Different Types of Grapefruit From Around the World (With Pictures and Names)

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Yellow, red, green, white grapefruit
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Grapefruit is a type of citrus fruit that comes in red, pink, yellow, and white colors. When talking about types of grapefruit, its colors usually refer to the citrus flesh, not the rind color. The juicy grapefruit segmented flesh is surrounded by a thick skin that is generally shades of orange or yellow. Some kinds of grapefruit have dark green skin covering juicy sweet white flesh.

There are many types of grapefruit and most of them have a similar size, shape, and taste. Most types of grapefruit have a sour, bitter taste with some varieties being a bit sweeter.

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Did you know that varieties of yellow, pink and red colored grapefruits have many health benefits? Grapefruit has been linked to weight loss and helping to improve your immune system.

Grapefruits (Citrus paradisi) are a variety of hybrid fruit developed by crossing a sweet orange and pomelo. The result of this combination is a juicy round citrus fruit than can measure between 4” and 6” (10 – 15 cm) in diameter. Depending on the variety, the acidic flesh can be bitter to semi-sweet.

The name “grapefruit” seems to come from the way the citrus fruits grow on the trees. They grow in bunches similar to the way that grapes grow.

In this article, you can find out about many different varieties of grapefruit, as well as the father of all grapefruit, the pomelo.

Let’s look in more detail at the different grapefruit colors. Knowing the color of grapefruit pulp variety can help to determine its sweetness. Generally, pink and red colored grapefruits are sweeter than the yellow or white varieties.

Pink Grapefruit

For most people, varieties of pink colored grapefruit are the best-tasting grapefruits. Pink grapefruits have a great balance of sweetness and tartness when it comes to taste. The pink tangy flesh is usually very juicy and not as sour as yellow or white grapefruits.

For people on a weight-loss diet, pink grapefruits are usually the perfect breakfast choice. The tasty flesh provides a lot of fiber and vitamin C, as well as other nutrients. In fact, the pink color comes from beta-carotene and lycopene which are important antioxidants to help keep you healthy. (1)

Other reports indicate that pink grapefruit juice is one of the most nutrient-rich fruit juices available. (2)

Red Grapefruit

If you are looking to eat the sweetest type of grapefruit, then pick one of the red colored varieties. Usually, the deeper the redness of the pulp, the sweeter the grapefruit will be.

There are also many health benefits of eating red grapefruit. Some studies have shown that ½ a red grapefruit gives you all of your daily vitamin C requirements. Just like the pink varieties, red grapefruits are also a good source of lycopene and beta-carotene. Consumption of red varieties of grapefruit has also been associated with certain cardiovascular benefits. (3)

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Yellow or White Colored Grapefruit

White or yellow grapefruit varieties have creamy-yellow peels and yellow-whitish colored pulp. From all the grapefruit varieties, these are usually the sourest and least sweet. However, this balance of sweetness and sourness is exactly what many people look for in a delicious grapefruit.

White grapefruits also come in a variety of sizes ranging from 3” to 5” (8 – 13 cm) in diameter. Being a citrus fruit, all types of white grapefruit are rich in vitamin C and potassium as well as other vitamins and minerals.

Types of Grapefruit (With Pictures and Names)

When you see all the wonderful varieties of delicious types of grapefruit, it is easy to see why you should try some different varieties.

Duncan Grapefruit

duncan grapefruit

Duncan grapefruits have a light yellow peel and yellow-white juicy flesh with many seeds

Duncan grapefruits are a Florida cultivar that have a light yellow peel and yellow-white juicy flesh. This is a variety of grapefruit that contains a lot of seeds which means it is mostly grown for juicing.

These citrus fruits ripen on the tree and are a large type of grapefruit when they are fully ripe. The large round or ovate fruits can measure between 4” and 5” (10 – 13 cm) wide. Compared to other grapefruit cultivars, the Duncan variety is sweet and juicy and very aromatic.

Duncan grapefruits are the most popular type of grapefruit grown in California, Florida, Arizona, and Texas. Other grapefruit-producing countries in the world such as India also produce Duncan grapefruits.

Foster Grapefruit

foster grapefruit

Foster grapefruit is a variety from Florida that has a yellow peel with pink blushing

One type of succulent pink grapefruit is the Foster grapefruit. This is another variety from Florida that has a yellow peel with pink blushing.

Foster grapefruits are similar in size to Duncan grapefruits. Cutting through the smooth grapefruit peel reveals juicy pink pulp in about 13 or 14 segments. Due to the number of seeds in the grapefruit, this pink grapefruit variety is not popular.

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Star Ruby Grapefruit

star ruby grapefruit

The Star Ruby is a popular type of grapefruit with a delicious sweet-sour flavor.

