Front Matter
 Table of Contents
 Florida's lime and lemon indus...

Group Title: New Series - State of Florida. Department of Agriculture ; no. 102
Title: Florida's lime and lemon industry
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00002884/00001
 Material Information
Title: Florida's lime and lemon industry
Series Title: Bulletin. New Series
Alternate Title: Limes and lemons in Florida
Physical Description: 56 p., 2 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Writers' Program (Fla.)
Florida -- State Planning Board
Publisher: Florida Dept. of Agriculture
Place of Publication: Tallahassee <Fla.>
Publication Date: 1940
Subject: Limes -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Lemon -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 56.
General Note: Cover title: Limes and lemons in Florida.
General Note: "Compiled by workers of the Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Florida"--p. <3>
General Note: "Sponsored by the Florida State Planning Board"--p. <3>
General Note: "July 1940."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00002884
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001823143
oclc - 15556880
notis - AJP7154
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Front Matter
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Table of Contents
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Florida's lime and lemon industry
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Commercial prospects
            Page 16
            Page 17
            Page 18
            Page 19
            Page 20
        Leading Florida varieties
            Page 21
            Page 22
            Page 23
            Page 24
            Page 25
            Page 26
            Page 27
        Other varieties
            Page 28
            Page 29
            Page 30
        Diseases of limes
            Page 31
            Page 32
            Page 33
        Production costs
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 37a
        Page 37b
        Page 38
        Page 39
        General outlook
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
            Page 47
            Page 48
            Page 49
            Page 50
        A word about California's lemon industry
            Page 51
            Page 52
            Page 53
            Page 54
            Page 55
        Page 56
Full Text

Bulletin No. 102 iNew Series




NATHAN MA (), Conuhnissioer

- -. 1 1 : IC ... 6- Q

Bulletin No. 102

New Series

July 1910

Compiled by workers of the Writers' Program of the Work Projects
Adm inistration in the State of Florida

JOHN M. CARMODY, Administrator

F. C. HARRINGTON, Commissioner
FLORENCE KERR, Assistant Commissioner
RoY SCHRODER. State Administrator

Sponsored by

Published by
Florida Department of Agriculture
Nathan Mayo, Commissioner
Tallahassee, Florida

B:ECAI E of the recent revival of active interest in
the commercial production of limes and lemons in
Florida. and the range of possibilities for profit or
loss in these ventures. careful research was given
to the preparation of this bulletin. State and Fed-
eral agencies were consulted, as well as numelrolus
indi\ idual sources of information. Also. in order
to give a comprehensive picture of lime and lemon
production in general. information was secured
from other acid citrus-producing areas. The in-
dustry. particularly the grow ing of lemons. hlas not
vet reached sufficient proportions and Ide elop-
ment in Florida for official sources to ha\e tabu-
lated much late material on these products: then
too. many experiments regarding Narieties and
culture are still being conducted. In this bulletin
only data were used which gave reasonable evi-
dence of accuracy. Especial credit is due \V. T.
Martin ho prepared this booklet.

State Supcr\ i or
Florida \\ ritcr- P'rojvct
Work, Progre- .Administration



Florida's Lime and Lemon I1inuslrv 9

Introduction 10
Movements of Nurscry Trees 11
Plantings of Bearing Trees 12
Production lby ears % ith Average Farm Prices 13
Market Prices 14

Commercial Prospects 16
Organization and Standardization 16
Imports into the United States 1. 1
California. Texas. Arizona )20

Leading Florida varieties 21
The Key Lime 21
(ultre .22
Harvesting and Marketing 23

The Persian Lime 25
Culture 23
Ilar testing and Marketing 27

Other \ varieties 28
The Limequats 28
Rangpur lime 30
Calamiondin 30

Diseases of Limes 31
Hark Disease of Tahiti Lime and Perrine Lemon 32
Production Costs 34
Analyses 35



Introduction ................................

Plantings from Nurseries by Varieties ...........

Principal Plantings of Bearing Trees...........

Yields by Leading Counties with Values .........

General Outlook. ................... ............

California's Lemon Production by Years........

W orld Production ...........................

Exports and Im ports ........................

P rices ......................................

Processing into By-products ..................


