Plant Spotlight: Ponderosa Lemons

We spotted these giant ponderosa lemons at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show last weekend and nearly squealed with delight.

A lemon tree? That can grow in Chicago? Well maybe, maybe not. Ponderosa lemons are considered a lemon-citron hybrid and average 2 to 4 pounds, although they're sometimes called "5 Pound Lemons." The peel is thick, bumpy and round, with no pointed tip.

They are less hardy than other lemon varieties but grow well in containers. So there's a chance a ponderosa lemon tree could survive a cold Midwest winter indoors, but it would have to be in a humidity controlled environment. And that could prove quite difficult.

Still, we think it might be worth the effort to have access to these lemons that have been known to produce up to a cup of juice a piece.

The taste is similar to a regular lemon, or so we hear. We were certainly tempted to pluck one of those beauties from the display, but thought better of it.

Anyone tasted or grown ponderosa lemons?

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(Image: Joanna Miller)

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