The one and only member of the Poncirus family - Poncirus trifoliata - is a large shrub to small dense tree native to open woodlands of northern China and Korea. This Citrus relative is grown for winter interest as result of its deep green branches with stout thorns. Dense and fast growing; it can grow to 3 feet per year and reach 20 x 10 feet in 10 years. It rarely grows larger, thought the largest on record is 40 feet tall and wide with a trunk diameter of 1.5 feet. A 26 foot tree grows in Harrisburg, PA.
The trifoliate leaves are made of 3 leaflets to 3.5 inches in length. The leathery deep green foliage turns to glowing yellow during autumn.
The fragrant, white flowers, up to 2 inches wide, are borne solitary during late spring on second year wood and sometimes repeat bloom in the fall.
The fruits are orange-like but not edible and with little flesh. It is green turning to orange when ripe.
Hardy from zone 5 to 9; it can tolerate as low as -22 F. Prefers full sun though tolerate part shade and needs well drained, fertile soil and is best protected from excessive wind. Very drought tolerant.
* photos taken on Sep 27 2013 in Laurel, MD
* photos taken on May 3 2018 @ Montpelior Mansion, Laurel, MD
* photos taken on Oct 20 2018 @ Montpelior Mansion, Laurel, MD
Reaches up to 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide with twisted branches, It is otherwise identical to the species.
* photo taken in Columbia, MD on Feb 2010
* photos taken on April 2 2010 in Columbia, MD
* photo taken on April 11 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.
* photos taken on Mar 23 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD
* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD
* photo taken on Aug 3 2014 @ National Zoo, Wash., DC
* photo taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD
* photo taken on Aug 5 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD
* photos taken on Nov 10 2020 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD
* photo taken on Aug 30 2021 @ U.S. National Arboretum, Washington, DC
* photos taken on Oct 7 2022 in Columbia, MD
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