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Citrus ID






Bradbury, Cavers, Crisps, Deaver, Doctor Strong, Drake Star, du Portugal, Hall, Jameson, Kaweah, Ledge, Ledig, Limoneira 8A, Lisboa, Lissabon, Lupe, Monroe, Olivelands, Portugal, Price, Prior, Prospect, Strong, Thille, USDA, Verity (sec. Cottin 2002); Gallego, Galligan (sec. Hodgson 1967)

Cultivar or taxon


Citrus x limon (L.) Osbeck, pro sp. (sensu Mabberley 1997, Bayer et al. 2009); Citrus limon (L.) Burm. f. [=Citrus x limon (L.) Osbeck, pro sp.] (sensu Swingle and Reece 1967)



Hodgson (1967) noted that:

"Lisbon is of Portuguese origin, although it is not known there by that name. It is believed to be a selection of the Gallego seedling clonal group, which in Portugal is somewhat comparable to the common sweet orange groups of Spain, Italy, and numerous other countries. A selection known as Portugal in Morocco and Algeria is said to be indistinguishable from the Lisbon introduced from California.

The earliest reference to Lisbon in California appears to be its listing in the 1853 catalogue of Warren and Sons Nursery and Garden in Sacramento. It was brought to California in 1849 or soon thereafter from Massachusetts by J. L. L. F. Warren, who had listed it in a nursery catalogue issued at Nonantum Vale, near Boston, as early as 1843 (Butterfield 1963). It is virtually certain that this variety ultimately reached southern California, for Caryl (1940) reports that budwood from an old Lisbon lemon tree growing in Alameda was shipped to S. P. Stowe of Goleta in 1883.

Two importations are known to have been made from Australia, where this variety was introduced as early as 1824 (Bowman 1955). The first was by S. P. Stowe in 1874, who shared his introduction with Thomas A. Garey, a pioneer citrus nurseryman of Los Angeles. The second was by J. W. North of Riverside, who received a few small trees in 1875 and turned them over to D. N. Burnham, a California nurseryman.

The vigor, hardiness, and high productivity of Lisbon combined to establish its early and enduring popularity, particularly in the California interior districts. Eureka has been its only rival, principally in the coastal districts, though in recent decades that variety has declined somewhat in popularity in favor of Lisbon. Although not as widely grown as Eureka in most other lemon-producing countries, Lisbon is unquestionably one of the major varieties.

It early became evident that in California this variety contained several clones which differed in vigor, size and abundance of thorns, compactness of branching, and denseness of foliage. Principal among these selected for propagation were the so-called "short-thorn," "semidense," and "open" types as well as the "standard" clone characterized above. Since Lisbon is not regarded as a clonal variety in its country of origin and at least three independent introductions contributed to its propagation in California, the facts strongly support the conclusion that these types or so-called "strains" were contained in the original introductions and that, as a consequence, Lisbon should properly be regarded as a group of clones in California, probably of common parentage, rather than a single clonal variety. All of the clones currently propagated seem to be of the standard or short-thorn types, both of which are characterized by high vigor and productivity.

In California, the selection of outstanding trees for use in propagation has been widely employed for some decades, which has made possible comparison of numerous individual tree bud progenies. It is the consensus of the nurserymen that the old budline clonal selections currently most in demand are Galligan, Limoneira 8A, Monroe, Prior, Rosenberger, and Strong, and to a lesser extent Kaweah and Walker. Selections of importance in the recent past include Bradbury, Cavers, Deaver, Hall, Jameson, Ledig, Price, Prospect, and USDA. At the time of their selection, the bud parent trees were outstanding in vigor and productivity and were considered to be typical for the variety."

The Chiefland Budwood Facility (2010) provided the following notes on the cultivar (clone DPI-404-9): "Entered into program by Dr. Knorr C.E.S. in 1968 from the Coca Cola Hodgeston grove at Indian Town. Origin: Australia from seed from Portugal."



