The grapefruit (Citrus × paradisi) is a subtropical citrus tree known for its sour to semi-sweet fruit, an 18th-century hybrid first bred in Barbados.
When found, it was named the "forbidden fruit”. The evergreen grapefruit trees usually grow to around 5–6 meters (16–20 ft) tall, although they can reach 13–15 meters (43–49 ft).
The leaves are glossy dark green, long (up to 15 centimeters (5.9 in)) and thin. It produces 5 cm (2 in) white four-petaled flowers. The fruit is yellow-orange skinned and generally an oblate spheroid in shape; it ranges in diameter from 10–15 centimeters (3.9–5.9 in).
The flesh is segmented and acidic, varying in color depending on the cultivars, which include white, pink and red pulps of varying sweetness (generally, the redder varieties are sweeter).
One ancestor of the grapefruit was the Jamaican sweet orange (Citrus sinensis), itself an ancient hybrid of Asian origin; the other was the Indonesian pomelo (C. maxima).
One story of the fruit's origins is that a certain "Captain Shaddock"brought pomelo seeds to Jamaica and bred the first fruit.
However, it probably originated as a naturally occurring hybrid.The hybrid fruit, then called "the forbidden fruit", was first documented in 1750 by a Welshman, Rev. Griffith Hughes, who described specimens from Barbados in The Natural History of Barbados.
Grapefruit comes in many varieties, determinable by color, which is caused by the pigmentation of the fruit in respect of its state of ripeness.
The most popular varieties cultivated today are red, white, and pink hues, referring to the internal pulp color of the fruit. The family of flavors range from highly acidic and somewhat sour to sweet and tart.
Grapefruit mercaptan, a sulfur-containing terpene, is one of the substances which has a strong influence on the taste and odor of grapefruit, compared with other citrus fruits.The furano coumarins found in grapefruit juice are natural chemicals.