15 Types of Lemon Trees (With Pictures)
Lemon is a staple citrus fruit in many homes, restaurants, and bakeries. However, not many people understand how this sour gem grows and thrives. Before life gives you lemons, you need to have a lemon tree.
Native to Asia, lemon trees are evergreen and can survive up to a century. These incredible trees produce fruit all year long, and a single tree can produce up to 600 pounds of lemon fruit every year.
Besides the fruit, the leaves of a lemon tree are equally valuable for cooking. They are used to make tea and provide an extra layer of flavor to seafood and meats.
Many people didn’t even know that much about lemon trees. In this article, you are going to learn plenty more about 15 types of lemon trees and some you probably didn’t know existed. Grab a glass of lemonade, and read on!
What are the different types of lemon trees?
There are several varieties of lemon trees, with each tree producing a distinct fruit from the next. The fruits differ in size, shape, color, and contents. Interestingly, the sour fruits even differ in taste.
So, if you are shopping for or sampling different great tastes to spruce up your flavor side, reviewing these top 15 lemon trees will give you a good starting point.
The 15 Types of Lemon Tree
1. Verna Lemon Tree
Also known as Berna, the Verna lemon tree is one of Spain’s most popular lemon trees. These trees grow rapidly and can reach heights of up to 20 feet. It is not commercially grown in the United States, but home gardeners are welcome to try and grow this unique lemon tree in their yards. You will definitely fall in love with the sight and smell of these gorgeous fruits.
The Verna lemon tree is highly adaptable, making it ideal even for colder climates. The Verna lemon is relatively large and takes an oval shape with a rather pronounced nipple. The fruit is bright yellow, has minimal seeds, and is very juicy. It also features a thick rind that may not be very useful in your cookery adventures.
However, the number of seeds in the fruit may vary depending on the season at hand. Verna lemons are considered less suitable for commercial production due to their extremely rough texture. The trees are practically thornless and produce the main crop mostly in late winter.
2. Eureka Lemon Tree
On average, a Eureka lemon tree can grow as high as 20 to 30 feet tall. That number may drop to between 8 and 10 feet with a dwarf variety. This tree may take up to 3 years to bear fruits, but it will all be worth the wait once it does.
The Eureka lemon tree tends to grow in an outstretched and open way and produces pink-fleshed lemon fruits all year round. The tree is virtually thornless and produces its fruits in terminal clusters at the edges of the branches with an oblong shape. The main crop production takes place in winter.
The downside of Eureka lemon trees is that they don’t thrive in cold temperatures. You must protect the tree or move it indoors if temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or if you detect signs of harsh winds.
With that in mind, Eureka lemons are popular with commercial consumption globally mainly because of their rich oil content, firm texture, and consistent taste. They are produced in huge quantities.
3. Avalon Lemon Tree
Native to Florida, the Avalon, or Avon, lemon tree can grow as high as 20 feet tall. It shares many qualities with the Lisbon and Eureka varieties, and its fruit is widely sold in supermarkets in the form of lemon juice concentrates.
The tree produces large yellow fruits with rough rinds. The fruits make excellent juicing components largely because of their liquid content and size. For best outcomes, this tree requires access to full sun and moderate to heavy watering.
If you are not lucky to be in a warm or humid area, the Avalon lemon tree can still thrive in a greenhouse or indoor planter.
4. Variegated Pink Lemon Tree
Also known as the Pink Lemonade tree, this lemon tree can rise to a height ranging from 10 to 15 feet and spread out to a width ranging from 11 to 15 feet. As the name states, the tree is identifiable for its variegated (multicolored) green and white leaves.
The lemon fruit produced is not yellow but pink in color. That means the lemon will have pink flesh with a green rind punctuated with yellow stripes. However, the stripes fade with ripening, and the fruit takes up a more yellowish color. Although the fruit is overly pinkish, that’s not the case with the juice produced.
The Pink Lemonade tree is rather thorny and produces round fruits that are widely spaced. So, expect some complications during harvesting.
Variegated pink lemons are considered popular for their ornamental value, sweetness, and juice content. Compared to their sour counterparts, it is possible to devour them raw due to the mild lemon taste. The tree is also a favorite to most home gardeners for its beautiful foliage, hardiness, and low-maintenance nature.
