Synonym: Citrus grandis var. megaloxycarpa
English name: Sour pumello
Amilbed is a citrus fruit native to India. It mostly grows in the Assam region of the Eastern India.
The fruits are esteemed in medicine. It has been rated as the sourest citrus fruit in Indian folklore. They say that if a needle is inserted into an amilbed, it gets dissolved after a few minutes in its sour juice. Hence one popular name for this fruit is SUI KHHAAR KHATTA (needle dissolving sour fruit).
A medium sized hardy and vigorous tree up to 4.7 m in height with upright and spreading, round and compact crown.; trunk 17 cm in diameter, bark iron grey with straight thorns.
Leaves broadly elliptic to ovate oblong, serrate, obtuse, broadly cunceate base, scented; petiole 0.6 -1.5 cm long, narrowly winged, distinctly articulate.
Flowers creamy white, mostly terminal in clusters of 4-5; highly fragrant.
Fruits are oblong ovate, lemon yellow, rough, coarse, apex rounded to slightly nipples, base slightly depressed, rind 1.8-2.3 cm thick, strongly adhering, pulp light yellow and coarse, vesicles spindle shaped to cylindrical, loosely packed, seeds many, yellowish white, ovate conical. These weigh from 400 – 700 g.
The fruit is very sour and therefore it is not much used. At times, it is used as a souring agent for pickles and other dishes in East India.
Amilbed is not cultivated on commercial scale but is popularly grown in homes and gardens just for the sake of curiosity and collection. Even several cultivars of amilbed viz. Bor –tenga, Hukma-tenga, Holong-tenga and Jamir-tenga exist there in Assam.