Office of Research, UC Riverside
Office of Technology Commercialization

'Melogold'

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Citrus Tree
Photo by UCR Citrus Variety Collection

‘Melogold’ is a white fleshed fruit sometimes slightly bitter that is tender, juicy and nearly seedless. It is a hybrid of pummelo and grapefruit that was developed and patented by University of California in 1985 (US Plant Patent PP6,001). It has a mild flavor with a gold color rind. The patent has expired. This variety can be accessed through the Citrus Clonal Protection Program.

Parentage/origins: ‘Melogold’ is a triploid hybrid of Acidless pummelo and a 4N seedy Marsh grapefruit.  It was developed at the University of California, Riverside by Drs. Cameron and Soost.  It is a sibling of ‘Oroblanco’ grapefruit hybrid and was released in 1986.  Mellow flavor (low acid) = Melo, gold for the deeper color of the rind than ‘Oroblanco’, hence ‘Melogold’. Patent on this cultivar is held by the University of California.

Rootstocks of accession: Carrizo citrange, C-35 citrange, Troyer citrange

Season of ripeness at Riverside: Early December to March

Season of ripeness at Lindcove: Early November through February

Notes and observations:

The general characteristics of the fruit resemble those of white-fleshed grapefruit cultivars, but are more pummelo-like than 'Oroblanco'. Fruit size is much larger than 'Marsh' grapefruit and 'Oroblanco' at all test locations. The flesh is tender and juicy, separating well from the segment membranes. Percent juice has been equal to 'Marsh' and slightly higher than 'Oroblanco'. 'Melogold' may have a slight bitterness, particularly early and late in the harvest season. In taste tests, 'Melogold' has always been preferred by a wide margin over 'Marsh', but usually was a very close second to 'Oroblanco'. At Riverside, solids have consistently been

‘Melogold’ trees grow vigorously to a large size with a somewhat spreading form.  ‘Melogold’ fruits are oblate in form with a slightly flattened base.  The rind is smooth and medium to dark yellow at maturity and thinner than ‘Oroblanco’ for a similarly-sized fruit.  The large fruits typically average one pound in weight.  The flesh is pale yellow in color, seedless, tender, and juicy.  The flavor is mild, sweet and reminiscent more of pummelo than of grapefruit.  ‘Melogold’ is early in its maturity and holds well on the tree.

Read the Patent of this variety