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New Zealand Lemons

New Zealand Lemons

New Zealand Lemons.

Most people are aware of kiwifruit and its association with New Zealand, but the country is also a major producer of lemons.


The first lemon tree is believed to have arrived on a boat from Sydney, Australia in the early 19th century.

At the time growing lemons and limes was important for sailors on long sea journeys to prevent Vitamin C deficiency and scurvy.

Types of Lemon

The two main varieties of lemon grown in New Zealand are the Meyer and Yen Ben.

The former is juicy and is a hybrid of mandarin orange and lemon that originates from China.

The latter is a true lemon with light yellow skin and few seeds. The Yen Ben and the Meyer are both grown commercially in New Zealand and are exported. In 2018, more than $7m of Meyer lemons were exported.

You can see both varieties of lemon in the orchard at Auckland Botanic Garden.

New Zealand Lemons.

Growing Areas

Northland and Gisborne are the main citrus growing areas in New Zealand though fruit is also grown in Auckland, Bay of Plenty, and Hawke's Bay. Frost-free winters are a must as well as warm summers to produce the best fruit. The majority of the New Zealand lemon crop is harvested between June and March.

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