Mission and Modern Citrus Species Diversity of Baja California Peninsula Oases

Rafael de Grenade, Robert Krueger, Gary Paul Nabhan, Micheline Cariño Olvera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The spring-fed mission oases of the Baja California peninsula, Mexico, hold several species, varieties and unique hybrids of heritage citrus, which may represent valuable genetic resources. Citrus species first arrived to the peninsula with the Jesuit missionaries (1697-1768), and new varieties were introduced during the colonial and rancho periods following the mission era. These heritage trees are grown in field and house gardens as ornamental, fruit and shade trees. Commercial citrus varieties introduced from the United States have become a strong source of economic revenue for peninsula agriculturalists. A few of the peninsula oases support commercial citrus groves, though these are primarily found in the broader valleys of the peninsula where groundwater is tapped for irrigation. The isolated environments of the mission oases and surrounding ranches have facilitated propagation of unique citrus types, and these have stabilized through integration into the cultural practices of the region. We identify and document citrus of the peninsula oases to serve as a baseline for those interested in the cultural ecology of citrus and citrus genetic resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-282
Number of pages17
JournalEconomic Botany
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 3 2014


  • Baja California Peninsula
  • Citrus
  • Crop Genetic Resources
  • Ethnobotany
  • Heritage Fruit Trees
  • Oases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture


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