C. × paradisi
|Citrus × paradisi|
The grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) is a subtropical citrus tree known for its relatively large, sour to semisweet, somewhat bitter fruit. The interior flesh is segmented and varies in color from pale yellow to dark pink.
Grapefruit is a citrus hybrid originating in Barbados as an accidental cross between the sweet orange (C. sinensis) and the pomelo or shaddock (C. maxima), both of which were introduced from Asia in the 17th century. When found, it was called the forbidden fruit. In the past it was referred to as the pomelo, but that term is now the common name for Citrus maxima.
In 2019, world production of grapefruits (combined with pomelos) was 9.3 million tonnes, of which 53% was in China. Other significant producers include Vietnam, United States and Mexico.
One of many citrus species grown in Barbados. This fruit is believed to have originated in Barbados as a natural cross between sweet orange (C. sinesis) and pomelo (C. grandis), both of which originated in Asia and were introduced by Europeans in the 17th century. The grapefruit first appeared as an illustration entitled 'The Forbidden Fruit Tree' in The Natural History of Barbados (1750) by Rev. Griffith Hughes. This accords with the scientific name, which literally is 'citrus of paradise'. The fruit seems to have been fairly commonly available around that time, since George Washington in his Barbados Journal (1750-1751) mentions 'the Forbidden Fruit' as one of the local fruit available at a dinner party he attended. The plant was later described in the 1837 Flora of Jamaica as the Barbados Grapefruit. The historical arguments and experimental work on leaf enzymes and oils from possible parents all support a Barbadian origin for the fruit.