Rough Lemons

This is the time of the year in south Louisiana when the citrus trees blaze their orange and yellow colors as the cooler temperatures hit. Satsumas, Kumquats, Sweet Oranges, and now my newest discovery — Rough Lemons.

Sweet Orange Tree overgrown with Rough Lemon root stock

I see many citrus trees on my walks around the neighborhood. One in particular had drawn my attention over past years. It was loaded with good-looking fruit that never seemed to be picked.

Rough Lemons on tree

The result would then just be fruit rotting on the ground. What a waste.

Long story short, it turns out the owner thought the fruit was “bad”. It took some research and perseverance, but it appears that what had happened is that a sweet orange tree had been overtaken by the “Rough Lemon” root stock to which it had been grafted. Obviously, if the owner was expecting sweet oranges, then lemons would be a surprise! And besides, the tree is loaded with thorns (which is indicative of a true lemon, so that could have also elicited the comment about “bad”). Or maybe it is because they sort of look lopsided and deformed?

Rough Lemons

We agreed I could have all I wanted, and of course I offered some marmalade in return. (hopefully I can post more about making the lemon marmalade later — stay tuned!)

Actually, it is amazing that these lemons are so large. Almost rather like grapefruit — as well as the taste. Since I like grapefruit, that suits me just fine. The only downside, as I see it, are all the seeds. But I can deal with that (and anyway, they make great natural pectin for the marmalade).

Rough Lemon cut in half

Let me know if you have a favorite recipe for lemon marmalade. I’d be glad to compile a list and try out a few myself!



Written by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer - Visit Website

3 thoughts on “Rough Lemons”

  1. Hi,
    I have a massive rough lemon tree and am harvesting about three kilos a week.
    2 things I do

    Make marmalade from them. Wash whole fruit and put through the food processor. Cook with equal weight of sugar.
    Doesn’t need added pectin

    Add 250g of zest to a 2 litre bottle of white vinegar. Let it sit in a dark place for a month. Makes an awesome cleaning product for the shower, floors etc

  2. How lovely to live somewhere where you can see lemon and orange trees full of fruit. I was in Louisiana last March and loved the kumquat trees full of fruit.

    1. I only have a small kumquat tree. Planted it early last year but had enough fruit to make 2 jars of kumquat marmalade. yum! The small tree (actually more the size of a bush) is loaded with fruit again this year. Just about ready to start picking some and plan to make more marmalade. I’m really pleased with how it is doing.

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