.. .. .. 3 7

........ 38

.. .. . 39

.. ..... .. 40

. .. .. .. 4 0

. .. .. .. .. 4 1

. .. .. .. .. 4 3

.......... 43

.......... 43

. .. .. .. .. 4 5

V varieties ........... .. ........... ................ 45

The Perrine Lemon .................................... 45

General Culture and Other Factors. .......................47

Meyer Lemon ........................................ 49

Sperryola Lem on ...................................... 50

A Word about California's Lemon Industry. .................. 51

Texas, Arizona ........................................ 53

References ............................................. 56

The commercial production of limes and lemons in Florida
is. paradoxically. both a new and ain old industry.
Mexican or Key limes were grown to a considerable extent
on the Florida Keys prior to 1926. but principally because of
severe storms in that year many of tlie plantings were neg-
lected or abandoned entirely. Commercial line production the
following year was negligible." Stattstics of the United States
Department of Agriculture show that in 1919 Florida produced
28,000 boxes of limes, but by 1928 production in tlie state had
dropped to 6,000 boxes.
Florida's lemon vield roughly followed tile same course. Be-
fore the freezes of 1894-5. lemons were shipped from the state
in earlots, production reaching 140,000 boxes in one year. Pri-
or to this, however, difficulties were encountered in curing and
in control of diseases, especially the citrus or lemon scab. Af-
ter the freeze most of tile roves were either given up or the
rootstocks budded to more hard citrus varieties. Lntil recently,
lemon growing in the state was almost entirely restricted to door-
yard plantings.
Much of the revival of interest in the commercial produc-
tion of both of these fruits in Florida is chiefly the result of
new. or hitherto ungrown varieties, and a better understand-
ing of acid citrus culture as applicable to the state. Also, low
prices of oranges, grapefruit and tangerines in the past few
years have turned the attention of many growers to the possi-
bilities of lime or lemon culture ill sections of the state suit-
able to their cultivation.
Particular interest has been centering on limes. Although
Florida produces less than one per cent of the country's lemon
yield, the situation is reversed with regard to limes. Florida
producing more than 95 per cent of the limes grown in the
United States. Because limes are more sensitive to cold than
any other variety of citrus. Florida's southernmost location has
given her the advantage in the cultivation of this fruit. Sec-
tions best adaptable to lime culture in this country are almost
*Sce Talhb 3.


entirely confined to the central and southern parts of tile state.
For this reason it is entirely probable that Florida will never
suffer serious competition in commercial lime production with
any other area in the United States.
commerciall lemon growing in Florida has also shown expan-
sion lately but, as indicated, present production is considera-
bly below that of limes. This venture, however, offers possi-
bilities of developing into a profitable industry under certain
conditions. The state expends more than. S500,000 annually
for lemons brought in from the outside. It has been suggested
that it is doubtful whether Florida could compete with Cali-
fornia on the northern markets but that there is good proba-
bility of supplanting imports of this fruit by the local product.

In the early days limes and lemons were frequently consid-
ered as belonging to the same class, which doubtless was be-
cause these two varieties of the acid citrus family were chiefly
used for the same purposes. Both were probably introduced
into Florida by the Spanish explorers: whether directly from
Spain or by way of the West Indies is not known. In referring
to Columbus' second voyage to the New World in 1493, Las
Casas, the chronicler of the expedition wrote: "They brought
lhens, and also grains, and seeds of oranges, lemons, citrons, mel-
ons and all kinds of garden vegetables. ... "

Florida limes bid fair to become one of the most profitable
of the citrus crops. However, as with anything else, definite
knowledge and correct procedure iimust be applied to attain suc-
cess. Anyone considering going into lime production in Florida
should first of all carefully study the elements in this venture
necessary to profitable production.
For many years the only limes grown commercially in the
state were the Mexican or West Indian variety, known as Key
limes because their semi-wild growth was confined to the Florida
Keys. This variety was introduced into Florida by Dr. Henry
Perrine, pioneer horticulturist who, while U. S. Consul at
Yucatan, 1827-37, imported about 200 tropical plants into the


state from Mhexico. Dr. Perrine returned to Florida inl 1837 and
established an experimental preserve on Indian Key. This un-
dertaking concluded in 18-10 when thie colony was attacked by
the Indians and Dr. Perrine was killed. The only plants known
to have been introduced by him which have survived through
th(e years despite lack of care. are a iimhber of date palms scat-
tered over the Keys, tle sisal. and tlle Key limes.
The production of Kev limes has been restored since the
storms of 1926 but. except for certain limited areas on tlie sou-
thern tip of the pelmninsula. their culture is still confined to te
Keys. Chief interest in lime varieties on the mainland has cen-
tered on tlie Persian or Tahili lime. a larger and less tender
variety. more adaptable to the mainland than the Key lime.
Beginning wilih about 1928 this variety has increased inl poplu-
larity in sections of the state suitable to lime culture and its
selection from nurscrie- for commercial planting has been far
greater tlan that of all other varieties combined. This is in-
dlicated by tlie following, table of lime movements from Flori-
ia nurseries for local plantings:

31onreav entfs of tr 'eryIf Tr'.'es
T I.I: 1. MoxV11mI..s" OF L.MI. Tiu.i:. -' itOM FI.oHiI Nl itSl.il..s
S(Courtesv of Florida SIate Ilamt Ioiurd)
YI. R PI-.R',I \N I NN\ I 1'1) 01111:1 TOT l.
1928}-29 5.607 2.559 182 8.318
1929-30 ,.123 2.016 17.6 8.5t7
1930(-31 3.861 1.801 522 11.187
1931-32 11.995 13.075h 657 25.727
1932-33 28.939 17.167 1.679 47.78.
193:3-31 23.806 13.836 974 t0.616
1931-:35 20.631 11,566 1.168 33.665
1935-36 12.07. 17.089 2.010 61.207
1936-37 69.919 34.653 18.152 123.051
1937-38* 12. 455 22.074 61.529
Total 258.74.9 139.166 26.450 124.665
A stuIld of the abo,\e table will also reveal the increasing in-
terest in commercial lime production in Florida. In taking note
of the nursery movements, however, it must he borne in mind
that a considerable number of these trees wre for doorvard
plantings, which would reduce the number of trees for com-
mercial purposes. The figures gi\en were taken from the re-

