Ichang papeda, rustic lemon, Ichang lemon: planting, cultivating, harvesting

Citrus ichangensis, the Ichang lemon or Ichang papeda is without doubt the easiest lemon tree to grow in the ground, tolerant and above all hardy almost everywhere in France. Ornamental, its zest is used in cooking.

Ichang papeda, Rustic lemon, Citrus ichangensis


N. scientific Citrus ichangensis

Synonyms Citrus cavalierii, Citrus aurantium subs. Ichangensis, Citrus hongheensis, Citrus macrosperma

Family Rutaces

Origin Asia, West and Southwest China

Bloom march june

flowers blanc

Typecitrus fruit

Vegetationfruit shrub

Foliage persistent

Height2 m in pot, 4.5 m in the ground

Plant and grow

hardiness hardy down to -12 C

Exposition sunny

Solrich and draining

Acidity slightly calcareous acid

Humidity normal fresh

Utilisationdude, open ground

Plantationspring, t

Multiplicationgraft, cutting

It is sensitive scale insects, fungal diseases

Ichang papeda, Rustic lemon, Citrus ichangensis

Citrus ichangensis or in synonym, Citrus of the cavalryis a fruit tree, belonging to the citrus familythe family Rutaceae, such as orange or mandarin trees. Citrus ichangensis is rather related lemon tree, it is native to Asia, especially distributed in a large part of southwestern China. It grows there in the hills or in the mountains up to 2500 m. Citrus cavaleriei therefore has a much more northern distribution than the majority of citrus fruits, which explains its excellent hardiness.

The ichang papeda is therefore easily cultivated in the open ground in Europe; he has a real ornamental appealgorgeous when it bears its large lemons and deliciously fragrant when it blooms.

In addition, it is a relative used in varietal selection to make other citrus fruits more hardy.

Description de l’ichang papeda

Citrus ichangensis produces a tree that branches quite low, usually as wide as it is tall, reaching between 2 and 6 m when grown in open ground in Europe. In its region of origin, mature subjects can however reach 10 m.

Its branches are thorny, almost glabrous, with straight and robust thorns, shorter on the flowering branches. the foliage is persistent and aromatic. The leaves of the Ichang lemon tree show a petiole winged as long as the limb. Their elliptical blade is narrow, entire or finely crenellated, long up to 16 cm maximum for a width of 4 cm.

The flowers are born in the axils of the leaves, either isolated or grouped in a fascicle, almost without peduncle. They measure about 3.5 cm in diameter, reddish in bud, it opens on a corolla 4 to 5 white or pink petals, with 16 to 30 stamens. These flowers are delicately scented.

The ichang papeda is autofertile and easily produces many fruits, even if it is the only citrus fruit in the garden.

The fruits are mature between October and December, ichang lemons, yellow when ripe, contain large seeds and only a little juicy pulp. They are quite large, up to 10cm long by 5cm wide, making theshrub very ornamental when bearing many fruits. On the other hand, the bark of these fruits is thick; it makes a pleasantly perfumed zest easily usable in the kitchen.

Ichang Lemon Varieties

  • Citrus x junosle Yuzu, Citrus ichangensis × Citrus reticulata var. austere is a variety with a very fragrant zest.
  • Citrus ichangensis x C. maxima ‘Tift2-16’ (patented) contains fewer seeds.

How to grow ichang papeda?

Citrus ichangensis is a vigorous lemon tree that tolerates many growing conditions:

  • It is rustic.
  • he accepts acidic to slightly basic soilswith a preference nevertheless for a pH between 6 and 7.
  • he believes in sandy to semi-heavy soil.
  • for a citrus fruit, it is drought resistant.

On the other hand, it does not support waterlogged soils, very heavy soils, spray.

And to obtain the most beautiful flowering and fruiting possible, we will choose a sunny place, sheltered from drying winds.

Hardiness of Ichang papeda

Citrus ichangensis is one of the hardiest lemon trees. It is said to be hardy down to -12°C, and it even appears to grow to zone 6 in Gansu Province, China.

However, it shows a sensitivity to late frost on its young spring shoots. To avoid maximum damage, the Ichand lemon is planted in a location that is still shaded at sunrise in April/May.

It is possible that in a pot this Ichang lemon is more chilly, as a precaution, it is sheltered above -6°C, but it is put back outside or its veil is removed.wintering as soon as the temperature rises.

In France, the Ichang papeda can therefore be grown almost anywhere in the ground. It is preferably transplanted in the spring, in a pit 2 to 3 times wider than its pot, where the loosened earth is enriched with compost or completely decomposed manure. Its roots will be disturbed as little as possible, moreover given its vigorous growth, planting a young tree (not too big) is often as well.


Like any citrus fruit, this shrub is greedy and needs to be fed regularly, whether withfertilizer natural or chemical.

In pot, a renewal of the potting soil of surface and an addition of compost at the bottom of the pot are recommended every 3 years.

In the ground, compost is deposited on the surface around the trunk each spring.

This amendment is essential to obtain fruit.


The pulp of the Ichang lemon brings little juice, it is very acidic, sometimes bitter.

On the other hand, even if it is a little less fragrant than that du yuzuthe bark of Citrus of the cavalry has a pleasant flavor and can provide very interesting citrus touch to sauces, dishes or desserts. This bark can also be candied.

Ichang papeda est rich in essential oil.

How to multiply the Ichang lemon?

  • Semis : the sowing of Ichang papeda is interesting insofar as it gives individuals identical to the parent plantand that they are systematically virus free. In the coldest climates, it is recommended to keep young plants in pots and protected from the cold for their first 3 winters before being acclimatized in the ground.
    Seeds fresh from the fruit germinate fairly easily in 2-3 weeks at 13°C.
    The fruits are ripe in winter, to wait for spring, the seeds are best stored in the fruit or in the refrigerator.

  • What citrus also attaches to Poncirus.

  • The semi-lignified wood cuttings in the month of July are able to take root by smothering.

Different species Citrus

  • Citrus lemon, Citrus aurantifolia, Citrus chinensis
  • Citrus x junosle yuzu
Sheets of plants of the same genus

Source: Au Jardin, conseils en jardinage by www.aujardin.info.

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