Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sweeping statements...

If you turn to page 279 in your Western Garden Book, 8th Edition, Library of Congress Control Number 2006932574 you would come across the Citrus plants section. They are usually referred to as C. Jambhira or perhaps C. reticulata. We all know that edulis means that the fruit is edible and that floridus also means that it a a free flowering shrub. However, it may have escaped a less observant gardener that Jambhira is the Meyers Lemon tree. Some call it improved, meaning it is disease free (to some) however I will refer to it as the the Meyers lemon (really small) tree.
As you run your eye over the character traits of the Mevers lemon tree you'll read the following, "Fruit is quite different from commercial lemon - rounder, thinner skinned and orange yellow in color." This may or may not be true as mine has never attempted to grow lemons. Further down you'll find "Tree is not a dwarf...can reach 12 ft tall and 15ft. wide."

Being the courteous and even gracious gardeners that we are, we won't mock its thin skinned fruit or its largeness of girth. No, we shall pass on. It gets really interesting when you find "Low heat requirement makes lemons widely adapted and especially appreciated in regions where sweet oranges and grapefurit won't ripen. Do best year-round near the coast, though some varieties are successful in the desert." Sweeping statements like these are made to be contradicted. Take my lemon tree as a case in point. Not only does do best, but seems to keep doing worse and we are near a coast. Perhaps I lack that necessary greenness of the thumb or perhaps it is the left pinky. Or it could be they meant a coast where the sun shines more than a few times a year. I will not point any of this out to the editor as they probably are busy with real problems. I'll just point it out succinctly here and warn future lemon tree buyers. The "improved" Meyers lemon tree is really nice in the nursery and even nicer in California - but beware. In western Washington we may not have hippogriffs or huffalumps but we do have lots of cold cloudy weather that will slowly stiffle the lemon tree faster than any hippogriff or woozle.

1 comment:

  1. I passed up a Meyer lemon tree last year. Now I'm not feeling so bad about that decision! :) I hope yours surprises you and makes lots of lemons this year!