*Bulk of mo'ovement,. for '.tat,-17 counilri-.


ports of nurserymen and are for the fiscal years ending June
30. When the reports failed to specify the particular variety
of a species moved, such movement was recorded as "Un-
Movements of nursery trees from 1928-29 to and including
1937-38, went chiefly to growers in Dade, Polk, Hillsborough,
Pinellas, Orange, Broward, Manatee, Brevard, St. Lucie, High-
lands, Lake, Lee, and Indian River counties, in the order named.
This order is somewhat modified by the figures on leading plant-
ings of bearing trees, as will be seen from the following census:
P1lantinyis of Bea'rin Trees
(Agricultural Statistics of Florida, Twenty-First Census, 1936-37,
Florida Department of Agriculture)
Dade 238,483 1,330,864
Monroe .. 97,439 779,412
Polk ..... 22,225 133,248
Lee .. .. ..... 20,558 123,175
Highlands 13,846 68,230
St. Lucie .. .... 13,520 76,620
Manatee .. 10,622 63,732
Hillsborough 6,994 34,945
Pasco 5,631 28,155
Brevard .. 5,512 33,162
Martin ... .. ... 4,746 23,730
Indian River ..4,686 23,230
Total .. ... 444,262 2,718,503
Total plantings of bearing trees for all counties were 455,849
with a value of S2,782,026. Thus it will be seen that the coun-
ties listed produce practically all of Florida's commercial limes.
The several counties on the list of principal nursery move-
ments not referred to in the above table, show plantings of bear-
ing trees below those of Indian River County. On the other
hand, Pasco and Martin counties, while somewhat up in the
scale of bearing trees, are not included in the list of nursery
movements. Monroe County may be considered a general ex-
ception, since practically all of the limes grown there are of
the Key variety and are propagated locally.
It should be added that the above figures are probably far
from complete. Since this census was compiled many young
plantings have come into hearing and it is possible that the total


number of heariiig trees to (late is much greater. At present,
for instance, \\inter Haven growers claim that of the bearing
trees given for Polk Countv, almost one-half are in their vicinity

IProdufction Iby lear.s iwith .-AI rera'ge
Farm I'rtices

The recent Iexpansion of commercial lime production in Flori-
da has developed from what might be called a mere start in
1927 to an industry of considerable proportions which is still
growing rapidly. According to statistics of tle united States
Department of Agriculture, Florida's commercial lime produc-
tion increased from 6000 boxes in 1928 to 110.000 boxes for the
1937 season. The state's production il 1937 was about three
times more than that of the preceding season. Table 3 indi-
cates Florida's commercial lime production for a period of
years. with a- erage prices per box received by growers and
total value of crops.




TJOTA .1 %1 Fl.I-
!ricuIllruII S~i(tistic(s. I niiO'd SIty'.s L)Deptnmr it of .Agriculture. 19.18)

PROM10 (A ION Pr'ice per B1ox FI- VLT
1 1.001)-~ Boe' Rcked to Growr 1 1.000~f I )oItar
I~~ )ottar 4(Y
28 *3. 1.- 97
20 `3.10 81
33 '2.T5 91
35 '2.90 102
40 *3.00 120
36 3.00 108
30 L.M) 120
12 6.50 78


1928 6
1929 8
1930 8
1931 9
1932 10
1933 12
1931 15
1935 12
1936 I;5
1937 1 r 1

*Price, a of I)December 1.


Florida's concnercial lime production prior to 1928 consisted
almost entirely of the Key variety. As stated. because of the
1926 storms, production the following year was negligible. While
Key limes are again grown in quantity, production of the Persian
type is considerably greater. Figures on total lime production
for 1939 are not available at this writing, but estimates indicate
a much increased volume over that given in the above table for
JMarket Prices
Market prices of both Key and Persian limes show a wide
variance, particularly by months. Tlie quotations on the follow-
ing pages for both varieties were furnished by the Florida State
Marketing Bureau.


TmII.E 1. J\(:KOi\ll.I.E Jo()lllllN Ql()rr\rIo) S oN I MIES, 1'H1:l'\l.I.vY KY
'IT'ri-: IN ()Ir\ <;: C(:R\r:s, 1933-37

I' (cI XrTI:
Jan. 7
1I 1 .50
21 4.37
28 4.46
FebI. 4 1.31
11 4.10
18 4.12
25 5.03
Mar. 4 3.75
.pr. 1
May 6 8.75
13 9.75
20 8.27
27 7.853
June 3 6.99
10 6.13
17 5.00
24 4.83:
July I 1.29
8 4.00
15 -1.31
22 1.06
29 3.58
Aiug. 5 3.13
12 2.92
19 2.75
26 2.57
Sept. 2 1.69
9 1.51
16 1.77
23 2.10
30 2.12
)O't. 7 2.15
14 2.65
21 2.65
28 2.33
N(\. 2.65
11 2.83
18 3.63
25 1.510
Derr. 2 1.91
9 1.87
16 4.77
23 l.87
30 5.50

