Lemons are a fruit that grow well in warm climates. They are a favorite acid citrus fruit known for their tart fresh flavor. A lemon tree can reach 20-30 feet and has thorns along its branches. It will produce small white fragrant flowers before the fruit, and has medium sized green leaves. Commercial lemon orchards were produced in Florida and California as early as the 1870's. Lemons are extremely sensitive to cold, unable to sustain temperatures less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to Julia F. Morton, Eureka lemons probably originated form seeds taken from an Italian lemon and planted in the Los Angeles area in the 1950's. It is a highly acidic lemon somewhat greenish yellow in color. It is a large growing tree with lemons produced in clusters during the spring and summer. The Eureka lemon is one of the most basic types of lemons found.
Lisbon lemons originated in Portugal and migrated to Australia in the early 1820's. They were introduced in California around the 1940's and are very similar to Eureka lemons. It produces fruit in the summer and autumn. The Lisbon lemon has few or no seeds, and is also highly acidic. The trees are very large and have lots of thorns. Morton finds Lisbon lemon trees are more resistant to cold and wind than other types.
Meyer lemons were introduced in China in the early 1900's. It is considered a hybrid, probably a combination of a lemon and mandarin orange. Meyer lemon trees are smaller in stature and produce less acidic lemons than Eureka or Lisbon, with few seeds and lots of juice. Meyer trees produce fruit from December to April. The trees create lots of fruit and are popular in South Texas, where it is known as the Valley Lemon.
Lemon-info.com tells us that Villafranca lemons originated in Sicily and was taken to Europe in the late 1800's. From there, it was introduced to Stanford, Florida where it became one of the leading producers of lemons in the area. It is similar in type to the Eureka lemon. The tree is large and thick, but with more thorns than the Eureka lemon tree.
Avon and Bearss
Both these trees are similar in style to the Lisbon lemon tree and are of California origin. Avon lemons get their name from being planted in the Avon Park Alpine Grove, Florida. Avon lemons are good for producing lemon concentrate used for frozen lemon juice. The Bearss tree is susceptible to oil spotting, but according to Morton, the tree is vigorous and is grown commercially for Libby, McNeill & Libby, one of the world's leading producers of canned foods.