5. Lisbon Lemon Tree
The Lisbon lemon tree traces its roots back in Australia. However, since it found its way to the USA, it has remained a staple citrus fruit for California lemon producers. In fact, it is among the most widely planted lemon tree varieties in the United States.
You can identify a Lisbon lemon tree from its extra-large size, thorny branches, and dense foliage that significantly spreads out, forming a cool canopy. The canopy essentially acts as a protection layer to the fruits growing beneath it, especially against the wind.
The tree is more cold-tolerant compared to other varieties, and its main crop comes out in the winter months. The lemon fruit produced is oblong-shaped, large, bright yellow, and extremely juicy and acidic. You have probably sampled this fruit already, as you can hardly miss it in your favorite grocery store.
6. Primofiori Lemon Tree
Commonly called the Fino lemon tree, this tree is extensively planted in Spain. However, it is not commercially grown in the United States. The tree size can range from medium to large, with the height of a fully matured tree rising to 16 feet. The Primofiori lemon tree is mainly characterized by its thorny branches, broad width, and high pollen viability. It may take between 2-3 years for the tree start bearing fruits.
The lemon fruit produced is oval-shaped, yellow, and has a smooth rind texture making it easy to peel. Its pulp is very juicy with high acidity levels. You do not want to eat this fruit raw but you can use it in your baking and cooking.
This tree is also rather hardy, surviving even in slightly colder climates. So, the absence of a tropical climate should not limit your home gardening ambitions.
7. Dorshapo Lemon Tree
The Dorshapo lemon tree is a close relative of the Eureka variety. In the early 20th century, the variety was created by three US horticulturalists and has since become popular in many states.
The lemon fruit produced bears a striking green skin and is mostly confused with lime. Contrary to many other lemon varieties, it comes with a mild, sweet flavor with very little acidic concentration making it an excellent choice for snacking raw and juicing.
The Dorshapo lemon tree is best suited for warm and humid climates and does well in USDA growing zones 8 to 10. The tree demands exposure to full sun and moderate watering. Therefore, home gardeners in colder climates should consider growing it indoors for best results.
8. Meyer Lemon Tree
This exotic lemon tree produces some of the sweetest lemon fruits in the lemon tree family. Under the right conditions, the tree can grow between 6 and 10 feet tall. The dwarf variety ranges from 5 to 10 feet tall. The original tree was first grown in China but almost went extinct due to its high susceptibility to disease.
This led to discovering a more disease-resistant variety that has withstood the test of time and is consumed to date. The Meyer lemon tree grows rapidly and, within two years, should be ready for fruit production. The tree is almost thornless and produces its main crop in winter.
The lemon fruit produced is a hybrid of Mandarin orange and lemon. Owing to the sweetness of Mandarin oranges, Meyer lemons are relatively sweeter than other lemon varieties. They have a low acid content, smooth rind, are less elongated, and bulkier than most varieties. The tree’s shiny dark leaves and white blossoms punctuated with a purple color easily gives it away.
9. Ponderosa Lemon Tree
First discovered in Maryland, the Ponderosa lemon tree is not primarily a true lemon tree. It is a composite of both citron and lemon. The tree takes significant time to grow, but once it does, it peaks as tall as 24 feet.
It is easily identified due to its elegant purple flowers, and long, shiny, fragrant leaves that are by the way evergreen. This tree is mostly ideal for ornamental functions, but that doesn’t negate its fruit value. The lemon fruit produced is extra-large compared to common varieties and comes with a rather thick and irregular rind. Its flavor is not far from other lemons, and its juice content will leave you drooling.
The chief downside of the Ponderosa lemon tree is its high intolerance for colder climates. It is more suitable for tropical climates like that in Florida or California. So, for best outcomes, you might want to consider growing the tree in a portable container and brace yourself for its special growth requirements.
10. Volkamer Lemon Tree
The Volkamer lemon tree is believed to be a native of Italy. It is a hybrid of a sour orange with a low acidic concentration and lemon. The tree can peak at a whopping 10 to 12 feet tall under the right conditions.
Owing to its orange composition, the lemon fruit produced by this exotic tree has orange skin, hence why it is commonly mistaken for an orange fruit. The fruit size is relatively small and takes up a round shape. It has a distinct flavor that many people find pleasant, especially due to the low acid content.
