The Ponderosa lemon is not a true lemon but the juice of the large, seedy yellow fruit is tart enough to be used as a substitute for lemon juice in recipes. Growing a Ponderosa lemon tree is the best way to obtain the fruit.
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Ponderosa fruit has thick, lumpy skin. It looks like a citron but tastes like a lemon. The fruit can grow to the size of a toy football. Ponderosa juice is just as tangy as the juice of a Eureka or Lisbon lemon and can be used in their stead.
Growing a Ponderosa Lemon Tree
Citrus limon x medica
Picture taken at
Harry P. Leu Gardens
in Orlando, FL.
The first Ponderosa tree was a chance seedling discovered in Maryland during the 1880s. It is believed to be a cross between a lemon and a citron.
The thorny trees grow to a height of 12 feet or more and are more frost sensitive than other lemon varieties.
They need a nearly frost free climate in order to thrive. They are grown as a novelty in central and south Florida. Ponderosa lemons are also commonly home grown (along with
) in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas.
The tree's fragrant, white flowers are tinged purple and are larger than the flowers of most other lemon trees. The fruit, like that of other sour citrus, is born throughout the year. It is not unusual to see flowers and fruit on the tree at the same time.
The large fruit is heavy and will bow the tree's branches nearly to the ground when it reaches full size. Limb it up so that the fruit on the lower limbs does not rest on the soil.
The ripe fruit will hold on the tree for several months giving you plenty of time to use all that wonderful juice.
The large, evergreen leaves smell of lemon when broken or bruised.
Dwarf Lemon Trees as House Plants
Dwarf lemon trees can be very enjoyable houseplants. An indoor lemon tree will delight you with its fragrant citrus blossoms and tangy fruit. Why the dwarf Meyer lemon is my preferred lemon tree dwarf.
The pink lemons produced by the variegated pink Eureka lemon tree will supply you with pitchers of pink lemonade all summer. The lemon of pink lemonade fame has a bumpy green and yellow striped rind. Only the flesh is pink.
Planting Lemon Trees
Planting lemon trees. Lemon tree planting guide. Planting lemons in the landscape. Planting Meyer lemon tree plants. Planting lemon tree hedges. How to get a lemon plant off to a good start.
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