Trifoliate Orange/Bitter Orange/Hardy Orange

Scientific name: Poncirus trifoliat
Abundance: plentiful
What: Mature fruit
How: juice and zest as seasoning and as a lemonade replacement
Where: partially shady woods
When: late fall
Nutritional Value: Vitamin C
Other uses: The the twisted and intertwined branches covered in sharp 2" long spines make this a great security hedge. This tree is used as a root-stock for grafting other citrus fruits.

Trifoliate oranges.

Full-sized, though not yet ripe fruit.

Close-up of flowers.

Trifolate orange leaves. Note the three (tri) leaves (foliate) on each stem.

Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The marked counties are guidelines only. Plants may appear in other counties, especially if used in landscaping.

North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.

The golf ball sized fruit of this tree ripens to a yellow color in the fall about the time the tree loses its leaves. This fruit is extremely sour so only a little bit is needed for flavoring. There is no edible flesh inside the fruit, just a large number of seeds. For maximum amount of juice, let it sit for two weeks after picking before squeezing.

Buy my book! Idiots Guide Foraging covers 70 of North America's tastiest and easy to find wild edibles shown with the same big pictures as here on the Foraging Texas website.

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