The Star Ruby variety of grapefruit has very deep red flesh that is covered by a bright yellow peel. The reason why the Star Ruby grapefruit is so popular is due to its delicious sweet-sour flavor and lack of seeds.

The Star Ruby grapefruit was developed from the Foster grapefruit tree. It is also related to the Ruby Red grapefruit. The pulp color of the Star Ruby is more intense and juicier than both of these varieties. In fact, this is the reddest type of grapefruit that you can buy.

One of the beauties of the Star Ruby variety is that you get 3 times more juice from the Star Ruby than the Ruby Red varieties. The flesh also rarely contains any seeds.

This pink grapefruit cultivar is a fairly large variety. The grapefruit tree grows to between 15 and 20 ft. (4.5 – 6 m) and has large green glossy leaves. Due to the thick rind of its fruit, the grapefruit can measure about 6” (15 cm) in diameter.

The intense red color of the Star Ruby pulp shows that this is also a sweet variety of grapefruit. The grapefruit also has some tartness to the taste which is typical of all grapefruits.

Ruby Red Grapefruit

red ruby grapefruit

Ruby Red is one of the most popular types of pink grapefruit

The Ruby Red is a popular type of pink grapefruit that has helped develop a number of new grapefruit cultivars.

Due to it being easy to grow and producing great tasting grapefruits, the Ruby Red is one of the world’s most popular pink grapefruits.

This medium-sized grapefruit has orange skin with some hints of red blushing. The juicy pink flesh has a great balance of sweetness and slight tartness. This gives the Ruby Red grapefruit a taste unrivaled among other grapefruit cultivars.

Because the Ruby Red is one of the best pink grapefruits, it has been used to develop a number of newer varieties. Some of these are the Rio Star, Rio Red, and Ruby-Sweet.

Flame Grapefruit

flame grapefruit

The Flame grapefruit is a type of juicy pink grapefruit with no seeds

Another pink or red grapefruit cultivar is the Flame variety. Although not as intensely red as the Star Ruby, Flame grapefruits have a deeper pink-red color than the Ruby Red or Foster varieties.

Flame grapefruits have a smooth yellow skin with hints of pink. The medium-thick rind is packed with aromatic essential oils.

Flame grapefruit trees grow in similar size to the Star Ruby grapefruit and the fruits are about 5” to 6” (13 – 15 cm) in diameter. The trees are also cold hardy and provide better grapefruits in colder climates than some other varieties. The grapefruits ripen well on the trees but may lose some of their vibrant red color if left to mature for too long.

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This is a variety of juicy pink grapefruit with good flavor and no seeds in the pulp.

Lavender Gem Grapefruit

The Lavender Gem grapefruit is an interesting variety of citrus fruit. The fruit is cross between a tangelo and a grapefruit. A tangelo itself is a cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine. Botanically speaking, the Lavender Gem is more of a tangelo than a true grapefruit variety.

From the outside, a Lavender Gem grapefruit looks like a mini grapefruit with orange skin. The pulp of this fruit is light pink and very juicy. There are a medium number of seeds in the flesh.

So, what does this unusual type of grapefruit taste like? Many people describe this as a sweet-tasting tangerine with the tartness of grapefruit.

White Marsh Grapefruit

white marsh grapefruit

The White Marsh is a popular type of grapefruit with yellow skin and pale yellow flesh

A popular Florida variety is the White Marsh seedless type of grapefruit. This grapefruit cultivar is also one of the principal grapefruit varieties grown in California, South America, South Africa, and India.

The Marsh Seedless grapefruit has pale yellow skin and yellow-white flesh. Due to its rich flavor and juicy sweet/tart pulp, this is an extremely popular grapefruit variety. The grapefruits ripen well on the tree and also keep well after harvest. The grapefruit trees need a lot of sun to grow well and they are not cold hardy.

There is also a pink variety of this type of grapefruit called the Pink Marsh. It has yellow skin with blushing pink flesh. The flavor of this pink grapefruit isn’t as intense as the White Marsh variety. The Pink Marsh is also called the Thompson Grapefruit.

Another pink variety of the Marsh grapefruit is the Marsh Ruby. This large type of grapefruit has firm thick skin that covers tender juicy pink grapefruit segments. As with most Marsh varieties, the Marsh Ruby grapefruit is low in acidity with a delicate sweet taste.

Red Blush Grapefruit

redblush grapefruit

Red Blush grapefruit is a seedless variety of pink grapefruit with a sweet taste

As its name suggests, Red Blush grapefruits are a type of pink-red grapefruit from Texas. Compared to other red varieties of grapefruit, this reddish-pink flesh is quite pale in comparison. This is also a seedless variety of grapefruit with a sweet taste.

