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Botanical description

The lemon tree grows to 6 m (20 ft) tall, and has stout spines. The leaves are dark green, leathery, and evergreen, oblong, elliptical, or oval and up to 14 cm (4 in) long; in contrast to several other citrus species, the petioles (leaf stems) are not winged or only narrowly winged. Flower buds are purplish but flowers open to have 5 white petals, up to 5 cm across. Fruits are globose to oblong, 7.5 to 12.5 cm long, and ripen to yellow, with smooth to bumpy rinds dotted with oil glands.[12]

Uses

Edible uses

Leaves

Tea

Flowers

Material uses

An essential oil obtained from the leaves and young twigs is called 'petitgrain oil'. Yields are around 0.4%[11].

The juice of the fruit is used for polishing bronze and other metals that have been neglected[10]. It can also be used for removing ink stains[10]. The juice is used as a bleaching agent[13].

Wood - nicely veined, it takes a beautiful polish[9].

Unknown part

Peel, Skin, Rind

Seed

Fruit, Rind

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Lemons are an excellent preventative medicine and have a wide range of uses in the domestic medicine chest. The fruit is rich in vitamin C which helps the body to fight off infections and also to prevent or treat scurvy[9][11][14]. It was at one time a legal requirement that sailors should be given an ounce of lemon each day in order to prevent scurvy[9]. Applied locally, the juice is a good astringent and is used as a gargle for sore throats etc[9]. Lemon juice is also a very effective bactericide[10]. It is also a good antiperiodic and has been used as a substitute for quinine in treating malaria and other fevers[9].

Although the fruit is very acid, once eaten it has an alkalizing effect upon the body[14]. This makes it useful in the treatment of rheumatic conditions[14]. The skin of the ripe fruit is carminative and stomachic[11]. The essential oil from the skin of the fruit is strongly rubefacient and when taken internally in small doses has stimulating and carminative properties[9]. The stem bark is bitter, stomachic and tonic[15]. An essential oil from the fruit rind is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Refreshing'[16]. Citrus species contain a wide range of active ingredients and research is still underway in finding uses for them. They are rich in vitamin C, bioflavonoids, acids and volatile oils. They also contain coumarins such as bergapten which sensitizes the skin to sunlight. Bergapten is sometimes added to tanning preparations since it promotes pigmentation in the skin, though it can cause dermatitis or allergic responses in some people[6]. Some of the plants more recent applications are as sources of anti-oxidants and chemical exfoliants in specialized cosmetics[6].

The bioflavonoids in the fruit help to strengthen the inner lining of blood vessels, especially veins and capillaries, and help counter varicose veins and easy bruising[14].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

The seed is best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it ripe after thoroughly rinsing it[17][7]. Sow stored seed in March in a greenhouse[2]. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 3 weeks at 13°c. Seedlings are liable to damp off so they must be watered with care and kept well ventilated. The seed is usually polyembrionic, two or more seedlings arise from each seed and they are genetically identical to the parent but they do not usually carry any virus that might be present in the parent plant[7]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least three growing seasons before trying them outdoors. Plant them out in the summer and give them some protection from the cold for their first few winters outdoors.

Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame.

Layering in October.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Citrus limon. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a moderately heavy loam with a generous amount of compost and sand added and a very sunny position[1][7]. Prefers a pH between 5 and 6[7]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.8 to 8.3. Plants are intolerant of water logging[2]. When growing plants in pots, a compost comprising equal quantities of loam and leafmould plus a little charcoal should produce good results[18]. Do not use manure since Citrus species dislike it[18]. When watering pot plants it is important to neither overwater or underwater since the plant will soon complain by turning yellow and dying. Water only when the compost is almost dry, but do not allow it to become completely dry[18].

Dormant plants can withstand temperatures down to about -6°c so long as this is preceded by a spell of 2 - 3 weeks of cool weather to allow the plant to acclimatize[2]. If the change from mild to cold weather is more sudden then the plant will still be in growth and will be much more susceptible to damage and can be harmed by temperatures below 0°c[2]. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun[K]. It is best if a winter minimum of 4°c is maintained[2]. The lemon is widely grown for its edible fruit in warm temperate and tropical zones, there are many named varieties[5]. In Britain it can be grown in a pot that is placed outdoors in the summer and brought into a greenhouse for the winter[2]. By budding onto hardier species such as C. aurantium, C. ichangensis or Poncirus trifoliata, the lemon becomes more cold tolerant and its climatic range can be somewhat extended[2]. The flowers are sweetly scented[19].

