General information

Poncirus three leaf


One of the most beautiful representatives of citrus fruits - an elegant and spectacular Poncirus three-leafed - unlike its thermophilic counterparts, can be successfully grown in open ground, even in regions with severe winters. It is also called prickly lemon or trifoliate. Imposing, low, with an openwork crown, more resembling a fancy tent, the plant looks amazingly good all year long. In the spring, Ponzirus pleases with the beauty of bare branches with large flowers, a bit like beautiful magnolias. In the summer, he dresses in a bright leafy outfit, glistening with fragrant orange fruits, but inedible. In the autumn, the “wild lemon”, as this fancy plant is often called by the people, changes the grass-green color of the dress to bright lemon-yellow.

In winter, on the background of snowfall, the beauty of the bizarrely curved branches with large spines and a beautiful shade of bark is especially noticeable. The fragrant, elegant, seemingly airy representative of the tree will be appropriate even in the smallest gardens, because it does not overload the space and allows you to achieve amazing lightness of the compositions. Let's get acquainted with the amazing wild lemon and the conditions of its growing closer.

Poncirus is a small and compact tree, often a multi-truncated tree shrub that does not grow above 3 meters in garden culture, but in nature often reaches 5-6 meters. The crown form of this resistant representative of the citrus family is tent-shaped, and the bark is very beautiful, light green, bright on young shoots. All the branches are oblate and densely covered with thorny needles. Spines up to 5 cm long are usually located in the leaf axils. Typical for all citrus leaves of poncirus are slightly different - trifoliate, serrated, about 10 cm in length, they are not only glossy, but also with an unusual dull yellow-green color. In the fall, they change their muted color to bright lemon. In April and May, large elegant single flowers up to 5 cm in diameter, reminiscent of magnolia during blooming, serve as a real decoration of citrus trees. Snow-white, axillary, they usually bloom before the appearance of the first leaves and exude a sweet aroma, enveloping the tree and the nearest space in a lemon scented cloud. The fruits of poncirus, though inedible, are very beautiful - like small oranges, round oranges with bright yellow hairy crust and bitter-oily flesh look surprisingly good against the background of foliage, only emphasizing the character of the tree and its “familiality”. Trifolyaty fruits, or rather zest, contain a lot of essential oils, so they can be used to flavor rooms, including in dried form for Biedermeier. These trees bloom, as well as bear fruit, only from 4 years of age, somewhere in the same period they begin to grow actively, adding a year from half a meter to height (in the first years after planting, the ponticus grows rather slowly).

Poncirus, like all citrus fruits, is a light-loving plant, it needs bright light for lush flowering and vigorous growth. In general, the soil is undemanding, but it feels better on loose and moist substrates. Very well this handsome citrus treats haircut, including shaping. Without problems, it can withstand temperatures down to minus 20 - 25 ° C, but if winters are more severe, the trifoliate should be wrapped with lapnik and nonwoven fabric. Young plants can be instilled in the ground. Poncirus is resistant to all types of fungal diseases. Prickly lemon is afraid of injury to the roots, so transplants are undesirable. Trifoliatu should not be planted in windy areas. This plant prefers deep planting.

Caring for prickly lemon is quite simple. It will not require any preventive procedures or regular watering and fertilizing. Usually, natural precipitation and nutritional value of the soil are sufficient for the poncirus, but if it is dry, it is advisable to water it at least once a week to stimulate plant growth. Old or damaged branches should be cut during the spring inspection, and if you want to control the height of an adult tree, then shorten the entire crown a little (by no more than a third). In the spring for adult plants can be applied to the soil organic fertilizer. Loosen the soil near the wheel circle is not necessary.

Pontirus is propagated by seeds, but their germination period is rather short: you shouldn’t sow dried material, as the seeds lose their ability to germinate. Also trifoliate can be propagated by cuttings.

