 19, 2013