Almost 40 varieties of citrus fruit populate the citrus grove in the gardens of Villa della Pergola, one of the prides of the historic Botanical Park of Alassio.
The term citrus refers to cultivated plants belonging to the genus Cytrus and their fruits.
The origin of all Citrus is India and the Far East.
The various species reached Europe at different times, but it seems that the first specimen to make its appearance in Europe was the cedar, also known by the name of "Persian apple" among the Romans, and obviously present in the collection of our Gardens.
Even lemon and bitter orange were already known at the time even if not cultivated.
tangerines appeared in Europe only in the 19th century!
Citrus fruits are evergreen plants, with very few exceptions (such as the trifoliate orange, which can be seen in our collection).
The characteristic leaf of citrus fruits derives from an ancient set of three leaflets, of which the only surviving one today is the central one.
This characteristic that with the development of the plant over the centuries has been lost, today it can be admired in its original form only in one species, the Poncirus.
The flowers that anticipate the birth of the fruits are called Zagare and have a spectacular white color with variations on the nuances based on the species, for example lemon or cedar have purple hues.
The word Zagara derives from the Sicilian zàgara, which in turn derives from the Arabic (zahra, "flower").
The orange blossom is often used traditionally for the composition of the wedding bouquet.
According to Greek mythology, the Earth Goddess gave Zeus an orange tree for her wedding. This wonderful fruit tree was guarded by three girls, daughters of Atlas and the Night, in a mythological garden on a beautiful island.
It is for this reason that the expression orange blossom is used in reference to marriage.
The citrus fruit collection of the Villa della Pergola Gardens today presents about 40 different varieties including curious or rare species, such as the famous Chinotto di Savona (Slow Food presidium) and others such as the Buddha's Hand Cedar, the Trifoliato Orange, the only citrus deciduous in nature, or the Murraya Paniculata, the smallest citrus fruit in the world.
Here is the list, still updating, of all the Cytrus of our Botanical Garden:
- CITRUS LIMON (L.) Burm. f.x
- CITRUS LIMON (L.) Burm.f. "Femminiello a zagara bianca" CITRUS LIMON (L.) Burm.f. "Femminiello Carrubaro"
- CITRUS LIMONIMEDICA Lush "PIGMENTATA"
- CITRUS MEDICA (L.) "MAXIMA"
- CITRUS MEDICA( L.)
- CITRUS MAXIMA (Burm) Shaddock o Pummelo
- CITRUS GRANDIS (L.) osb Shambar
- CITRUS PARADISI Macf Pompelmo
- CITRUS PARADISI Macf. “Pink”
- CITRUS AURANTIUM (L.) Arancio Amaro
- CITRUS AURANTIUM (L.) "CANICULATA" o CANALICULATA
- CITRUS AURANTIUM (L.) SALICIFOLIA
- CITRUS SINENSIS(L.) osb Arancio dolce
- CITRUS SINENSIS (L.) osb Tarocco gallo
- CITRUS SINENSIS (L.) osb Bernambucco
- CITRUS MYRTIFOLIA Raf. Chinotto
- CITRUS MYRTIFOLIA Chinotto di Savona
- CITRUS RETICULATA Blanco mandarino
- CITRUS DELICIOSA Ten. "PECTIFERA"
- CITRUS DELICIOSA Ten. mandarino comune o del Mediterraneo
- CITRUS DELICIOSA Ten. "DE WILLAT" mandarino di Willat
- CITRUS DELICIOSA Ten. "TACHIBANA" mandarino di Tachibana
- CITRUS x CLEMENTINA Hort. Ex tan clementina comune
- CITRUS AURANTIFOLIA (Christm. Swingle) "Lime"
- CITRUS AURANTIFOLIA (L.) "BIANCA CARRUGATA"
- CITRUS AURANTIFOLIA (L.) "SANTA BARBARA"
- CITRUS AURANTIFOLIA "TAHITI" limetta di Tahiti
- CITRUS LIMETTA Risso limetta dolce
- CITRUS LIMETTA Risso "PURSHA" limetta dolce di Roma
- FORTUNELLA MARGARITAN(Lour) Swing kumquat
- FORTUNELLA JAPONICA (Thumb) Swing kumquat rotondo
- FORTUNELLA MARGARITA (Lour) Swing
- PONCIRUS TRIFOLIATA (L.) raf arancio trifoliato
- MURRAYA PANICULATA (L.) JACK murraia
- MICROCITRUS PAPUANA limetta papuana
- MICROCITRUS AUSTRALASICA F.Muell caviale di limone o finger lime
- CITRUS LUMIA
- CITRUS LUMIA "POMUM ADAMI