Citrus takes centre stage at Viennese orangery

18th – 21st May, 2018. 10am – 6pm
Great Orangery Schlosspark
Schönbrunn, Vienna, Austria.


Citrus fruits are complex, endlessly fascinating and so useful in the kitchen. Around the world they are a staple ingredient to homecooks and chefs and have botantists asking questions such as: is the kumquat a sister of the orange or a distant cousin? Do sweet and bitter oranges share the same heritage?

The orangery at Vienna’s spectacular Schönbrunn Palace

To consider and answer these and other burning lemony issues, the Austrian Horticultural Society organises an annual citrus festival in the historical orangery of one of Vienna’s finest palaces, Schönbrunn. This year’s event is planned for the weekend around May 18th.

Citrus enthusiasts gather in the orangery

The 500-plant citrus collection, including some plants first grown nearly 180 years ago, are owned by the state and managed through the Austrian Federal Gardens agency, the Bundesgarten. This year’s show is dedicated to botanical peculiarities of the genus Citrus and hopes to help clarify some of the many complicated relationships that define this species.

An orangey welcome to the Citrus rooms

Citrus growers from the Austrian Federal Gardens will be on hand to share growing advice, while loads of cookery, gardening and garden art books and magazines will be on sale and of courses there’ll be plenty of tastings and cooking demos.

Buddha’s Hands growing well in the Orangery

Schönbrunn Palace Orangery was commissioned by the widowed Empress Wilhelmine Amalie in the mid-1750s to overwinter her bitter orange Seville plants. A contemporary print held by the city’s Albertina Museum shows the unique structure of this garden, with 344 orange plants arranged in an eight-fold arrangement around a fountain. The number eight was a mysterious and esoteric number at the time.

Just some of the citrus grown in the Orangery

The Orangery includes a separate Cedrat House to the east where especially sensitive citrus fruit tress are housed. The Orangery boasts under floor heating which has warming the delicate plants for over 250 years, particularly through the often bitterly cold weather of the winter months.

See you there!

Visit Austrian Horticultural Society for more information about this fascinating event.

Citrus lovers can taste and buy various lemons, oranges and rarer fruits. (All images courtesy: Österreichische Gartenbau-Gesellschaft)








Bruce McMichael

Food writing, discovering food stories, meeting producers, chefs and food enthusiasts are all part of desire to inspire, inform my readers and fellow food lovers. I am a freelance writer, journalist and published author focusing on the international world of food and drink, culture and travel. In 2019 I graduated from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy with a Masters in Food Culture, Communication and Marketing. I am now a visiting Professor at the university teaching Food & Drink Writing. Based in London I travel widely, particularly across western Europe. I have chaired many conferences and meetings, spoken at conferences and events and often appear on radio and TV talking most about food, the business of food and being an entrepreneur. In 2017 I won an episode of the ITV (the UK-based national television channel) cooking competition show, 'Gordon Ramsay's Culinary Genius'. I took my children on holiday to Sicily with the prize money. As an experienced farmers' market manager and operator of a small marmalade/ preserves company, I am very familiar with the issues surrounding local food, farming, enterprise and the environment.