lemon eureka

Lemon Delights

Lemon Eureka, Lemon Meyer and Rough Skin Lemon

Gardeners the world over prize the beautiful lemon tree for its lush green foliage and juicy fruit. Home gardeners tend to favour either the Eureka Lemon (Citrus Limon ‘Eureka’) or the Lemon Meyer (Citrus x Meyeri).

The Lemon Meyer originated in China and is believed to be a hybrid between a lemon and a tangerine or orange, whereas the Eureka Lemon is a true lemon. Both these lemon trees are exceptionally hardy with the Lemon Meyer having an extra capacity to handle cold weather and frost.

These lemon trees grow well in large pots and are suitable for containers around the home and garden brightening up even small gardens and home spaces. They will bear fruit for home use all year round, especially when grown in warm climates.

The differences in their fruit is quite obvious in that the Eureka Lemon bears abundant yellow-gold, oblong fruit, mostly in the spring and summer months, whereas the Lemon Meyer bears yellow-orange fruit that can look more like an orange,  in autumn and winter, and is usually sweeter and less acidic than it’s Eureka cousin.

It’s also worth mentioning the Rough Skin Lemon – the oldest variety of lemon in South Africa – named for its bumpy, uneven thick skin. Like the Lemon Meyer it is sweeter than other lemon varieties and makes a flavourful lemon juice.

The Rough Skin Lemon tree was brought to South Africa via St. Helena sometime in the 17th century, and planted in the Cape Town gardens of Jan van Riebeeck. European traders who sojourned in the Cape on the way to other African countries, enjoyed the fruit from the Rough Skinned Lemon. These fruits were popular because of their high vitamin C content which helped to combat scurvy, a common affliction of many sailors.

No matter which variety of lemon is your favourite, each one has its own unique qualities that make it a must for the garden.

Read more about lemons here.

The Gardener