1931 1935
SpFIl (: 11 \VI E I)I-.ll (: E
Jan. 6 Jan. 5 S1.63
13 S 6.25 12 5.50
20 19 5.25
27 8.12 26 5.62
FebI. 3 10.50 Feb. 2 5.23
17 11.0(1 16
21 23
Mar. 3 12.511 Mar. 2
111 12.75 9
17 13.50 16
21 11.50 23
31 30
Apr. 7 11.50 \pr. 6
14 13
21 20
28 27
Ma. 5 7.67 M1a 4-
12 7.33 11
19 7.62 18
26 7.31 25
June 2 6.65 June 1
9 5.83 9 7.37
16 1.72 16 7.25
23 1.11 23 5.16
30 3.81 30 6.12
Jul\ 7 1.18 Jul\ 6 6.10)
11 1.25 13 5.85
21 3.40 20 1.1.5
28 3.25 27 41.26
\ug. 4 3.31 Aiug. 3 3.77
11 3.58 10 5.11
18 3.60 17 5.5()
25 3.68 24 5.12
Sept. 1 3.67 31 5.08
8 3.63 Sept. 3.83
15 3.16 14 3.61
22 2.91 21 3.95
29 2.31 28 3.78
c)(. 6 2.02 (Oct. 5
13 2.18 12
20 1.87 19
27 2.37 26
1No. 3 2.45 No\. 2
10 4.12 9
17 3.31 16
21 3.63 23
De. 1 3.83 310 .
8 4.75 D)c. 7
15 6.53 11
22 8.33 21
29 1.75 28

I I'.H CII vr. )
Jan1. 3


June 6 6.50

27 6.63
1 .

I 5.85

Ji2n 6 '6.50

27 6.63
July 4 5.85
11 6.02
18 6.08
25 6.25
iug. 1 6.96
8 7.37
15 6.89
22 6.52
29 3.98
Spl. 5 6.153
12 6.51
19 6.81
26 6.67
O((. 3 6.91
10) 6.46
17 5.62
24 4.67
31 4.444
No\ 4.81
11 5.06
21 6.41
28 7.25
IDec. 5 5.20
12 5.42
19 1.79
26 5.00

( I'R :H I V )E
Jan. 2
9 S 6.91
16 7.13
30 5.00
Feb. 6 5.00
Mar. 6
27 10.00
\pr. 3 8.66
10 6.95
17 6.50
2.1 9.25
M1a. 1 8.65
8 8.87
22 8.16
29 6.71
June 5 4.75
12 4.510
19 5.31
26 5.27
Ju!\ 3 5.23
10 5.70
17 5.42
24 5.52
31 5.16
.\u 7 5.02
11 4.39
21 1.29
28 3.78
Sept. 1 3.86
11 3.92
18 1.78
25 4.88
Oct. 2 3.98
9 3.04
16 3.19
23 3.85
30 3.61
Nov. 6 3.05
13 3.39
20 3.44
27 3.53
I)e. 4 3.55
11 3.71
18 3.88
25 1.05



Aug. 22, 1936
Sept. 3
Oct. 3
Nov. 7


Dec.. 5,1936 $3.06 May 29. 1937
12 3.00 June 5
19 3.00 12
26 3.00 19
Jan. 2. 1937 3.10 26
9 3.48 July 3
16 3.75 10
23 17
30 5.00 24
Feb. 6 5.00 31
(No Quotations Until May) Aug. 7
May 1 5.00 14
8 21
15 5.23 28
22 4.25 Sept. 4


Sept. 11, 1937
Oct. 2
Nov. 6
Dec. 4

Price.- on Persian Limes have ranged from $1.25 to $18.00 a field crate,
f. o. b.; in 1937-38 prices varied from $1.25 to $8.00 a field crate. In May
and early June limes brought from $8.00 to $10.00 a box on the tree, and by
the middle of September $.50 to $1.00. Recent increase in production has had
a tendency to reduce such wide price variation as well as to bring down tle
average prices.


Profitable production and continued expansion of the Flori-
da lime industry will depend upon a number of factors. These
will include complete standardization of grade and pack, organ-
ization of growers, and, not least, a stimulation of demand by
intelligent advertising and education of the public to the value
of this fruit.

Orfgat i cttion and Standardization

Standardization of the lime industry in Florida was nonex-
istent several years ago and is still in an initial stage. Pack-
ing and handling methods are at the option of the individual
and there are no compulsory standards to conform to as is the
case with the leading citrus fruits. Anyone may ship any qual-
ity of fruit in any kind of container, with no inspection and no
regulation of shipment whatever.
Organization is becoming an increasingly important subject
among lime growers, especially those with the larger plantings.
This seems to be particularly true of ridge growers and it is
said that a larger number are interested in organizing into one

*/l crates.

