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Acidic lemons are the only type grown for commercial purposes in the U.S. with the Eureka and Lisbon varieties dominating. California and Arizona produce virtually all of the lemons consumed in the U.S. as well as about one-third of those used throughout the world. Florida grows Sicilian types such as Bearss, Avon, Harney and Villafranco. Adequate supplies of lemons are available year-round. California and Arizona desert areas harvest during fall and winter. Lemons produced in other regions of California are harvested from March to September. Supplies peak April through July. Lemons store from one to five months, enhancing their year-round availability and helping to eliminate extreme short-ages. Sizes range from 63s to 235s.

Shipping containers

  • 42 lb 4/5 bushel cartons
  • 38 lb cartons (Ariz, Calif)
  • 36 lb cartons (Chile, Spain)

Nutrition Facts

  • Serving Size: 1 medium lemon (58g)
  • Amount per serving
  • Calories 15 Calories from Fat 0
  • Total Fat 0g 0%
  • Saturated Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 5mg 0%
  • Total Carbohydrate5g 2%
  • Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
  • Sugars 1g
  • Protein 0g
  • Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 40%
  • Calcium 2% Iron 0%
  • Percent Daily Values based on a 2000 calorie diet

Foodservice packs

  • Lemons are available in foodservice packs containing 2-,3- and 5-lb, cartons, as well as minipack cartons which average 7-9 lbs.
  • US Grades: U.S. No 1, U.S. Export No 1, U.S. Combination, U.S. No 2
  • Common PLUs: 4033 Small, 4958 Medium 4053 Large
  • Equvalents: 1 medium lemon = about 3 tablespoon juice
  • 1 medium lemon = 3 teaspoon grated peel
  • 5-6 medium lemons = about 1 cup juice


Avoid lemons that are shriveled or hard-skinned, soft or spongy. High colored, soft fruit may be old or otherwise undesirable. The best lemons will be fine-textured and heavy for their size. Coarse, thick-skinned and light lemons are likely to have less juice. Fruit that has a slightly greenish cast is likely to have more acid than those that are deep yellow.


  • Temperature: 45-48 F, 7.2-8.9 C
  • Relative humidity: 85% to 90%
  • Mist Lightly
  • Typical shelf life: Several weeks if properly refrigerated

Odor Producer

  • Highly sensitive to freezing injury
  • Susceptible to chilling injury
  • Shoppers can keep lemons at room temperature for several days.
  • Do not store or transport odor-sensitive items with commodities that produce odors. Likely to suffer injury by one light freezing
  • Damage sometimes is not apparent until the produce is returned to a warmer temperature.

Shipper Listings

Letters after shippers names correspond to the varieties of lemons each carries. Lemon variety listing code is O-Organic.

  • Arizona
    Nogales: Bay Area Produce Inc, Phoenix: Sunkist Growers Inc, Yuma: Associated Citrus Packers Inc Pasquinelli Produce Co
  • California
    Bakersfield: Billingsley Produce Sales Inc
    Crawford co Inc.
    Harold Dole North American Fruit Operations 661-392-3600
    Grimmway Farms dba Grimmway Enterprises Inc.
    Sun World International Inc Wilson Co Randy
  • Carlsbad
    Carlsbad Produce Inc
  • Coachella
    Landberg Marketing Inc
    Sun World International Inc
    Wilson Co, Randy
  • Cutler
    Olsen Co, The Chuck
  • Dana Point
    Seacoast Distributing Inc
  • Del Rey
    Fruit Marketing of California


Along with Lisbon, Eureka is one of the most widely grown supermarket lemons. Because it is slightly less hardy than Lisbon and has more of a tendency to bear fruit year-round, it is better adapted to mild-winter coastal areas of California. Even near the coast, however, most fruit is ripe in late winter to spring. Inland, there are two main harvest seasons: one in spring and one in summer with some fruit borne year-round.

Fruit: Medium size with thick, bright yellow rind. Juicy and strongly acidic to no seeds. Hard to peel. Holds well on tree but will become puffy if held long. Borne at the tips of branches.

Tree: Vigorous, open tree. Smaller, less hardy and fewer thorns than Lisbon New growth and flowers are tinged bronze purple. Requires pruning to keep attractive and within bounds.

Other Varieties of Eureka

Variegated Pink Eureka is a recently introduced variety that makes a very attractive landscape plant. Leaves are variegated white. Young fruit is varied white and pink, gradually fading to yellow. Interior flesh is light pink, not dark enough to make pink lemonade. Fruit is often ribbed and smaller than Eureka.

Sun Gold has white and yellow-cream mottling on the leaves. Fruit is strip yellow and green. It, too, is an attractive ornamental.


Hardier, more heat tolerant and productive than Eureka, Lisbon is better added to hot-summer climates and is the preferred supermarket lemon for inland California and desert areas. It is requires regular pruning to keep within bounds. Most ripens fall to winter. In coastal areas some fruit ripens throughout the year.

Fruit: Large with a thick, bright yellow rind. Juicy and highly acidic. Few to seeds. Hard to peel. Holds well on the tree but will begin to puff if left too Fruit tends to be borne on inside branches.

Tree: Vigorous, dense growing. Requires pruning to keep shapely and within bounds. Hardier and more heat tolerant than Eureka. New growth is tinged bronzy purple.

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