‘Meyer’ lemon is an interesting hybrid.

Of all the cultivars of citrus that are popular for home gardens, the ‘Meyer’ lemon is likely the most popular. However, it is not overly common in markets. That may be an incentive for growing it at home. Technically, it is not totally lemon. It is an odd hybrid of lemon and orange. Hence, its fruit has a distinctly rich flavor, but a bit less acidity than other lemons. 

‘Meyer’ lemon is distinct among citrus trees. It grows more like rigid shrubbery, with a few irregular trunks. Because it naturally develops compact form, it does not require dwarfing understock. Most old trees therefore grew from cuttings on their own roots. Modern trees commonly grow on understock though, so can develop suckers below their graft unions.

‘Meyer’ lemon fruit is abundant during autumn and winter. Minor quantities ripen through spring and summer also. All ‘Meyer’ lemon trees from nurseries nowadays are ‘Improved Meyer’, whether or not their labels say so. Their improvement was selection of stock that lacks a particular tristeza virus that was inherent to the original cultivar prior to the 1940s. 

8 thoughts on “Highlight: ‘Meyer’ Lemon

  1. I love these things. They make fabulous drinks, lemon curd and garnish. Here, they pop up in stores in winter, but if I decide not to buy them one week, there’s no guarantee they’ll be there the next. One of the few truly seasonal bits of store produce.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are less common than the ‘Lisbon’ lemon and related cultivars because they are more perishable. Also, because they do not grow as fast as the other lemons, it takes a while for their orchards to become productive enough to be lucrative. It was the most popular cultivar of all the citrus that we grew, but it was also my least favorite to grow. It is not a particularly interesting until it produces fruit, and we did not grow the for fruit.


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