When we first think of lemons, the image of a bright yellow, bitter fruit comes to mind.
And while that is certainly the case for some varieties of lemons, in actuality there are many different types of this fruit, differing in size, shape, and taste.
What are lemons?
Lemons are a citrus fruit and have a number of incredible health benefits. Not only are they rich in vitamin C but they are also high in soluble fiber which aids in digestion.
A diet that includes lemons can help reduce the risk of heart disease, prevent kidney stones from forming, and may even help prevent cancer.
How many types of lemons are there?
There are about 40 different types of lemons that are grown around the world.
22 Different Types of Lemons
Grown in Australia, Bush lemons have a very bumpy, thick skin. They are also quite pulpy and not very juicy when you cut into them. However, the skin has a very strong flavor to it, which makes it great if you are trying to season food.
Bush lemons grow in the wild as they are self-seeding. Wherever lemons fall on the ground, their seeds will implant in the soil and start growing new trees.
What type of lemons are perfect for lemonade? Lemonade lemons, of course. Nice and sweet, with very little acidic content, this variety is perfect for a refreshing glass of lemonade.
Lemonade lemons love hot and dry climates and can grow year-round. Expect fruit that is bright yellow in color with a rounded shape.
Grown in Spain, Primofiore lemons are also known as Fino lemons or Blanco lemons. They are very smooth and have a thin skin that is quite delicate.
Primofiore lemons are very juicy but beware if you try to pick them as the trees actually have thorns on them. However, you will be rewarded with a high yield if you decide to grow these lemon trees.
A popular favorite, Eureka lemons grow year-round and so are often found in the grocery store. While they are a typical oval shape, they do have a pronounced nipple at the end, instead of being fully round.
If you’re looking to plant a lemon tree in your backyard, Eureka lemons will do well. They are easy to grow and they have a large yield.
With a rougher, bumpy skin to them, Ponderosa lemons are quite hardy and will last for quite a while. However, they don’t do well in the cold, so if you plan on planting them, be sure you live in a warmer climate.
Ponderosa lemons are actually a cross between lemons and citrons and because of this they are not very sour. They are great to use in desserts because of their sweeter taste.
At first glance, Dorshapo lemons look similar to limes, thanks to their shape and green color. However, if you bite into one, you will be pleasantly surprised by its very sweet taste.
Interestingly, Dorshapo lemons get their name from three plant explorers, Dorshett, Shamel, and Popenoe.
As their name suggests, Lisbon lemon trees come from Portugal, although they can now be found in the United States. They are hardy lemons and do well in colder climates.
Lisbon lemon trees grow quite large and can reach heights of 30 feet.
One of the most sought-after sweet lemon varieties, Meyer lemons are actually a hybrid between lemons and mandarin oranges. They are also incredibly juicy, making this variety very versatile.
Meyer lemons grow in California, Florida, and Texas, and the trees can actually bear fruit all year long.
While some lemon trees need to grow outside, Otaheite lemons actually do well inside. However, while they do produce small lemons, these are purely decorative and should not be consumed.
Otaheite lemon trees have lovely flowers that develop early in the summer and overall, the trees are very low maintenance.
Amazingly, Citron lemons can grow to be between 8 and 10 pounds in weight. The trees grow next to the Himalayas and the weight of the fruit can actually cause branches to break.
Citron lemons have very little juice and a lot of pulp. There are great if you want to use the rind for cooking and you can also use them to make candy.
The two main types of lemons found in the grocery store are Eureka lemons and Lisbon lemons, the latter of which is very similar to Avalon lemons.
They are quite acidic, with few seeds, and the rind is medium-thick.
While they are actually a sub-variant of Eureka lemons, Villafranca lemons do have their unique characteristics. However, on the outside, they also have a pebbled skin that is bright yellow in color.
Villafranca lemons have a low acidic content and are actually ready to be picked in the winter. Furthermore, they thrive in cooler climates.
Small in size, Perrine lemons are mostly yellow in color, although even when ripe may still have a touch of green to them. Their rinds are thin and don’t have too many seeds.
Perrine lemons have a lot of juice in them, so can be used for many different recipes. They have been cultivated to be a hardy variety and resistant to disease.
No, this isn’t a spelling mistake. Bearrs lemons originated in Italy but are now commonly grown in Florida and are a very popular variety.
Bearss lemons are often used to produce lemon oil from their peels.
Italian Sorrento Lemons
Quite tart in taste, Italian Sorrento lemons are very juicy with few seeds, making them perfect for baking. They have a very thick, bumpy rind and an oval shape.
Italian Sorrento lemons have a lovely zest to them that is aromatic and a rich flavor that can be added to such dishes as pasta, marinades, and even sorbets.
Just as Eureka lemons have very thick skin, so too do Verna lemons. They also do not have a lot of juice, so expect a lot of pulp when you cut into these lemons.
Verna lemon trees love sunshine and grow between 10 and 12 feet high. They produce lemons twice a year, although if there are the right soil conditions, you may get a third crop.
Bonnie Brae Lemons
Mainly grown in California, Bonne Brae lemons have a long, oval shape to them and are actually seedless. They have a very smooth skin that has won many awards.
Unfortunately, it is hard to find Bonnie Brae lemons because they are quite delicate due to their thin rinds. However, if you are able to find this variety, you will be impressed by how juicy they are.
Mainly grown in Italy, Volkamer lemons have a cute, round shape to them, and are smaller in size than other lemons. They get their shape because Volkamer lemons are actually a hybrid between lemons and sour oranges.
Buddha’s Hand Lemons
When we think of lemons, we have a very specific shape in mind. However, Buddha’s Hand lemons are quite distinct, with multiple tendrils hanging down from their top area.
The tendrils on Buddha’s Hand lemons are just composed of rind, as there is no juice or seeds, so it is popular if you are looking to use the rind part of lemons.
Fino Citron Lemons
While Fino Citron lemons have a bright, acidic taste to them, they are not as common because of how they grow.
Surrounding the delectable fruit are branches full of thorns, which makes many farmers opt for easier trees to harvest.
However, Fino Citron lemons are of good quality and you can get two solid crops a year from them.
While originally coming from Turkey and Italy, Interdonato lemons can now be found in California. They have a mild taste to them and more pulp than juice.
Interdonato lemons thrive in climates that are cool but also have high humidity. Overall, these lemons are bright yellow in color and are very smooth.
Yen Ben Lemons
With a very thin skin, Yen Ben lemons are quite delicate and need to be harvested at the right time or else they can quickly become rotten.
Yen Ben lemons are very juicy on the inside and outside have a very smooth skin. They produce fruit twice a year, in the summer and the winter.
What are the best lemons?
If we are going by popularity, then Eureka lemons would be the best. These are the acidic, bright yellow lemons that you would find in your grocery store, and are also easy to grow in your backyard.
However, if you are looking for the best, sweet lemon, then be sure to consider Meyer lemons. A favorite for desserts, these lemons have a bright, sweet taste to them that is often surprising.
There are many types of lemons that grow all over the world, both in warm climates and cooler ones.
There are lemons smaller than your fist and some so large they can break the very branches they grow on. And while a lot of lemons are sour, there are quite a few varieties that are also sweet.