(Citrus karna)

A wild growing tree of sadaphal

Family: Rutaceae

Synonym: Citrus aurantium var. karma

Other names: gambhru khatta, kharna khatta.

Sadaphal is a native of India.  It grows all over India upto an elevation of 1000 m.  Some botanists believe sadaphal to be natural hybrid between sour orange and lemon.


A thorny spreading tree, 4.5-6 m in height; leaves ovate or ovate oblong, 6.5-9.5 cm long and 4.5-5.5 cm broad; margin serrulate, articulated, petioles prominently winged;  flowers tinged with red or purple.

A fruit of sadaphal on tree

            Fruits variable, large ovate oblong, broadly mamillate, occasionally almost obtuse, 9-12 cm long, 8-11 cm in diameter, orange coloured, rind rough and irregular, thick, brittle, sweet, strongly adhering, core open at maturity, vesicles orange coloured, very juicy, sour, melting;  seeds many, cotyledons white, moderately polyembryonic.  This is widely used as a rootstock for mandarin orange in many parts of India.  Sadaphal is grown in home as well as gardens.


             Sadaphal is edible.  In fact it is the rind which is liked.  It tastes mildly sweet.  To eat a sadaphal fruit, it is thinly peeled with a sharp knife and the yellow part of the peel is removed.  Then the fruit is cored and most vesicles are taken out.  Spices are

Sadaphal fruits

 pasted on the inner surface.  A few drops of oil are put on a burning piece of charcoal and the smoking charcoal is then put into the cored and marinated fruit and the fruit is closed for some 30-40 seconds.  This imparts a characteristic flavour to the fruit which is then cut into mall pieces and eaten.  This preparation is very popular with women who have a sadaphal party while basking in sun during winter days.

            Sadaphal is also used as a rootstock for mandarins in some parts of North India.