Crown compact or dense, not weeping. First-year twig surface glabrous; second- or third-year twig surface striate; thorns straight; prickles absent or not persistent. Petiole glabrous, length short; wings narrow, adjoining the blade. Leaflets one, margin bluntly toothed, shade leaflet blades flat or weakly conduplicate, sun leaflet blades weakly conduplicate. Scent of crushed leaflets freshly lemon-like. Fruit as broad as long or longer than broad; rind green-yellow (6), yellow (7-10), or yellow-orange (11); rind texture slightly rough (4-5); firmness leathery; navel absent; flesh yellow; taste sour.

Hodgson (1967) provided the following additional notes on the cultivar:

"Fruit medium in size, elliptical to oblong; base tapering to inconspicuous neck; apex tapering likewise into a usually large, prominent nipple surrounded by an irregular areolar furrow, commonly deeper on one side. Seed content variable, but usually few to none. Color yellow at maturity. Rind medium-thick; surface finely pitted, faintly rugose, inconspicuously ribbed if at all; tightly adherent. Segments about 10; core small and solid. Flesh color pale greenish-yellow; fine-grained, tender, juicy; flavor very acid. Crop comes mainly in winter and early spring.

Tree vigorous, upright-spreading, large, thorny, densely foliated, and productive. Tree most vigorous of varieties grown in California and most resistant to adverse conditions such as frost, heat, wind, and neglect.

The Lisbon fruit is generally smoother and less ribbed than Eureka, the nipple and areolar furrow more prominent, and the taper at the ends more gradual. The characters are so variable and overlapping, however, as to make identification from small samples uncertain, if not impossible. The tree is quite different from the Eureka, however, and easily distinguishable."

The Chiefland Budwood Facility (2010) provided the following additional notes on the cultivar (clone PI-404-9): "Description: Smoother and less ribbed than Eureka, prominent nipple, dense tree, upright branches, vigorous, hardier, thornier and more vigorous than Eureka. Season: Winter-Spring"



Bayer, R.J., D.J. Mabberley, C. Morton, C.H. Miller, I.K. Sharma, B.E. Pfeil, S. Rich, R. Hitchcock, and S. Sykes. 2009. A molecular phylogeny of the orange subfamily (Rutaceae: Aurantioideae) using nine cpDNA sequences. American Journal of Botany 96: 668–685.

Bowman, F.T. 1955. A history of citrus growing in Australia. 1788-1900. Citrus News 31(8):102–03.

Butterfield, H.M. 1963. A history of subtropical fruits and nuts in California. University of Californica, Division of Agricultural Sciences, Berkeley. 57 p.

Caryl, R.E. 1940. Citrus culture in California. California Agricultural Extension Circular 114. 48 pp.

Chiefland Budwood Facility. 2010. 2010 Annual report July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2010. Bureau of Citrus Budwood Registration, Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Winter Haven.

Cottin, R. 2002. Citrus of the World: A citrus directory. Version 2.0. France: SRA INRA-CIRAD.

Hodgson, R.W. 1967. Horticultural varieties of Citrus. In: Reuther, W., H.J. Webber, and L.D. Batchelor (eds.). The Citrus industry, rev. University of California Press.

Mabberley, D.J. 1997. A classification for edible Citrus (Rutaceae). Telopea 7: 167–172.

Swingle, W.T. and P.C. Reece. 1967. The botany of Citrus and its wild relatives. In: Reuther, W., H.J. Webber, and L.D. Batchelor (eds.). The Citrus industry. Ed. 2. Vol. I. University of California, Riverside.



Search for this cultivar in NCBI Entrez or NCBI Nucleotide, or NCBI Expressed Sequence Tags

Additional information on this cultivar at University of California: Riverside Citrus Variety Collection (Dr. Strong) (2 (Limoneira 8A), 3 (Lupe), 4 (Prior))


Citrus ID Edition 2
October, 2011