Bergamot Sour Orange

General information:

Bergamot is commonly grouped with the sour oranges even though it is a hybrid of unknown origin. One parent was probably a sour orange, the other possibly a sweet lime or lemon. The rind and foliage are intensely aromatic. The oils from the rind are used to make perfumes and are the basis for eau de cologne. The oils are also used to flavor Earl Grey tea.

Bergamots are usually picked when they reach a full, yellow color. Originally, the oils were extracted by rolling the fruit on a hard surface by hand, then the liquid was collected. Now it is done mechanically. Fruit is small to medium size, juicy, with bitter flavor. Holds well on the tree, which is vigorous, slightly spreading and upright with large, dark green leaves.