or more compact bodies to improve marketing conditions gen-
erally. It is also reported that lime men believe co-operation be-
tween the Miami and ridge sections will be established short-
ly, providing mutual effort oi standardization and marketing.
The growers believe that such co-operation is necessary for prof-
itable and stable markets outside the state. ill tle face of the
universal supply of lemons and the high efficiency of the Cali-
fornia marketing units.
Several months ago the Inited States Department of Agri-
culture sent a representative to Florida to study tie lime indus-
try with a view of drawing up tentative grades. Under the Flori-
da Standardization Law. whenever the government drafts grades
for limes, as has been done with oranges, grapefruit and tan-
gerines, such grades will be accepted as official for the state.
At present a great many cull limes go North, and there is also
a large variety of packages in which limes are shipped. Some
growers are of the opinion that the lime is a specialty product
and should be sold along witl avocadoes, mangoes and other
fruits. Practically all of the larger growers, however, believe
that limes can best be handled through regular channels as with
the leading citrus varieties and thal before long, with proper
organization, handling and marketing methods, limes will be
rolling out of tlie state in carlots to a considerable extent.
Since there is no standardization of containers, anything from
one or two dozen limes in a small package to two bushels in a
Bruce box is shipped. Many of the larger growers favor the
standard orange crate of one and three-fifths bushels, but crates
of one-fourth, one-half and one-eighth this size are in comnion
use, as is also the bushel container, the two-bushel Bruce crate
and the one-fourth Bruce crate. The standard orange crate is
often favored for Key limes and the bushel container for the
Persian type, depending on market destinations.
The fruit is usually shipped unwrapped but in manv cases
is repacked at destination by the liholesaler, who wraps each
fruit individually in attractive tissue. Often these repacks con-
tain from 75 to 100 limes and cain be handled h many stores
that would be unablle to handle a greater quantity. Limes from
Mexico and thie \est Indies, usually shipped in barrels and 50-
pound crates. are also frequently handled in this manner.

DEPARTMENT m, A(micuun-im,


Those venturing into commercial lime production today will
have reasonable assurance of standardization and organization
in the near future. They will have advantages not enjoyed in
the past: increasing packing house facilities where none ex-
isted yesterday; refrigeration: a tendency to develop "juicing"
to take care of culls, off-grades, and any surplus; profitable mar-
keting expansion through intelligent organization; a better
knowledge of cultural conditions born of past mistakes and
On the other hand it must be remembered that commercial
lime production in the state is still experimental to a large ex-
tent and that there is no great fund of knowledge covering either
it, or the best methods of merchandising.
Education of the public will consist in advertising the use of
limes as a fruit superior in many instances to the imported
lemon, and especially in the development of a "buy-a-home-
product" consciousness in this state. As before stated, Florida
imports over S500,000 worth of lemons annually. It has been
found that Florida's acid citrus fruits compare favorably with
outside products and in many instances are superior. (See Ta-
ble 8 on Analyses).
Marketing methods and correct presentation must keep pace
with the industry's expansion.

Imports into the United States
Mexico and the British West Indies are the principal lime-
producing sources and supply most of the limes imported into
the United States. Although the West Indies production has de-
clined in the last 20 years, principally because of tree diseases,
the Mexican output has increased; the 1932-36 production be-
ing one-third greater than the previous five-year average. About
80 per cent of our total lime imports of the past few years has
come from Mexico. Heaviest importation is usually from May
to August, inclusive.
Several factors have entered into the market situation for
limes in this country. Falling off of production in the West In-
dies, especially Dominica, because of root disease, withertip
and hurricanes, perliaps have been the main ones. Also, an ac-
tive demand for lime oil, used in the preparation of "dry" gin-


ger ales, has absorbed some of the fresh limes which otherwise
might be shipped to our markets. These factors have probably
been contributing reasons for the recent increase in Florida
In 1921, Dominica alone produced over 500,000 barrels of
limes, with Trinidad, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Montserrat and Gre-
nada producing lesser amounts. An idea of the decrease in pro-
duction may be gained from the fact that for 1932 the total
Dominican crop was reported as only 30,000 barrels.
Statistics from thie United States Department of Commerce
show that total imports of limes into this country in 1936
amounted to 10.926,904 pounds with a value of I 1ni,'227. In
1937 total imports amounted to 10,6.56,550 pounds with a value
of S286,963 and the preliminary survey for 1938 indicated an
importation of 4,792,882 pounds valued at S109.732. Importa-
tions were divided among the various countries as follows:

(Inited States Departnment of Comnlerce, Foodstuffs Division, 1938)
LI.IES I I.ns.) 1936 1937 (PRELIMINARY)
Italy 9.251 59,372
Mexico 8.770.969 8.472,432 3,716.866
Jamaica 600.268 731.137 268.533
Trinidad and Tabago 111,249 55.670 54.390
Other Britil W'c\.t Indics 1.090.822 902.660 560.350
Cuba 187.078 297.332 90.939
Dominican Rcpuildic 105.190 113.547 84.6C3
Haiti 18.003 20.060 10.515
Other Countrie- 4.072 1.310 6.604

Total 10.926.90- 10.656.550 1,792.882

Interesting to note are imports by monthly volume:
(1.000 PouL',) 1937 1938
January .. 259 183
February ... ... 314 101
March .. ...... 655 390
April ........... 900 499
May 1.053 932
June 2.572 964
July 1.568 728
August .. .. .. .. 1.700 582
September .. .. 1.031 218
October ...... 432 31
November ........... 220 92
December 22- 67


The following statistics from the 1931 British Wlest Indies
Year Book will give an idea of how the Dominican lime crop
is chiefly utilized, practically all of the crop being exported in
one form or another:

concentratedd lime juice 35,446 gallons
Raw lime juice 473,102 gallons
Lime juice cordial 20 gallons
Fresh limes 16,658 barrels
Pickled limes .... b barrels
Distilled lime oil 30,804 pounds
Lime oil, hand pressed 3,256 pounds