In landscape design, poncirus is used as a tapeworm or in groups, while due to its strong roots it can be used in protective plantings, and in densely growing hedges. By creating a thick barbed wall, Poncirus will protect the garden not only from unwanted guests, but also from stray animals. This representative of citrus fruit looks good over paths, near buildings or fences. Partners for him should be chosen so that the colors of the greenery and the type of flowering plants are contrasting, for example, it is well combined with trifoliate with fruit trees, conifers, and silver-leaved crops. Grassy perennials should not be planted under the trifoliate. Poncirus attracts numerous birds to the garden. It is used for grafting fruitful citruses, thereby increasing their winter hardiness.

Soil and care for her

It can grow on almost any soil, but prefers loose and moderately moist soil. The procedure for loosening the soil near the wheel circle is not carried out.

Formative and sanitary pruning tolerates well. In early spring, it is necessary to trim the damaged and dried shoots. For the formation of the height of the crown to be trimmed its third part.

Shelter for the winter

When growing wild lemon in a harsh winter climate, you cannot do without shelter. As a covering material is recommended to use non-woven material and lapnik.

Experienced gardeners are not advised to disturb the root system with a trifoliate transplant, since the slightest injury to the roots will have a negative impact on the development of culture. When planting a seedling, it is recommended to dig a deep planting hole.

Fertilizers and fertilizing

Organic fertilization is necessary only for mature crops and only in springtime. They are introduced into the soil with watering.

The plant does not need regular watering, it has enough nutrition and soil moisture and precipitation. In case of long dry and hot summer weather without rain, watering will still be needed - once every 7-10 days.

Poncirus in landscape design

Poncirus is planted as a hedge, as well as a decorative ornament. A thick prickly fence will protect against uninvited guests (for example, from stray dogs) and will be an excellent decor on the garden and backyard.

Citrus culture can be combined with various types of trees and shrubs. Its neighbors can be a variety of conifers and fruit plants, which will contrast with each other shades and shapes.

In medicine

Poncirus three-leaf is not a pharmacopoeial plant and is not used in official medicine. However, in the medical practice of the East, the use of poncirus is very extensive. They mainly use the stems, bark, seeds and roots of poncirus.

In folk medicine, the most commonly used unripe dried fruits of the plant are three-leaf poncirus, which are used for stomach disorders, as an antiemetic, antispastic agent. Infusions and decoctions based on this plant promote urination, and also stimulate lactation.

The fruits of the plant are not used fresh because of the unpleasant taste, but they are suitable for processing and preparation of vitamin tonic drinks.

Contraindications and side effects

Contraindications to the use of ponciris trifoliata are the period of pregnancy, lactation, children's age, as well as individual intolerance.

Trifolyaty fruits, or rather zest, contain a lot of essential oils, so they can be used as a natural fragrance (for example, put dried fruits (or zest) in a thin fabric bag and put in a cupboard or chest of drawers with bedding, towels and etc.).

In gardening

Poncirus trilotus - one of the most cold-resistant representatives of citrus, tolerates lowering the temperature to 18-20 ° C, prefers deep, loose and moist soil. Propagated by seeds that do not like long-term storage. It tolerates a haircut.

Poncirus is ornamental all year round, in the period of bright flowering and abundant fruiting. In summer, the plant has a green color, and in autumn the leaves change their muted color to bright lemon. Poncirus is resistant to causative agents of certain diseases, such as tristeza and xyloporosis. Due to these qualities, it is widely used in California, Australia, Japan and Argentina as a dwarf stock for various types of citrus fruits (orange, mandarin, etc.), as well as in breeding. Plants grafted on it have a dwarf growth, are distinguished by endurance and yield.

The plant is suitable for single and group plantings, perfectly serves as a protective plantings and almost impassable hedges. Poncirus three-leaf is usually grown as a street-ornamental plant in the eastern part of the United States, moderately warm regions of Japan, China, in Western Europe.

In cooking

The fruits are very bitter, inedible fresh, but great for making marmalade. Dried fruits can be used as a seasoning for meat, they are added for flavor in jam and liqueurs.

Also, the fruits of the plant contain a lot of pectin, and the presence of citric acid in them allows you to prepare acidic drinks that help febrile patients.

