13 Lemon Varieties (Common and Hybrid Varieties)

A close up shot at a moist lemon hanging from a branch.

Lemon, an evergreen plant, is native to Asia but more accurately, to Northeast India and Northern Myanmar. But the fruit started traveling abroad much quicker than many others from the region. In the second century, in fact, when it first entered Europe, though not actively cultivated.

As early as the 1st century AD, people began producing numerous kinds of lemons, and today the top five nations for diverse kinds of lemon production are Argentina, Brazil, India, China, and Mexico. This is a beautiful year-round ornamental tree that, given the right circumstances, may live for 50 to 100 years. As a result, you have options based on your climate if you want to plant a lemon tree.

When it comes to baked products, lemons provide flavor and vitamin C to everything, from salads to sauces to marinades to beverages and sweets.

A vitamin C shortage can lead to serious health issues. Early explorers were aware of this and carried lemons on lengthy trips to cure or avoid scurvy, a disease that was widespread among sailors and may be fatal.

There are many varieties of lemons; some of them are classified as true lemons, while others are more hybrid. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types.

Citron Lemons

First, let’s discuss the undisputed forefathers of most lemons, which are now not classified as a lemon (ironically). There are a few characteristic differences between the two. For example, Lemons tend to be very juicy. Although it’s a citrus fruit like the orange, the citron is comprised almost entirely of dry pulp and has little to no liquid. Citron was mostly utilized for therapeutic purposes in ancient research, according to those findings. It was widely used to treat a wide range of ailments, including nausea caused by travel, digestive issues, and lung disease.

Citrus medica, or citron, is a big, aromatic citrus fruit with thick skin. It is also known as a Citronette. It’s one of the ancestors of all citrus fruits, including lemons, having originated from it.

It was also called limes once, but that classification was also changed when other fruits became part of the lime family. Even if citron is not a lemon, it’s what we owe lemons (and millennia of hybridization) to.

Eureka Lemons

Eureka lemons.

In the United States, the Eureka lemon is the most popular kind. Since its inception in Los Angeles over two centuries ago, the lemon has swept the globe. Citrus Eureka is a year-round bearing, a thorn-free cultivar of lemon. It’s one of the varieties of American lemon that’s become popular around the globe.

The pink-fleshed Eureka lemons are produced by the Eureka lemon tree. The thick rind of the Eureka lemon contains lemon oil, which has a pleasant aroma and a powerful citrus scent, just like the Lisbon lemon type. Eureka lemons have a prominent mammilla or nipple, and the interior white section of the peel is medium in thickness.

Eureka lemons have a thicker yellow peel and a juicy, pink flesh with a sour and acidic flavor within. Typically, you’ll find these sorts of lemons in the produce section of your local supermarket.

Lisbon Lemons

Lisbon lemon, close up.

Citrus limon such as Lisbon lemons are among the most frequently grown in the world. They’re also the most popular lemon cultivar in California, where they’re grown in large numbers. In American stores, the most common commercial lemon types are Lisbon and Eureka lemons, which are closely related. Lisbon lemons and eureka lemons look the same from the outside.

Lisbon lemons do better in colder areas than Eureka lemons do. The Lisbon lemon tree, in contrast to the Eureka lemon, bears fruit just twice a year.

Large, rectangular Lisbon lemons are found in Lisbon, Portugal. The other end of the spherical stem end has a very projecting nipple, which gives the fruit its name. When fully grown, the rind of this lemon type is smooth and bright yellow, with a medium thickness. Scratching or rubbing its well-fitting oil glands releases an appealing citrus fragrance.

It is possible to cultivate Lisbon lemons on both dwarf and large evergreen trees. Lisbon lemons have a luscious, acidic flesh with few to no seeds once sliced open. It has a yellow-pale hue to it as well. ​

Meyer Lemons

The Meyer lemon is a mix between a lemon and a Mandarin orange, technically speaking. Since its introduction in California in the 1970s, the dwarf form of this tree has been shown to be disease and pest-resistant, making it a gardening favorite.

Meyer lemon trees have fragrant, purple-tinged white blooms on their stems. This makes them ideal for yards with a height restriction of seven feet or less.

Orange-yellow in hue, the lemon pulp has a lot of liquid and a pleasant taste. It also has high acidity. This lemon has a flowery scent and is excellent in sorbets and tarts. In many recipes, chefs utilize lemons that have been harvested when they are fully ripe, not when they are still green. The Central Valley of California, Texas, and Florida are the only places where you’ll find this plant growing. Because they’re only plucked when they’re fully ripe, you can get fruit from them at any time of the year.

Sorrento Lemon

In Italy, the Sorrento lemon (Citrus limon Limone di Sorrento or Ovale di Sorrento) goes by several names. The citrus cultivars used to make the fragrant lemons come from the Femminello-types, Italy’s oldest and most important lemon group. It’s important to note that Sorrento is not the only lemon that is classified under Femminello. There are several others, but Sorrento gets a lot of the “limelight.”

Citrus fruits like Sorrento lemons are high in vitamin C and folate, making them nutritious additions to any diet.

The oval-shaped fruit of the Sorrento lemon tree comes in a medium-to-large variety. On the other hand, you’ll see the characteristic lemon nipple or mammilla on these larger-sized lemons. They also have a thick, aromatic rind because of the presence of lemon oil.

Sorrento lemons are known for their luscious pulp and fragrant peel, and their meat is no exception. It also has a little to non-existent seed content. Lemons from Sorrento have a tangy-acid flavor but no bitterness.