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One of the features about the Red Blush variety is that its redness fades as it ripens on the tree. Usually, by mid-season, the grapefruit is pink and then becomes yellow by springtime.

The Red Blush variety is very similar to the Ruby Red. The difference between the 2 cultivars is that Ruby Red stays pinkish-red up until harvest time.

Oro Blanco Grapefruit

oro blanco grapefruit

Oro Blanco grapefruit is a type of sweet juicy yellow-white colored grapefruit

For many people, the Oro Blanco grapefruit is one of the best tasting grapefruits there is. The thick yellow rind covers deliciously yellow pulp that is sweet without bitterness or acidity.

This Californian grapefruit hybrid grows to between 3.5” and 5” (9 – 13 cm) making this a medium to large-sized grapefruit. Compared to the White Marsh, the Oro Blanco has a thicker peel and paler flesh. The hybrid was developed by crossing a pomelo with a white grapefruit. The result is a seedless citrus type of grapefruit with an exceptional taste.

The name ‘Oro Blanco’ literally means “white gold” in Spanish and it’s easy to see why that is a good description. Apart from its intense sweetness, this grapefruit variety is very tender and juicy. Also, the segments are easy to remove, it is a seedless grapefruit, and doesn’t leave a bitter aftertaste.

One of the unique features of Oro Blancos is that they are still sweet and edible when the peel is green. As the fruit matures on the tree, the peel will turn bright yellow and may still have hints of green on it. Also, you can peel and eat this type of fruit similar to how you would eat an orange.

The Oro Blanco grapefruits are very similar to “Sweeties” – a type of grapefruit cultivated in Israel.

Honey Gold (Melogold) Grapefruit

honey gold grapefruit

The Honey Gold is a type of sweet seedless grapefruit

Melogold grapefruit, also called Honey Gold grapefruit, is a variety of white-yellow grapefruit similar to the Oro Blanco.

These large varieties of grapefruit originated in California and are a pomelo and grapefruit hybrid. Melogolds are large juicy seedless citrus fruits with a taste of grapefruit and pomelo. Each thick yellowish green skinned grapefruit can grow to over 6” (15 cm) in diameter and weigh between 1 and 1.5 lbs (470 – 700 g). This makes Melogold grapefruits slightly larger than Oro Blancos.

Similar to eating Oro Blancos, Melogolds are easy to peel and the segments separate easily. They have a pleasantly sweet taste with no bitterness, low acidity, and no seeds. Some people say that they taste like oranges with subtle grapefruit flavors coming through.

Pomelo

pomelo

The pomelo (Citrus maxima) includes several varieties

Pomelos (Citrus maxima) are one of the largest citrus fruits and they look like a giant pear-shaped grapefruit. The pomelo (also called pummelo or Chinese grapefruit) is the original citrus species from which many citrus fruits, including the grapefruit, were cultivated. These true citrus fruits originated in Southeast Asia.

A single pomelo fruit can measure between 6” and 10” (15 – 25 cm) in diameter. One pomelo can weigh up to 4.4 lbs (2 kg). The non-acidic white segmented pulp is covered by thick spongy peel. So, compared to grapefruits, pomelos are much larger and heavier.

One of the differences between pomelo and grapefruits is the color of flesh in relation to sweetness. The most common type of pomelo is the white-flesh variety which is very sweet without any bitterness. Pomelos with pink flesh tend to be sourer and are rarely eaten.

There are a few notable varieties of pomelo, including the following:

  • Malaysian pomelo is the classic large, light-green colored citrus fruit. The large segments are covered by fibrous membranes and the flesh can range from dry to extremely juicy.
  • Mato Buntan is a type of pomelo used as a hybrid to develop grapefruits. Slightly smaller than the Malaysian pomelo, these large fruits have a yellow-green flesh that is sweet and slightly acidic.
  • Reinking pomelos are pear-shaped yellow citrus fruits with yellow juicy flesh. This type of pomelo has a slightly grainy texture and contains a lot of seeds.
  • Valentine pomelos were developed in California and have a shape like a pear. The bright lemon-colored skin covers rosy red fleshy segments that are very sweet. This type of pomelo is called ‘Valentine’ as it is ripe and ready to eat in February.

Grapefruit and Interaction with Medicines

Although grapefruits are extremely healthy fiber-rich fruits, compounds in it could interfere with medicines.

Doctors report that eating grapefruit or consuming grapefruit juice regularly could affect how medications are ingested in the intestines. This could lead to higher than expected levels of the drug in your blood. (4)

Grapefruit could affect certain blood pressure medication, sedatives, antihistamines, calcium channel blockers, or statins. So, you should consult with your doctor to see if any medication you take could be affected.

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