Botanical description

Poncirus three-leaf is a small deciduous tree, often multilateral, up to 5 m tall, with a spreading tent-shaped crown. The trunks are covered with beautiful, light green bark, young shoots are green, oblate and very prickly. The spines are located in the axils of the leaves and reach 5 cm. The leaves are 10-12 cm long, trifoliate, with shiny leaves on winged petioles, crenate, dull yellowish-green, naked.

The flowers are white, up to 5 cm in diameter, axillary, with a strong lemon scent, bloom before the leaves appear. The fruit is orange, rounded, when ripe, bright yellow, with a hairy fragrant peel and bitter, oily, inedible pulp, with numerous seeds. The outer layer is called flavedo (from the Latin. Flavus - yellow), contains a large number of pieces of iron that secrete essential oil. The second layer - albedo (from Lat. Albus - white) is a white spongy structure in mature fruits. Flowering and fruiting comes from 4-5 years of age.


The main regions where ponzirus grows are the Mediterranean, Central America, Southeast Asia, in Russia - the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus (Sochi - Batumi).

Naturally grows in Central and North China, the Himalayas. Cultivated in Japan, Australia, Argentina, USA and many other countries.

Preparation of raw materials

For medicinal purposes, harvest all parts of the plant. The stems, leaves and fruits are harvested at the time of maximum flowering, the fruits (including those falling from the trees) and the seeds of the plant at the time of their maximum ripening. The stems and leaves of the plant are harvested by hand, or using a small pruner, laid out on paper or a clean cloth and dried in the open air. The fruits of poncirus trilobate washed in cold running water, cut across, then get rid of the seeds and dried naturally in the sun. After the drying process, the dried parts of the plant are poured into glass dishes or thick paper bags and stored for 1 year.

Chemical composition

The fruits of poncirus trilobate contain the essential oil of light yellow color, sugar, citric acid, galacturonic acid, vitamins A, B, C, sesquiterpenes (limen, cadinene), flavonoids (citronin, hesperidin, diosmin, 7-rhamnoside eridiciol), coumarin derivatives (limettin , meranzin, aurapten, biokangelitsin, bergamottin), pectins. The seeds of the fruit contain fatty oil and the bitter substance limonin, in the peel - vitamins P and C. Also essential oil was found in the stems and leaves of poncirus.

Pharmacological properties

Poncirus is considered by scientists as a potential basis for the development of broad-spectrum drugs, since the biologically active substances that make up the plant have proven multi-activity. As a result of experiments conducted by a group of Korean scientists in rats, the extract of the fruit of poncirus trilotus has established itself as a means for treating gastritis. It was also found that the fruits of poncirus increase intestinal motility.

The effect of the decoction (1: 1) of the mature and immature fruits of poncirus cultivated in various areas was tested in animal experiments. It has been established that decoction causes relaxation of the isolated uterus and intestine of the white mouse, increases the tone of the pregnant rabbit uterus. In 1/3 experiments similar effects were not observed.

Similar results were obtained when studying the pharmacological properties of tincture and liquid extract of mature Poncirus fruits. The action of drugs is very similar to the pharmacological effects of adrenaline. The differences lie in the fact that the effect of the drugs on the isolated uterus of the white mouse and the isolated rabbit intestine is longer than that of adrenaline.

Long-term experiments to study the effect of an aqueous extract (1: 1) of mature and immature poncirus fruits on the uterus of a rabbit, stomach and intestines of a dog (the extract was administered either with food or as an enema) showed that the extract has a clear stimulating effect on the uterus, improves tone and enhances its reduction, it has a tonic effect on the peristalsis of the stomach and intestines of the dog. In humans, the extract causes almost the same effect as in a rabbit. The effect of poncirus fruits on the stomach and intestines is different and depends on whether an organ is isolated or not. Based on this, it is assumed that the drug has an effect through the cortex of the cerebral hemispheres.

Use in traditional medicine

In folk medicine, the immature dried fruit is used for stomach disorders, as an anti-emetic, aphrodisiac, antispastic agent. They also promote urination, improve the performance of the gastrointestinal tract. The fruits of poncirus are named when they feel squeezed in the chest area, when blood stagnates, as well as with rheumatism, lumbago and against intestinal parasites.