Bush Lemons

The name “bush lemons” may lead you to believe that it refers to any shrub that bears the citrus fruit known as the “lemon.” You, on the other hand, would be mistaken. Describe the bush lemon and explain what it is. It can be a tiny tree or a big shrub with thick evergreen leaves. The foliage is a lustrous shade of green. Growing bush lemon bushes is a great idea because of the fragrant white blooms.

This is an Australian wild lemon with rough and thick skin. It’s a tough species to find because of its thick skin. While the juice yield is minimal, the rind imparts a strong lemon taste, making it ideal for flavoring smoker dishes so that the citrus flavor permeates throughout.

Verna Lemons

The Verna lemon tree is one of the most popular in Spain. Despite the fact that this cultivar isn’t available commercially in the United States, home gardeners may still grow it and enjoy the beautiful fruits it produces.

The lemon belongs to the Rutaceae family of citrus fruits. It has a more or less prominent apex that is often elongated but may sometimes be circular. The lemon Verna’s size strikes out as being unusually large in comparison to other fruits. When ripe, the fruit’s skin turns a brilliant yellowish-orange color. It has a beige pulp that is brilliant, juicy, and eye-catching in color.

The flavor is sour and bitter, and it is delectable, and it has unique scent. It has a few little seeds in it. The various culinary applications of the lemon are well-known across the world. This tree bears fruit twice a year if you give it the right growth circumstances. They may also be able to provide you with a third harvest if you supplement your soil with fertilizer.

Fino Lemons

The Fino lemon’s ancestry is a mystery. However, it may be related to an older Spanish varietal. Spanish speakers refer to this lemon as Mesero or Primofiori when referring to it as Fino. Fino is a winter-harvesting lemon that is grown mostly in southern Australia over the winter and early spring. Similar to the Eureka lemon, Fino trees grow all year round in coastal New South Wales.

The thick and smooth peel of the lemon Fino distinguishes it from other kinds, as does its larger spherical size. Small mamelon with a stellar and pointed tip on a medium-sized lemon. There is no neck or stem on it. In comparison to other kinds, it has a large number of pips and produces a large amount of very acidic juice.

Genoa Lemon

Although the Genoa lemon (Citrus limon ‘Genoa’) originated in Italy, it is now a common variety of lemon cultivated in the United States. This lemon resembles the well-known Eureka lemon in appearance. An oblong form with a projecting bottom end characterizes these slugs. A thin skin protects the delicious, acidic flesh, which is similar to the Eureka lemon. When it’s young, it needs full light and water 2-3 times a week because it’s a native Italian tree.

The Genoa lemon’s second distinguishing characteristic is that it grows on a shrub, not a bush like other citrus varieties. As a result, it’s perfect for yards with limited space. With their thick growth, the bushes create an incredibly eye-catching decorative bush.

Baboon Lemon

While the fruit’s name may sound fictitious, the baboon lemon is a true cultivar. Baboon lemons are native to Brazil and have very brilliant yellow skin. As a native of Brazil, the Baboon lemon tree likes warm, humid conditions. This should come as no surprise. However, although being more heat resistant, it still needs a lot of water to flourish.

While the flesh is still sour, the flavor is closer to that of lime than other lemons. As a result, it’s an excellent option for combining with other lemon-based dishes.

Hybrids Of Lemons

Ponderosa Lemons

An accidental seedling unearthed in the 1880s gave rise to Ponderosa lemons, which are most likely a cross between a citron and a lemon kind of fruit. In 1900, they were given a name and introduced to the market as commercial nursery plants.

The Rutaceae family includes the evergreen Ponderosa lemon trees, which are a big hybrid variation in the Citrus species that may grow to seven meters in height. Vitamin C, which is abundant in Ponderosa lemons, improves the immune system, lowers inflammation, and increases the formation of collagen in the skin.

Ponderosa lemon trees have a long list of requirements, and meeting those requirements is no easy task. They do well in warm regions like Florida and California, but moving them to a colder location might be challenging. It’s one of the reasons why it’s not commercially produced on a large scale, and it’s mostly a part of hobbyists’ gardens.

Limetta Lemons/Sweet Mediterranean Lemons

A medium-sized lemon, the Sweet lemon has a somewhat flat bottom and an overall round shape. It has a yellowish-greenish tinge to its skin, which becomes orange when completely ripe.

Citrus limetta, the scientific name for Sweet lemon, is also known as Persian lime, sweet Limetta, and Mediterranean sweet lemon. It’s known as Mosambi in India, and it’s highly regarded for its numerous health and aesthetic advantages. It has several aliases because it looks like a lemon but tastes like a sweet acid-free lime. It is possible to cultivate Millsweet Limetta and Ponderosa sweet lemon in California.

Volkamer

Many people believe that this ambiguous ancestor is actually a cross between a citron and a mandarin, with the citron providing the pollen and the mandarin providing the seed. There have been several descriptions of this species going back to the 17th century. It has been used as a rootstock for more popular cultivars since the 1950s, despite the fact that it is not commercially available. Volkamer’s orange flesh and skin make it appear more like an orange than a lemon.

The flavor of this bitter lemon is unique, yet it’s still enjoyable. Some have compared it to a rough lemon because of its lower acid level than many other lemon varieties. Its plant requires a lot more water as a result of its unusual genetic makeup. They need to water 4-5 times a week in some soils.

Conclusion

Lemon can be classified in a lot of ways. True lemons, sweet lemons, hybrid lemons, etc. And this huge variety is actually a benefit to the world. Thanks to so many different types of lemons, some of which grow in very different conditions and climates than lemon’s forefathers did, allow every foodie around to world to add the zest of lemon to their dishes and its juiciness to their lives.

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