Weighty grapefruit fruits grow on a tall, spreading tree in bunches of 5-7 pieces, for which they got their name - grapes. To withstand such a load, this citrus tree simply needs to have elastic and strong branches. The way it is. Ripening a grapefruit is a long process, but once started, it can last up to six months, since the fruits do not reach their final ripeness at the same time.
Grapefruit gained widespread popularity in the 19th century, although these evergreen citrus trees were first discovered on the island of Barbados in 1750. The large-fruited fruit went down in history immediately as a cultural one, since nothing of the kind was found in the wild. Scientists concluded that a natural hybridization process between pomelo and orange contributed to its appearance. How the grapefruit grows can be guessed from its name, because in English it means "grape fruit".
For someone who has bought grapefruit more than once, it is very difficult to imagine a bunch of grapes of at least 2-3 fruits, reaching a weight of 500 g. But, nevertheless, massive grapefruit fruits grow like this: heap, 5-7 pieces, but it happens and twice as much.
The grapefruit tree is the tallest of all citrus varieties. It reaches an average height of 5-7 meters. Some varieties can even grow up to 12 meters. The wood is quite elastic and durable, with a smooth gray-brown bark. Therefore, the branches are able to hold such a number of weighty fruits.
Large oval leaves of grapefruit reach 15-17 cm in length. They form a dense spreading crown, which is in the form of an ellipse or a ball. During the flowering period, you can observe an amazing picture that will take your breath away. The tree is covered with large, up to 5 cm in diameter, white flowers with a fragrant aroma. This advantage allowed the grapefruit to be only an ornamental plant for a long time.
As a result of modern breeding, up to 20 grapefruit varieties have been created, which differ in ripening time, skin and pulp color. The latter can be very light (almost white or yellowish), pink or bright red. The redder the flesh of the grapefruit, the sweeter it is.
In what conditions does grapefruit grow
Grapefruit is a thermophilic plant, so it prefers a subtropical climate, like all of its relatives. In our country, this is the Black Sea coast, in America, grapefruit is cultivated in Florida and Texas. Naturally, large plantations in his homeland - in India, the supply of grapefruit to European countries is puzzled by Cyprus, Israel, Brazil, China.
The plant is demanding on sunlight and soil fertility. It is necessary to monitor the sufficient content of organic matter and mineral salts. Subject to all the necessary conditions, the grapefruit begins to bear fruit for 4-5 years. The fruits grow and ripen for a long time: from 9 to 12 months and are not removed at the same time. In regions where ripening begins in September, the grapefruit is harvested until April. In some areas, the crop ripens in February. So, on the island of Juventud (Cuba), a real celebration is organized in February in honor of the ripening of grapefruit, which lasts for several days and ends with a feast.