Thursday, 11 February 2010

Grapefruit Saga

When we bought our house in Taradeau eight years ago Madame, the owner, proudly showed us the lemon tree that she had planted herself. Never mind, she said, it hadn’t borne any fruit yet, but one day she was sure it would. This became a bit of a joke between us and three years ago she even bought us a new plant with lemons on it so we could no longer tease her that we wanted our money back as we had been sold a dud …

Then last year we spied three flowers on our lemon tree and eventually three fruit appeared, but instead of being lemon shaped they were completely spherical … and they kept on growing. Imagine our surprise (and Madame’s) when we eventually cut open the fruit to discover they were delicious grapefruit !

As you can (hopefully) see in the photo, this year the tree has fruited prolifically – Madame has had her fill and so have other neighbours and friends in the village and one has even made grapefruit marmalade for us.

I would like to know if we have the only grapefruit in the Var? According to Hugo Latymer in The Mediterranean Gardener grapefruit trees only survive above -3°C, so there can’t be many around and ours must be a particularly hardy one. If any one knows of any growing around here I would be fascinated to hear about it.


[There’s a very interesting article in French on the Gerbeaud site about grapefruit]


  1. great story, just to show that in a sheltered spot some of the borderline plants, shrubs and trees can survive.

  2. Hi Michelle, Looking at the temperatures for grapefruit given in Elisabeth's article, it seems incredible that your tree has survived.



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