PNG images: Grapefruit

The grapefruit (Citrus × paradisi) is a subtropical citrus tree known for its sour to semi-sweet somewhat bitter fruit . Grapefruit is a hybrid originating in Barbados as an accidental cross between two introduced species, sweet orange and pomelo or shaddock, both of which were introduced from Asia in the seventeenth century. When found, it was named the “forbidden fruit”; and it has also been misidentified with the pomelo.

The grapefruit's name alludes to clusters of the fruit on the tree, which often appear similar to grapes.

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The evergreen grapefruit trees usually grow to around 5–6 meters (16–20 ft) tall, although they can reach 13–15 m (43–49 ft). The leaves are glossy dark green, long (up to 15 centimeters (5.9 in)) and thin. It produces 5 cm (2 in) white four-petaled flowers. The fruit is yellow-orange skinned and generally an oblate spheroid in shape; it ranges in diameter from 10–15 cm (3.9–5.9 in). The flesh is segmented and acidic, varying in colour depending on the cultivars, which include white, pink and red pulps of varying sweetness (generally, the redder varieties are sweeter). The 1929 US Ruby Red (of the Redblush variety) has the first grapefruit patent.

One ancestor of the grapefruit was the Jamaican sweet orange (Citrus sinensis), itself an ancient hybrid of Asian origin; the other was the Indonesian pomelo (C. maxima). One story of the fruit's origins is that a certain "Captain Shaddock" brought pomelo seeds to Jamaica and bred the first fruit. However, it probably originated as a naturally occurring hybrid between the two plants some time after they had been introduced.

                     

The hybrid fruit, then called "the forbidden fruit", was first documented in 1750 by a Welshman, Rev. Griffith Hughes, who described specimens from Barbados in The Natural History of Barbados. Currently, the grapefruit is said to be one of the "Seven Wonders of Barbados".

The grapefruit was brought to Florida by Count Odet Philippe in 1823 in what is now known as Safety Harbor. Further crosses have produced the tangelo (1905), the Minneola tangelo (1931), and the oroblanco (1984).

The grapefruit was known as the shaddock or shattuck until the 19th century. Its current name alludes to clusters of the fruit on the tree, which often appear similar to grapes. Botanically, it was not distinguished from the pomelo until the 1830s, when it was given the name Citrus paradisi. Its true origins were not determined until the 1940s. This led to the official name being altered to Citrus × paradisi,the "×" identifying its hybrid origin.

An early pioneer in the American citrus industry was Kimball Chase Atwood, a wealthy entrepreneur who founded the Atwood Grapefruit Co. in the late 19th century. The Atwood Grove became the largest grapefruit grove in the world, with a yearly output of 80,000 boxes of fruit. It was there that pink grapefruit was first discovered in 1906.

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