A thick decoction of the immature fruit of poncirus is an excellent remedy for the omission of the stomach. A decoction of the mature fruits of poncirus is recommended as a short bath. In case of bloody diarrhea, the use of roasted matured poncirus fruits is worn to powder.

History reference

The first description of poncirus trilandus and an indication of its use as a stock appeared in the book "Han Yen-Chih's Ch Lu", written in 1178 and translated in 1923. The author was unable to determine when exactly the plant reached European territory, but it is known that William Saunders from the USDA received it from Japan in 1869.


1. On the conditionality of specifying the class of dicotyledons as a higher taxon for the group of plants described in this article, see the section “APG Systems” of the article “Dicotyledons”.

2. Vvedensky, AI, Family LXXXIII Rutaceae - Rutaceae // Flora of the USSR. In 30 t. / Started with the manual and under the main editorship of Acad. V.L. Komarova, Ed. Volumes B. K. Shishkin and E. G. Bobrov. - M. —L .: Publishing House of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, 1949. - T. XIV. - p. 234. - 790 p. - 4000 copies

3. Genus 8. Poncirus - Poncirus // Trees and Shrubs of the USSR. Wild, cultivated and promising for introduction. / Ed. Toma S. Ya. Sokolov. - M. —L .: Publishing House of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, 1958. - T. IV. Angiosperms. Family Bean - Pomegranate. - p. 245–246. - 976 s. - 2500 copies

4. The world of cultivated plants. Reference book / Baranov V.D., Ustimenko G.V. - M .: Thought, 1994. - p. 262. - 381 p. - ISBN 5-244-00494-8.

5. Plant life. In 6 t. / Ch. ed. Corr. Academy of Sciences of the USSR, prof. Al A. Fedorov. - M .: Education, 1981. - Vol. 5, Part 2. Flowering plants. Ed. A.L. Tahtajyan. - p. 245.

Poncirus cultivation

Temperature conditions . The optimum temperature range is from 18 to 24 ° C. At night, it is desirable to lower the temperature to 13 - 15 ° C. At higher temperatures, it is necessary to increase the irrigation and humidity of the air. At temperatures below 13 ° C, plants slow down their growth and fall into a dormant period.

Lighting . The maximum possible lighting with access to direct sunlight in the morning and evening hours for 5 - 6 hours daily. Light shading is possible only on very hot summer days. A pot with a plant must be rotated about a quarter of a turn every week so that the poncirus develops symmetrically.

Care . With the beginning of growth, prune too high or weak shoots to stimulate the appearance of lateral processes. Citrus plants can be placed outdoors during the summer. Remember that all plants should be moved gradually - so that they are accustomed to new conditions of existence.

Для наступления плодоношения да и просто гармоничного развития цитрусового деревца очень важно правильно сформировать крону растения. The first pinching of rooted cuttings or plants obtained from seeds is carried out when they reach a height of 20 cm. Shoots extending from the main trunk of a tree are called first-order shoots - they are pinched when they reach a length of about 20 cm. This procedure, like the rest , it makes sense to carry out when the branches are still soft - so you can simply pinch them off and the plant will not even notice. In the place where the first order shoots were nipped, a fork of 3 orders usually appears - they are shortened when they also reach a length of 20 cm. Accordingly, branches of 4 order form on their tops - they are left about 10 cm long. The first flowering will occur on shoots 4 and 5 orders of magnitude.

Cut old and diseased branches in a timely manner - all work should only be carried out with a sharp sterile shears and, if necessary, sprinkle the cut sections with crushed activated charcoal. Do not place plants near heating systems - they will respond in the fall with abundant leaf fall.

Substrate . Pontsiruses adapt well to most types of soil, even nutrient poor. The soil should consist of peat, leaf humus, perlite or vermiculite to improve drainage and have a slightly acidic pH.

Top dressing . Every 2 weeks in spring and summer.

Purpose . Citrus plants can disinfect the surrounding atmosphere. Poncirus is often used as a stock for cultivated citrus plants.

Flowering time . April May.