The greater portion of the fresh juice is exported to the United
States, and about one-fifth of the concentrated juice reaches
this country. For computing the equivalents of the various lime
products, the following figures are given: 50 gallons of concen-
trated lime juice represents 75 barrels of fresh fruit: seven
and a half gallons of raw juice is equivalent to one barrel of
fruit; one ton of citrate of lime is equivalent to 400 barrels of
The falling off in production of the other islands of the West
Indies is not so great as in Dominica, but their exports are
principally to the United Kingdom rather than to the United
California. Texas. Arizona
As previously stated, Florida produces more than 95 per
cent of the limes grown in the United States. In 1935, Califor-
nia had 47 acres of bearing trees. By 1936 this had increased
to 69 acres of bearing trees and 387 acres of non-bearing trees.
As of 1937, California had a total of 524 acres, of which 114
were in bearing, showing an increase in plantings of 68 acres
over the previous year. Of the 57 counties in that state plant-
ings were confined to eight southern counties, of which San
Diego County had most of the acreage. The sensitiveness of the
lime to cold is said to be responsible for the limited plantings.

In Texas, the commercial culture of limes is negligible and
is confined to the Lower Rio Grande delta. The Federal cen-
sus of August 1937 shows a total of 7,040,946 citrus trees in
Brooks, Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy counties, of which only


5,685 were limes. According to J. P. Dewald, citrus inspector
of the Texas Department of Agriculture, the chief factors in
this restricted culture are scnsitiNeness to coll anid comlpeti-
tion with lime production in Mexico.
"Lime growing on a commercial basis." Mr. Dewald savs,
"is scarcely practicable here without efficient heating equip-
ment. Therefore importations of limes from Mexico can he
made at much lower prices than cost of production on this side
of ihe Rio Grande.

A few trees ha\e been planted in Arizona. At the beginning
of 1939, there were 601 lime trees in Maricopa County and 12
in Yumia (Coiun : these were the only two citrus producing


Of thie numerous varieties and hybrids of limes grown in the
state. the Key lime I Mexican or \West Indian I and tihe Persian
or Tahiti lime constitute the bulk of commercial production.
As described. Ilie Kev lime is confined to tlhe Florida Keys and
to the southern tip of tihe mainland where it grows amllonllg the
coralline rock and seems to get along with little attention. The
Persian lime. less sensitive to cold, is better adapted to the main-
land, and commercial plantings are scattered as far nortli as the
central part of tihe state. This variety has come into prominence
only recently but such has been its expansion that present
planltins considerably exceed all other varieties.

The elie Limne

This small. oblong. thin-skinned variety might be called the
premier fruit of tlle Florida Keys. Years ago these limes were
pickled in salt water and shipped to Boston, where their tangy
flavor appealed to school children. Key limes were in much de-
mand in tie early days on shipboard. Sailing ships of that day and
region were often called "limejuicers." and seamen, including
pirates and buccaneers, depended on this fruit as a preventi\c of
scur VV.


The trees are bush-like in growth and very thorny. The term
"Key" is not a varietal name, but a name given to all limes having
identical characteristics, regardless of where they are grown,
although in Florida the bulk of them is produced on the Keys.
This variety seems to grow better in that locality than any of the
other citrus fruits, tile roots readily penetrating the alkaline rock.
Culture: Until only a few years ago Key culture was very
primitive and scanty attention made up the major part of the
formula. This is still chiefly the rule, but many growers have come
to realize the value of improved cultural methods. hI many cases
seeds are still sown thick in some sheltered rock hole which has
sufficient soil. When only a few inches high, during a moist period,
they are transplanted to other rock holes. Another practice which
still survives is to secure seedlings from under adult trees where
shoots have sprung up from fallen fruits. Occasionally seeds are
sown directly in seedbeds. Still another method is to sow the seeds
wherever the grower wishes to have his trees. One of the improved
practices of recent years is to blast holes in the rock if necessary for
the establishment of regular grove formation.
It will be seen, therefore, that two styles of planting are used;
what may be called the jungle method and the grove method.
The jungle method is indicated by the name: seedling trees set
wherever there is enough soil to cover the roots and with no degree
of uniformity. In many places on the Keys there is little or
practically no top soil and in this case jungle planting is the
practicable method. Under better conditions, the trees may be
regularly spaced. This spacing varies from 15 by 15 feet to 20 by 20
feet, according to soil conditions. No matter how planted, there
should be enough space between the trees for harvesting.
Cultivation on the Keys, because of soil conditions, consists
chiefly of weeding by hoe, and usually little of this. Where the
soil is rough and rocky even the operation of spraying equip-
ment is difficult. Formerly no fertilizer was used, but more at-
tention is now being given to this. To a great extent, however,
trees receive their food from a mulch of "sea grass" gathered
from adjacent beaches.
In sections of the mainland where Key limes are grown, cul-
tural methods are somewhat different from those on the Keys.
Here, in many instances, practices are similar to those employed

