The largest citrus fruit tree, that also produces the largest of citrus fruits, is the Pumello.
A common tree in the backyards and containers of Salt Lake houses, the fruit is native to south and south east Asia. Its Bengali name “Batabi lebu” is probably a modification of the word “Batavia”, which is the old name of Jakarta and suggests that its origin is the Indonesian island Java where Jakarta lies.
Scientifically known as Citrus grandis, the Pumello looks like a Grape Fruit, generally six to eight inches in diameter and weighs between one and 2kg.
It is usually pale green to yellow when ripe with sweet white to pink pulp and a very thick rind. The tree usually produces a large number of flowers in spring, but most of them fall off so that the remaining flowers can bear fruit. In Bengal, common varieties of the fruit are Krishnagar 1, Krishnagar 3, Assembly and Duncan Omorse.
Cultivation: Like other citrus trees, the Pumello grows well in tropical climates. It is also capable of adapting to dry weather with high rainfall.
It can be grown on a wide range of soils but rich sandy loam soils are ideal. Salt Lake soil is good for growing Pumello.