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Citrus is a common term and genus of flowering plants in the rue family, Rutaceae, originating in tropical and subtropical southeast regions of the world. The most well known examples are the orange, lemon, grapefruit, and lime. The generic name originated in Latin, where it refers to Citrus medica, and was derived from the ancient Greek word for cedar, kεδρος. Some believe this was because Hellenistic Jews used the fruits of C. medica during Sukkot in place of a cedar cone, while others state it was due to similarities in the smell of citrus leaves and fruit with that of cedar. The taxonomy and systematics of the genus are complex and the precise number of natural species is unclear, as many of the named species are clonally propagated hybrids, and there is genetic evidence that even some wild, true-breeding species are of hybrid origin. Cultivated Citrus may be derived from as few as four ancestral species. Natural and cultivated origin hybrids include commercially important fruit such as the oranges, grapefruit, lemons, some limes, and some tangerines.

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