Saturday, December 21, 2013
Sweet lemon (Citrus limetta)
Sweet lemon (Citrus limetta) is an acid-free or low-acid variety of citrus. The same species is also sometimes known as sweet lime.
On the outside they are a typical lemon-yellow color. The flesh inside is pale yellow-green to nearly colorless.
They taste like a very mild lemon, without the acid bite.They are popular in Asia and the Middle-East, but somewhat difficult to find in the U.S. If you see them in a local market, buy some and try them.
Sweet lemon sections can be eaten whole, like an orange. They can also be juiced and drank plain or diluted with ice water for a refreshing beverage.
Sweet lemon trees grow similar in size and shape to other lemons, reaching about 12 feet tall and wide.
Like other citrus, the trunks and branches have long thorns.
Flowering occurs in the early spring with typical, highly fragrant citrus blossoms.
The fruit grows to about 3 inches in diameter and starts to ripen in late fall. The harvest continues throughout the winter. They are very prolific, but mature fruits hold well on the tree for several months so you only need to pick them as you need them.
Citrus limetta is native to Southeast Asia, and will grow in just about any region where other citrus trees are grown. This is approximately USDA Zones 9-11.