Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

Italian Lemon Tree Types

Lemon trees are an integral part of many people's conception of the classic Italian garden. Try growing an Italian lemon tree for the visual flavor that it will give your garden or the literal flavor of its delicious fruit. Knowing what types of Italian trees grow best in certain climates and how their lemons taste and look will help you determine what Italian lemon tree is best for you. There are several cultivars that can be successfully raised in North America, but not all will be tasty or low-maintenance when removed from their native clime.

Eureka Lemon

This lemon tree is presently grown commercially in Israel, but it was originally cultivated from an Italian lemon seed. It does not live particularly long nor is it insect resistant. It likes a year-round warm climate and is popular in California. It bears fruit nearly all year, and the lemons are tender, juicy and very acidic. Eureka lemons have about ten segments each.

Genoa Lemon Tree

The Genoa lemon tree comes from Genoa, Italy. It was brought to California in 1875 where it produced fruit very similar to that of the Eureka, except that they may have 12 segments, are not as juicy and may be more difficult to peel. The peel is also very high in lemon oil. The Genoa is cold-hardy, which means that it can be grown in colder areas where the Eureka cannot. It is very thorny and has next to no trunk.

Feminello Ovale

The Feminello Ovale is one of the oldest Italian lemon tree varieties still actively grown today. This tree is popular because its lemons have very few seeds and tend to be plump and juicy. They are highly acidic. This tree bears fruit all year, with the largest crops in the winter and spring. The Feminello Ovale's fruits store and ship well. This tree has no thorns and is the leading cultivar in Italy.


This tree is believed to have originated in Sicily in 1892, but was "rediscovered" in a Florida orange grove in 1952. The Bearss' lemon is susceptible to lemon scab, greasy spot and oil spotting, but is still commercially propagated because the fruits' peel is so rich in lemon oil. It likes warm weather and composes 20 percent of Brazil's current lemon crop.

Garden Guides