Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Citrus
Species: C. platymamma
Binomial name
Citrus platymamma
Hort. ex Tanaka

Byeonggyul (병귤, Korean pronunciation: [pjʌŋ.ɡjul]) or Citrus platymamma is a Korean citrus fruit native to Jeju Island.[1][2] In Jeju language, it is called Benjul(벤줄; pronounced [pen.dʑul]).

Two old byeonggyul trees in Doryeon-dong were designated as treasures of Jeju on 7 January 1998,[3][4] however one died on 5 October 2005. The remaining tree was again designated as a Natural Monument of South Korea on 13 January 2011.[5] It is presumed to be around 250 years old and cand be found on 21, Doryeon 6-gil, Jeju-si, Jeju-do(33°30′34″N 126°34′57″E / 33.509321°N 126.582428°E / 33.509321; 126.582428).[6]

In 2010, several 80-year-old byeonngyul trees have been transplanted to Geummul gwawon(금물과원, "Geummul orchard"), an orchard once set out for growing citruses consumed at the court of the Joseon Dynasty, disappeared with the end of the dynasty, and restored in 2010 by Seogwipo Agricultural Technology Center.[7]


Jeju benjul(벤줄) and Korean byeonggyul(병귤) are cognates. They share the same Chinese characters: byeong(, "bottle") and gyul(, "citrus").

Tamnaji, a chronicle of Jeju Island published in 1653 by a Joseon dynasty governor Yi Wonjin, mentions byeonggyul using the name byeolgyul(Hangul: 별귤; Hanja: 別橘, "peculiar citrus"). According to the author, the fruit is usually called by name of byeonggyul, a compound of byeong(, "bottle") and gyul(, "citrus"), because its shape, tapering towards the top, resembles an upside down jongji(종지, "tiny bowl").[8]

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Description and uses

Genomic evidence has suggested that byeonggyul, sweet oranges, and key limes diverged from a common ancestor.[9] Byeonggyul is known to be more resistant to cold, blight and insect attack than other related citrus varieties.

The thornless tree grows to 4–5 metres (13–16 ft) tall and around 2–2.5 metres (6 ft 7 in–8 ft 2 in) wide. The dense, thin, and low branches give the tree a shrubby appearance. Its leaves are ovate with pointy tips, around 6.5 centimetres (2.6 in) long and around 2.5 centimetres (0.98 in) wide. The flowers are formed of five white ovate petals.

Like that of the related citruses, the byeonggyul fruit has a fragrant dimpled rind. The yellow to yellow-orange fruit with an elongated basal portion and a bulbous end grows to 72 millimetres (2.8 in) long and 60 millimetres (2.4 in) broad. It weighs around 105 grams (3.7 oz).

The flesh can be eaten raw, and the peel can be used fresh or dried, whole or zested. Fresh zest of a byeonggyul is used for tteok(rice cakes) and other Korean food as a spice or for garnish, while dried peel is usually used for making tea. Byeonggyul tea was used as home remedies to treat respiratory ailments, loss of appetite or light digestive problems.

See also


Wikispecies has information related to: Citrus platymamma
  1. "Taxon: Citrus platymamma hort. ex Tanaka". U.S. National Plant Germplasm System. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  2. Kim, Young-Cheon; Koh, Kyung-Soo; Koh, Jeong-Sam (2010). "Changes of Flavonoids in the Peel of Jeju Native Citrus Fruits during Maturation". Food Science and Biotechnology. 10 (5): 16–20. ISSN 1226-7708 via DBpia.
  3. "제주특별자치도 기념물 제20-2호" [Treasure 20-2 of Jeju Province] (in Korean). Cultural Heritage Administration. 7 January 1998. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  4. "제주특별자치도 기념물 제20-3호" [Treasure 20-3 of Jeju Province] (in Korean). Cultural Heritage Administration. 7 January 1998. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  5. "Natural Monument 523". Cultural Heritage Administration. 13 January 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  6. 고, 창범 (18 March 1994). "<토종을살리자> 21. 제주 감귤 - 제주시 도련동 고중휴씨 집" [<Revive Native Species> 21. Jeju Citrus - House of Mr Ko Junghyu in Doryeon-dong, Jeju-si]. JoongAng Ilbo (in Korean). Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  7. 조선닷컴 미디어취재팀 (19 June 2010). "100년 만에 부활한 '임금님 감귤농장'" [A Century Later Revival of the "Royal Orchard"]. The Chosun Ilbo (in Korean). Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  8. 이, 원진 (2007) [1653]. Jeju Education Museum, ed. 탐라지초본(상) [Tamnaji Draft(I)] (PDF) (in Korean). p. 50. 위는 넓고 아래는 졸아들어 마치 종지를 엎어 달아맨 듯하다. 그러므로 일명 "병귤"이라고도 한다.
  9. Lee, Minjee; Park, Jihye; Lee, Haeyoun; Sohn, Seong-Han; Lee, Jungho (2015). "Complete chloroplast genomic sequence of Citrus platymamma determined by combined analysis of Sanger and NGS data". Horticulture, Environment, and Biotechnology. 56 (5): 704–711. doi:10.1007/s13580-015-0061-x. ISSN 2211-3452 via Springer.
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