in ordinary citrus culture. In this climate. however. constant
stirring of the soil is les- important than protection against the
tropical sun which tends to burn uip the scanty supply of hu-
mus, and against beating rains which carry plant food down he-
low the reach of tihe roots. Young trees. of course, are kept free
of weeds but e\en weedss are often better tiliall a bare surface.
Especially for thie ouing trees, manv groweCrs plant a good ni-
trogenous cover crop, such ais beggarweed, crotalaria, velvet
beans. etc. Young trees should lh kept miulcheld and this plan
is fre(quientl followed for tlie entire growv. Often a lieavv
growth of grass is developed. which is periodically cut and left
to decay on the ground. On the Ke, s. limes are usually sliel-
tered lb thie wild taimarind. or similar hardy trees.
\ Where imieliods of culture are haphazard. Key limes vary
considerably in size and shape. and. it is -aid. also in fla or and
yield of juice. For in.-lance. on one tree the fruit might he only
one-half as large as that on an adjoining tree. The introduc-
tion of proper fertilization and intelligent mulching has resulted
both in the improved condition of the trees and in larger and
um:re uniform size of tlihe fruii. indicating that tlhi- practice
might lie extended with profit.
Considering the conditions under which most Kev limes are
gr;)in and the small amllount of attention give tihe Irecs. the
groves are surprisingly productive. lHowever. wlien there is a
hliea\v set of fruit mullch of it fails to reach marketable size. This
is another reason for Imore attention to Iumlching and correct
fertilization as well as to pruning and thinning to increase the
proportion of marketable fruit.
Harr ''stit tl .Id M rlketitt!: lThere is considerable
difference between lihe harvesting of limes and that of oranges.
grapefruit or tangerines. All lime \arieties hae tlihe same gen-
eral characteristics of the lemon in that the\ flower and set some
fruit practically e\er\ month in thle %ear. so that freiCqul t pick-
ilgs are necessary.
While tle Key lime may be considered everlearing. the bulk
of the crop matures between e lMa\ or June and N\oenlber or
I)ecember. with the ihea ie-st pickings usually iln Septeinmbr and
October whlien the ldemand is rapidly falling off. As the demand
is largely seasonal, with the greatest coltingl ill the hot summer

DEPARTNIENT m., A(micturum.:


months, the early-maturing crops are likely to be the most
The Key lime, also usually known to the trade as the "sour
lime" andl the Dominican lime, is probably tile most difficult
crop to harvest of any of the commercial citrus fruits. Plant-
ings are frequently small and scattered, often located in dif-
ficult spots and the trees very thorny, making picking a trying
task. Also, because of the humid climate, limes must he handled
expeditiously and with precautions to reduce rot and scall.
Key limes do not have thle capacity for storage possessed by the
Since no definite maturity standards so far have been estab-
lished with Key limes as witli oranges, grapefruit and tanger-
ines, they are picked chiefly according to color. This is after
they have lost some of the dark-green tint, the rind has become
smooth and the fruit feels slightly soft. If the fruit is picked
before this stage, there is a tendency for it to develop a dark
rind scald. This makes it unattractive and reduces its market
value. As a general practice, the "ripes" or yellow limes and the
light-green fruits are selected. When a fruit has reached the
right stage of maturity, the green pigments in the rind gradu-
ally fade and the rind becomes uniformly yellow.
The pickers wear gloves, not particularly to protect the fruit,
but to prevent scratching the hands with the sharp thorns. A
picking is usually carried out of the grove in wheelbarrows
over narrow boards because of the roughness of the ground.
The fruit is either packed on the grower's property, where
it is usually graded only according to size and condition, or ta-
ken to a packing house, if one is available with the special equip-
ment necessary for grading limes. In this case the limes are
graded and sized and frequently packed in the standard box
of one and three-fifths bushels. Ordinarily the Key lime is not
given the antiseptic treatment as in processing oranges, grape-
fruit or tangerines. The first grade consists of unblemished
fruits of about one and a quarter inches in length, or larger; a
second grade is made up of blemished and small fruits, and
sometimes a third, or cull, grade is packed for local markets.
A standard orange crate will hold about 800 to 1,000 Key limes.
A characteristic scald, resembling "sprayburn" of oranges or


grapefruit, frequently develops on the rind of limes either in
transit or while oil tle market. So far the causes and control
of this blemish are little understood.

lThe Ier~siam Liime
The Persian or Tahiti lime. frequently known to the trade
as the "green lime," is at present the leading commercial va-
riety grown in Florida. It is treated here as secondary to the
Key lime only in order of its seniority. The names, "Hearss
Seedless" and "ByrLul Seedless," are generally considered sv-
nonymous for this variety.
lThe true Persian lime is considerably larger than the Mexi-
can or Kev lime and its general character makes it a rival of
the lemon for many uses. The tree is medium-sized, larger than
the Key variety, and the fruit has about the size and shape of
tihe commercial lemon, although there is much more variation
in size. On an average it is somewhat larger than the lemoi,
measuring from two to two and a half inches in diameter by
two and a half to three inches in length, with a nippled apex
like the lemon. The pronounced lime flavor, however, and the
greenish pulp, easily distinguish it from the lemon. The rind
is thin, smooth, and glossv, and the pulp is fine-grained and
very juicy. The flavor is strongly acid with no disagreeable
"after taste."
A rough idea of the popularity of this variety for planting
during the past few years can be gained from Table 1 on nur-
sery movemneIts.
CfulfItre: According to a pamphlet issued by the United
States Department of Agriculture, 1934, the Persian lime is best
adapted to Ibuddin on rough lemon stock, but may also be
worked successfully onto grapefruit or sweet orange trees, re-
gardless of the stock used. Whether as a nursery-budded or top-
worked tree, the variety is markedly precocious, often bearing
heavily in the third season.
The Persi~r lime is considerably less sensitive to cold than
the Key lime and this possibly has contributed to its popularity
and the expansion of its acreage in Florida. It is not only more
adaptable to the mainland than the Key lime, but can be grown
under favorable conditions and with proper regard for cold