Air humidity . If the air in the room becomes too dry or the temperature of the contents is high, increase the humidity with the help of a room humidifier or by placing the plant on a tray with wet pebbles. Make sure that the water in the pan does not touch the bottom of the plant pot. You can spray the leaves with water at room temperature. Pontsiruses like well ventilated rooms with a constant stream of fresh air, but without cold drafts.

Soil moisture . The soil should be uniformly wet, but not swampy. Between irrigation, the top layer 3-5 cm thick is dried a little. In the fall, the frequency of irrigation is slightly reduced.

Transfer . Young plants are transplanted annually - as they grow in larger pots. Adult plants need to be transplanted every 2 - 3 years. For large tub plants, they simply change the top layer of the soil to fresh each year.

Breeding . Pontziruses unlike most citruses reproduce more often by seeds and often form self-sowing in their natural habitat. Stem cuttings about 10 cm long, in spring and summer, with the use of growth hormones. Rooting is carried out under the shelter of a transparent plastic cap or glass for 6 to 8 weeks.

Pests and diseases . Red spider mites. Mealybugs prefer young trees. The whitefly hides on the underside of the leaves, sucking the juice. Aphids make the leaves curl and become crimped.

Citrus trees are prone to a large number of fungal diseases affecting the roots, trunk and branches, foliage and fruits.

Note . With proper care, ponticus is able to grow and bear fruit in room culture for many years. Poncirus fruits are edible, but bitter-sour in taste. Plant stems are long - up to 3 - 5 cm spines, protect your hands with gloves when working with him and use caution.

Hydroponics .

Use: medicinal properties

Consider the impact that wild lemon can have on the human body.

  • Immunity. Eating a fruit helps to increase the body's defenses, saturating it with ascorbic and folic acid. As a result, the risks of catarrhal diseases are significantly reduced.
  • Teeth. Due to the acids and oils contained in the lemon, the breath will be fresh, the microflora in the mouth will be restored, which prevents the appearance of caries. In addition, lemon juice helps whiten tooth enamel.
  • Leather. Wild lemon allows for a short period of time to get rid of acne, to eliminate violations of the integrity of the skin, remove acne, age spots. Lemon juice rejuvenates, regenerates and soothes the skin.
  • Stomach. Eating fruit will help you get rid of heartburn, which often appears in case of an increase in the level of acidity in the stomach. Food will be digested faster, and all “waste” will be dissolved.
  • Blood. The use of poncirus helps cleanse the blood of toxins, improves blood circulation through the veins. In addition, the fruit increases hemoglobin.
  • A heart. The fruit has a low calorie content and is saturated with fiber, which helps cleanse the intestines from toxins, and this prevents the development of obesity, which in most cases leads to the emergence of cardiac diseases.
  • Intestines. Since the composition contains dietary fiber and a large amount of water, the release of harmful substances is accelerated, which allows you to quickly cope with constipation or diarrhea.
  • Sleep. Poncirus is rich in B vitamins, which are necessary for a healthy full sleep. And sleep contributes to a good mood, high performance and vigor.
  • Pressure. Regular consumption of fruit in moderate dosages helps to normalize pressure, get rid of migraine attacks and dizziness.
  • Youth. The composition of poncirus helps to eliminate cholesterol from the body and accelerate cell regeneration. As a result, aging processes are slowed down and wrinkles are smoothed.
  • Bones. Wild lemon contains large amounts of calcium, so your joints and bones will always be healthy.

In life and landscape design

Wild lemon peel contains a large amount of essential oils, so the fruit can be used as a natural fragrance. For example, put dried zest in a fabric bag and leave it in a cupboard or chest of drawers. Often the tree is used to create landscape compositions, it can be found on the streets in the eastern part of the United States, as well as in some areas of China and Japan. In addition, due to the presence of thorns, trees are used as protective plantings, since it is hardly possible to get through them unharmed.

As a stock

It is believed that Poncirus is a good stock. This is true, but you need to consider some points. The use of wild lemon as a stock is justified if done on an industrial scale. If you try to instill in it ordinary lemons, and grow them in indoor conditions, it is unlikely that something will turn out.

This is due to the fact that in winter the plant will constantly lose foliage. Poncirus is suitable as a stock only for plants that can tolerate winter in cool conditions.