Plants dislike root disturbance and so should be placed into their permanent positions when young. If growing them in pots, great care must be exercised when potting them on into larger containers[6].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Citrus limon. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Citrus limon.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Citrus limon
Genus
Citrus
Family
Rutaceae
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
9
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    3 x 1
    Fertility
    Pollinators
    ?
    Flower Colour
    white, indigo
    Flower Type

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    "image:Citrus x limon - Köhler?s Medizinal-Pflanzen-041.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Citrus x limon - Köhler?s Medizinal-Pflanzen-041.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


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    "image:Citrus x limon - Köhler?s Medizinal-Pflanzen-041.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Citrus x limon - Köhler?s Medizinal-Pflanzen-041.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Citrus x limon - Köhler?s Medizinal-Pflanzen-041.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Citrus x limon - Köhler?s Medizinal-Pflanzen-041.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Citrus x limon - Köhler?s Medizinal-Pflanzen-041.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Citrus x limon - Köhler?s Medizinal-Pflanzen-041.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Citrus x limon - Köhler?s Medizinal-Pflanzen-041.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Citrus x limon - Köhler?s Medizinal-Pflanzen-041.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Citrus x limon - Köhler?s Medizinal-Pflanzen-041.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.3 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (32202/01/01)
    2. ? 2.02.12.22.32.42.52.62.72.8 Simmons. A. E. Growing Unusual Fruit. David and Charles ISBN 0-7153-5531-7 (32202/01/01)
    3. ? 3.03.13.23.33.43.5 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (32202/01/01)
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.34.44.5 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (32202/01/01)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.45.55.6 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (32202/01/01)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.46.56.66.76.8 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (32202/01/01)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.47.57.6 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (32202/01/01)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Howes. F. N. Vegetable Gums and Resins. Faber ()
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.49.59.69.79.89.9 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (32202/01/01)
    10. ? 10.010.110.210.310.410.510.610.7 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (32202/01/01)
    11. ? 11.011.111.211.311.411.5 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (32202/01/01)
    12. ? [Citrus limon] Encyclopedia of Life (2012/09/01)
    13. ? 13.013.1 Manandhar. N. P. Plants and People of Nepal Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-527-6 (32202/01/01)
    14. ? 14.014.114.214.314.4 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (32202/01/01)
    15. ? 15.015.1 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (32202/01/01)
    16. ? 16.016.1 Westwood. C. Aromatherapy - A guide for home use. Amberwood Publishing Ltd ISBN 0-9517723-0-9 (32202/01/01)
    17. ? Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 4. Thompson and Morgan. (32202/01/01)
    18. ? 18.018.118.2 Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Conservatory and Indoor Plants Volumes 1 & 2 Pan Books, London. ISBN 0-330-37376-5 (32202/01/01)
    19. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (32202/01/01)


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    Facts about "Citrus limon"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteNo +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyRutaceae +
    Belongs to genusCitrus +
    Has common nameLemon +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partFruit +, Leaves + and Flowers +
    Has edible useFresh +, Cooked +, Drink +, Seasoning + and Tea +
    Has fertility typeSelf fertile +
    Has flowers of colourwhite + and indigo +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has growth rateModerate +
    Has hardiness zone9 +
    Has imageCitrus x limon - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-041.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +, Peel +, Skin +, Rind +, Seeds + and Fruit +
    Has material useCleanser +, Essential +, Oil +, Soap +, Polish +, Pot-pourri + and Repellent +
    Has mature height3 +
    Has mature width1 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAntibacterial +, Antiperiodic +, Antiscorbutic +, Aromatherapy +, Astringent +, Carminative +, Miscellany +, Refrigerant +, Rubefacient +, Stimulant + and Stomachic +
    Has primary imageCitrus x limon - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-041.jpg +
    Has search namecitrus limon + and x +
    Has seed requiring scarificationNo +
    Has seed requiring stratificationNo +
    Has shade toleranceNo shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral +, Alkaline + and Very alkaline +
    Has soil teclayture preferenceClay +
    Has soil teloamyture preferenceLoamy +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomy nameCitrus limon +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Is deciduous or evergreenEvergreen +
    Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    Tolerates air pollutionNo +
    Tolerates maritime exposureNo +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Tolerates windNo +