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Botanical Name: Poncirus trifoliata
Common Name: Hardy Orange
Origin: North China/Korea
Notable Feature: Displays vicious spines, fragrant flowers, and polished green stems. Closely related to “citrus” plants.
Habit: A large, deciduous shrub or small tree up to 20 feet high and 15 feet wide with green, spiny stems.
Flower: Perfect (bisexual), 2” in diameter with five white petals and pink stamens. The fragrant flowers are borne in late April into early May.
Fruit: Green ripening to yellow and appearing like a small orange, but with a downy surface; ripening in late September into early October. 1 ½” in diameter.
Foliage: Alternate, trifoliate, dark green leaves turn yellow in the fall and give off a spicy smell when crushed. 1 to 1½” in diameter.
Interesting Fact: The very bitter fruit is not edible fresh but can be made into marmalade and when dried and powdered can be used as a condiment.