11. Genoa Lemon Tree
The Genoa lemon tree is an Italian native and more cold-hardy compared to most lemon tree varieties. It closely resembles the Eureka lemon tree but has fewer and much tinier thorns on its fruiting branches.
It also has denser foliage and tends to grow as a shrub instead of a bush. That means it spreads out more than it rises, making your harvest work easy. It is, therefore, most suitable for smaller gardens. Moreover, its dense foliage produces an ornamental bush that can provide an extra layer of elegance to beautiful home décor.
The medium-sized lemon fruit produced is known to ripen quite vigorously, hence promising a quick harvest. It has an alluring appearance and takes up an ellipsoid shape with a protruding neck and nipple. It also has a fairly smooth rind, lower seed quantity, and extremely high juice content that is tempting to the tongue.
12. Baboon Lemon Tree
The Baboon lemon tree originated from Brazil, so this tree generally thrives in a warm and humid climate. While it may be a relatively more heat-resistant citrus tree, it still needs significant watering to thrive in your home garden.
The lemon fruit produced features a bright yellow skin and a rather sour taste like a lime flavor. It has relatively thick skin, larger size, and is very juicy. Its pulp and rind are popularly used to make sauces such as pasta and barbeque sauce.
13. Bearss Lemon Tree
A Bearss lemon tree is an excellent choice for your home garden if you want tarter lemons. The tree is a popular variety in the United States and is easily identifiable due to its vigorous growth, thornless branches, fresh and fragrant blossoms, and very juicy fruits with oily skins. It can grow up to 20 feet. The fruit produced also has relatively fewer seeds.
The Bearss lemon tree does well in semitropical regions but is very sensitive to cold. However, with special care, it can also survive colder climates. It is best to plant the tree in a portable pot, so that when a freeze approaches, you can transfer it indoors.
14. Buddha’s Hand Lemon Tree
As strange as it sounds, this true lemon variety is native to the Himalayan region. The tree’s height may range from 8 to 15 feet tall and has been widely grown in California since the 1980s.
As the name states, the lemon fruit produced resembles a set of fingers or tentacles, making it one of the strangest looking of all lemon varieties. The fruit is highly fragrant, has a sweet rind, and doesn’t contain any seeds, pulp, or juice, making it ideal for cocktails and cooking .
15. Bush Lemon Tree
Also known as the Rough lemon tree, this hardy lemon tree is commonly used as a rootstock for more popular lemon cultivars. A Bush lemon tree takes the form of a small tree or large shrub that produces dense evergreen foliage. Therefore, it doesn’t necessarily mean any shrub producing the lemon fruit.
Its leaves are green and glossy, and the presence of the white flowers guarantees an ever-sweet fragrance in your yard. The tree is commonly grown in Australia, but it has found its way in many other parts of the world.
It is a low-maintenance tree, especially if you live in a frost-free region. The fruits produced are not smooth-surfaced but rather quite lumpy and thick-skinned. Even so, the skin is yellow and still produce enough juice.
Related Read: 15 Types of Pear Trees. What You Need To Know!
Lemon trees are no doubt the real deal. They are super attractive for landscape trees and extra fragrant and useful around the home. What’s more, they easily adapt to potted life, making them an excellent choice for a houseplant. They are also highly low-maintenance plants.
Understanding the lemon tree varieties at your disposal will help you fully master the growth conditions required and find the variety that best suits your needs. With a lemon tree by your side, you will never run out of flavorful lemon-based cuisines and beverages. Good luck finding the best tree!
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay
- 1 What are the different types of lemon trees?
- 2 The 15 Types of Lemon Tree
- 2.1 1. Verna Lemon Tree
- 2.2 2. Eureka Lemon Tree
- 2.3 3. Avalon Lemon Tree
- 2.4 4. Variegated Pink Lemon Tree
- 2.5 5. Lisbon Lemon Tree
- 2.6 6. Primofiori Lemon Tree
- 2.7 7. Dorshapo Lemon Tree
- 2.8 8. Meyer Lemon Tree
- 2.9 9. Ponderosa Lemon Tree
- 2.10 10. Volkamer Lemon Tree
- 2.11 11. Genoa Lemon Tree
- 2.12 12. Baboon Lemon Tree
- 2.13 13. Bearss Lemon Tree
- 2.14 14. Buddha’s Hand Lemon Tree
- 2.15 15. Bush Lemon Tree
- 3 Final thoughts