The grapefruit was at one time called the 'forbidden fruit' and is believed to be of Caribbean origin. Grapefruit trees reach a height of between 22 and 30 feet at maturity. Leaves are 3 to 5 inches long, pointed at the tips with a rounded base. Flowers are white. The leaves are evergreen, living for as long as two years. The grapefruit itself is actually classified as a berry (hesperidium). Grapefruit at maturity are bright yellow with a thick peel with white, pale yellow, pink or red flesh. Seed content depends upon the variety ranging from an average of 50 to 60 seeds in a 'Duncan' or a 'Foster' to almost no seeds in a seedless variety like a 'Marsh' or a 'Star Ruby'. Consult your tree care specialist for advice on the best grapefruit variety for your climate and region.
Unfortunately for tree growers in northern Florida, gulf states such as Alabama, Louisiana and Texas, and other regions which experience freezes occasionally during winter, the grapefruit is one of the most cold-sensitive of the citruses. Consequently, when planting grapefruits in marginal growing areas, choose your site carefully. Planting near the south sides of buildings may afford a level of protection. Be prepared to act quickly if freezing conditions are in the forecast.