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Lemon, Citrus limon / Rutaceae
There are many varieties of lemons. The differences between lemons of a same variety are often greater that the differences between two different varieties. The most important varieties cultivated in Spain are Verna and Fino, although the Eureka variety is the mostly used in the cultures of Asia and South America.

Many varieties of lemons have different characteristics among them, and they are not as great as those among the different varieties of oranges and mandarins. Sometimes it is impossible to distinguish one variety from the other, since the difference among the fruit of the same tree is as great as that between fruit of different varieties.

The most important varieties are Verna and Fino. Their surface distribution in Spain is approximately 90%, being the rest for the Eureka, Lisbon and Villafranca varieties.

The origin of the Verna variety is Spain. Its production accounts for 70% of the total, that is to say, around 654,000 tons. It is produced mainly in Alicante and Murcia. The variety Fino comes from an old Spanish variety produced near the river Segura. It is the most early variety in Spain and accounts for 20% of the production.

The variety Eureka is cultivated outside the Mediterranean area, mainly in California, Australia, South Africa, Argentina and Israel. The variety Lisbon is Australian, cultivated in great areas of the desert of Arizona. The variety Villafranca still has importance in areas like Israel, but it is being replaced by other varieties.

Other varieties are " Primofiori ", " Interdonato ", " Femminello " that include different lemons representing most part of the lemon production of Italy, " Genova ", " Italian ", " Lapithkiotiki", and " Meyer ".

Description of some varieties:

" Fino’
Spherical or oval fruit, with a short nipple, smooth and thin skin. The pulp has a high content in juice and few seeds. The tree is vigorous, productive and thorny.

" Verna’
It is an average to large size fruit, with a pronounced nipple and well-developed neck. The skin is thick, rough and irregular, but the pulp is tender and its juice has an appropriate acidity, although it is less abundant than in other varieties.

" Eureka’
The fruit has a skin of average to thin thickness, usually smooth, although it is a bit rough specially if it is produced in Mediterranean climates. This lemon contains very few seeds and its juice has a high level of acidity.

" Lisbon"
The fruit is very similar to the Eureka variety, although it has a less pronounced nipple and the texture of the skin is rougher. The juice levels and its acidity are similar to those of Eureka.

" Villafranca’
This fruit has more seeds than the Eureka variety. Although the tree is more vigorous than the latter’s, it is very difficult to distinguish both varieties when they are adult.

" Primofiori’
Rounded or oval shape fruit, with a short nipple, smooth and thin skin and juicy pulp with few seeds.

" Interdonato’
Large, elongated and smooth fruit, although with a small quantity of juice. Its skin is thin, and the pulp is divided in 6-7 gores with few seeds.

" Femminello’
This variety includes different selections of average size lemons, quite thick skin and less juice content than other varieties, but more acid. The amount of seeds depends on the harvest.

" Génova’
It is a variety produced in South America. The fruit has a smooth skin and a substantial and acid pulp.

" Lapithkiotiki’
It is the most important variety in the North Cyprus coast. The fruit has a thin skin and a very juicy pulp with few seeds.

" Meyer"
It is a hybrid of lemon tree, orange tree and mandarin tree. It is similar to the orange, large and round shape, with a small nipple. The skin is yellowish orange, smooth, soft and thin; it lacks the characteristic smell of lemons. The pulp is dark yellow, very juicy and tender with more or less 10 seeds inside.
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