Sowing and reproduction

Most often practicing the cultivation of tree seed. This is done as follows:

  1. first you need to soak the seeds in water, add growth stimulants to the liquid,
  2. leave for 5-6 hours
  3. moisten the soil intended for planting
  4. sow seeds in a loose, light soil, deepening them by 0.5-1 cm,
  5. cover crops with film, put the container to light in a room with a temperature of +23. +28 ° C
  6. after 7-10 days check whether shoots appeared.
It is worth noting that the picking is not carried out for up to 3 months, therefore, before sowing it is necessary to prepare the appropriate containers.

Sometimes reproduction is carried out by cutting. For this, it is necessary to select cuttings, the height of which should be at least 10 cm, it is better to do this in spring or summer. When using this method can not do without the use of growth hormones. To do this, the cuttings are covered with a plastic cap, the preparation is added to the ground and the disembarkation is carried out after 6-8 weeks.

Soil and fertilizer

The tree can adapt to any soil, but it is better to plant the plant in loose and moderately moist soil. The procedure for loosening the wheel circle is not necessary. Well, if the soil will be peat, leaf humus, perlite or vermiculite - this will improve drainage. It is necessary to feed only mature plants in the spring. To do this, use organic fertilizers.

Watering and moisture

If there is dry air in the room, it is necessary to moisten it or place the tree on a pallet with moistened pebbles. You need to ensure that the water does not come into contact with the bottom of the pot. Also in the presence of dry air in the room is recommended to spray the foliage with warm water. It is better to place poncirus in a room that is well ventilated, but at the same time drafts should be completely excluded. The soil should be evenly wet, but it should not be allowed to be swamped. Irrigate when the top layer is dried by 3.5 cm. In the autumn, watering should be reduced.

It is recommended in early spring to prune damaged and dried shoots. The plant is well tolerated as pruning for the formation of the crown, and sanitary procedure. To form a correct and beautiful height of the crown, it is necessary to trim its third part.

Wintering and frost resistance

Growing plants at home, people often place them on the windowsill. With the arrival of winter, the question arises whether the temperature near the window is comfortable for maintenance, because it is lower there than in the whole apartment. You shouldn’t worry about it, because Poncirus tolerates low temperatures, it will not freeze and will not start to hurt.

Sometimes in the autumn, the owners of the plant take it out onto the glassed-in balcony, because the plant tolerates coolness well, and at a temperature of +8. +12 ° C will feel very comfortable.

If the wild lemon is grown on the street, you should not worry about it with the advent of winter. The plant has good frost resistance and is able to withstand temperatures down to -15. -20 ° C. If a tree is grown in harsh winters, then it is worth covering it with spruce or non-woven material for the winter.

Diseases and pests

Like all representatives of citrus, Ponzirus is subject to attacks of the exocortis virus. They are manifested in damage to the bark of plants, chlorosis of the leaves, increased branching of the shoots, which gradually leads to its death.

Do not allow the soil to dry out, as this can lead to twisting and falling foliage. Violation of the rules of watering also leads to yellowing of the foliage.

If you notice that the leaves have become pale, this indicates a lack of fertilizer. Lack of flowering indicates a too small size of the pot or lack of sunlight.

In the presence of dry air, the plant is often attacked by scutes and mites. A characteristic sign of the attack of the shield; brown patches on the foliage. Over time, the leaves will turn pale and fall off, and the flowers and fruits will wither. In order to get rid of this pest, it is necessary to carry out the treatment with special insecticidal preparations.

If the foliage became sluggish, and a spiderweb began to appear in the internodes, this indicates that a spider mite settled on the tree. If the injury is minor, it is sufficient to wash the wood with soapy water. If the situation is more complicated, it is worth spraying the plant with insecticides. In addition, young plants often attack mealybugs, whiteflies can settle on the underside of the foliage. Unfortunately, citrus plants often undergo fungal attacks, resulting in a rhizome, stem, twigs, leaves and fruits.

Poncirus three-leafed - wild, but very useful plant. However, before using it for medicinal purposes, you should definitely consult with your doctor. You can grow a tree without much difficulty at home.