The lemon is a well-known cultural plant grown for several millennia. Its origin is unknown; Some scientists believe that it is native to the North-West India. In the beginning of the III century AD lemon was cultivated in the south of Italy, in the VIII century - in Egypt and Iraq, at the end of the first millennium - in China. By the beginning of the second millennium, the Arabs spread it throughout the Mediterranean region. Christopher Columbus brought the seeds of this plant to the New World during one of his expeditions. Now lemons are cultivated in many countries around the world. In Russia, they grow in subtropical areas of the Black Sea coast.
Lemon is a small evergreen tree, growing not more than 1.5 m tall. Its leaves are dark green, oval-shaped, 7-15 centimeters long, thick and leathery, with short petioles... there can be seen bright spots - the glandulas that produce essential oils. If you rub the surface of the leaves a little, you can feel a light citrus scent.
The flowers are white 2-3 cm in diameter. White flowers are solitary or collected in blossom clusters. Petals of the flowers are slightly twisted back. The smell of flowers resembles the one of jasmine with some peculiarities, some people may think it aggressive in some instances. Each flower lasts a few days. Fallen petals keep the scent, so they can be collected and used for flavoring. The fruits of some cultivars reach 10 cm in diameter, the skin has greenish or yellowish tinge. The peel may be thin or thick (up to 10 mm) containing the glands which secrete essential oils. There are a lot of cultivars and hybrids derived from related species. They differ in size and shape, the color of the peel and pulp, the balance of sweet and sour taste, the amount of seed, or lack of it, keeping quality and some other properties.
Chemical composition of lemon:
Lemon fruits contain 87.7% of solids, including 8.4% carbohydrate, 3.5% sugar, 0.9% proteins, 1.3% fat and more than 1% pectin.
Lemons are rich in organic acids - 6 - 8%, so they are used to produce citric acid.
Lemon - a concentrate of vitamins:
ascorbic acid - 60 mg / 100 g,
Beta-carotene - 0,01mg / 100 g,
B6 - 0,006mg / 100g,
tiatsina - 0.1 mg / 100 g,
pantothenic acid - 0.2 mg / 100 g