Rough Lemon
Citrus x jambhiri Lush

The Rough lemon tree is a cross between a mandarin orange and a citron. Citrus x jambhiri Lush fruit is of low quality so this lemon tree is used mainly as a rootstock for other citrus trees.

Rough lemon fruit close up.

This tree grows wild in the Himalayan foothills of India where it is believed to have originated. Portuguese explorers introduced it into Africa around the year 1500 from whence it spread to the New World. It has since naturalized in Africa, Florida and the West Indies.

The fruit looks like a grocery store lemon with a skin condition. The rind is full of lumps and bumps. Each bears a sunken nipple at its apex (the end opposite the stem). It turns bright golden to orange yellow when ripe.

There are different strains of rough lemon. The taste of the fruit differs from somewhat unpleasant to just like a Eureka lemon.

It is invariably less juicy than lemon varieties which are cultivated for fruit production. It is, however, easy to grow and home growers in Hawaii and other tropical locales where other lemons perform poorly will sometimes use it as a dooryard lemon tree.

The tree bears heavily and the fruit can be left on after it ripens for ornamental purposes but the flesh will dry out.

What Makes it a Good Citrus Rootstock?

Rough lemon tree.

This is a 2 year old seedling.

It grows vigorously to 30 feet, develops an extensive root system, which will grow well in sandy soil, is tolerant of drought, salt and alkaline soil.

Citrus trees of many types--not just lemons--are commonly grafted onto it for these reasons. It is the fastest growing citrus rootstock and is easy to grow from seed.

It is compatible with lemons, grapefruit, tangelos, oranges and most mandarins. It is used primarily in Australia, Florida and Arizona.

Because of its quick growth, citrus grafted onto Rough lemon will need to be regularly fertilized but will produce large crops.

The Drawbacks

Rough lemon is vulnerable to citrus blight, phytophthora, citrus root nematodes and, in high rainfall areas, lemon scab.

To the plus side, it is tolerant of citrus tristeza.

Trees more than 15 years old may begin to bear fruit in alternate years.

Lisbon Lemon
The Lisbon lemon is the most widely sold lemon variety in the world. It is the sour lemon most often carried by U.S. supermarkets. Its only rival for top spot is the similar Eureka lemon.

Pink Lemons
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.

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