protection, as far north as the central part of the state. Groves
of considerable acreage now exist on the east and west coasts
and particularly on the ridge, from approximately the latitude
of Winter Haven south.
Every authority on lime culture has repeatedly warned against
planting where there is a lack of natural protection against cold.
Only locations which are sufficiently shielded should be selected
if the venture is to succeed. This means full protection by lati-
tude or water areas, with correct air drainage and, if there is
any doubt, proper heating facilities. It has been reported that
plantings have been set out recently with little regard for these
requirements. Such attempts are almost sure to end in failure.
In lower Dade County the cold factor is negligible, since it is
in the warmest area of continental United States; but as one goes
northward prospects of cold must be increasingly reckoned with.
Another factor in the culture of this lime is the susceptibil-
itv of the tree to a hark disease, apparently of fungus origin,
attacking the bark of the main branches as well as the trunk
of the tree itself. Girdling, an advanced stage of the disease,
often occurs within a short time after bark lesions become ap-
parent, killing the branch, or the whole tree when the main
trunk is attacked. In some groves the annual loss of trees has
amounted to 10 per cent or even more from this cause. While
no sure method of controlling the disease has been found, va-
rious reports indicate reduced losses in the last couple of years,
possibly due to improved cultural practices, especially fertili-
zation. Growers generally are of the opinion that too sudden
nitrogenous stimulation in fertilizing is a factor in its promo-
tion. Instead of two applications of fertilizer annually as was
often the custom in the past, many growers now divide this
quantity into four fertilizations a year.
In growing limes, as with lemons, general culture is much
the same as that given oranges, grapefruit or tangerines, inclu-
ding spraying, cultivation, and regard for soil conditions. Acid
citrus trees, being of an everbearing nature and with denser
foliage, are heavy feeders and require more moisture and plant
food than ordinary citrus varieties. Growers in increasing num-
ber are employing irrigation; in many sections irrigation actu-
ally cuts down the cost of production because of the heavier
bearing of the trees.

IiftJ'r1'Nttijlg aftl .ltrlketiigq: "The Persian lini' is
usually picked while quite green a:il shipped iin that condition.
If picked too green, there i i a deficiency of juice, anlll a (ark rind
scald imay develop. Ilowever, if the fruit is left on the tree
until it i.s almost ripe anll ready to break color, a piecu liar blos-
somI-eIll scuald ima dee lop either efore or soon after picking.
Lack of know ledge concerlinig this faet has been a serious liandi-
Cal) to tlel development of the industry. since until recently\ tihe
fruit was allowed to Ibecomei too mlatlire before lbeinl liar\ested.
Ini recent Near-. howe\ler. whlien l less liatre fruit has beei liar-
\ested. less Irouble has been experieneed from this scald. Tihe
optiinuniii stage of matulrilN for hiar\estilng is dIletermilled lil the
general appearance of tiie fruit. iainl\ bv the rind texture. As
tle fruit ld\elops juice it graduall% loses its rouglllness. ia
liwhen it becomes comparatively smillootli and .liglitil soft. it is
ready to lie picked. The fruit begins to ripen ill May, but the
bulk of thlie crop is harvested between Junea andl November or
December. witli Auguist and September usually llie peak months.
This fruit is not given the ethylene treatment. ias the trade ac-
cepts the green-colored fruit in preference to what has become
partially or completely yellowed.
Despite various problems of culture. profitable returns liave
been secured in recent %ears on increasing shiillipments of these
"green limes." Thie I iitel States Departnient of Agriculture
in its pamphlet (1934 I states: "Thle use of sinall containers and
the sale direct to fancy fruit stores and to private customers
has extended tlie market for these fruits. \With tlie rapid ex-
pansion of acreage it is lb no ineans assured that carlot ship-
ment to northern markets will prove equally successful in conm-
petition will an abundant supply of standard lemon varieties
which are of better keeping quality. For honme use and for lo-
cal markets in Florida and in nearby Southern states. tIbis fruit
has nucih to recolnnenid it. Distribution b motor truck will
doubtless assist in miarkeling the fruit within this area and in-
suire fresh supplies at frequent intervals without overloading
individual markets."
An increasing number of packing houses in tlie state are be-
ing equipped for handling Persian limes. Equipment consists
principally of polishing brushes. a grading belt and sizers.
BItultltin No. 1763. 1 niil .States I)epartmeint of \Agriculture. )37 1.



At the Florence Citrus Growers Association, Florence Villa,
the limes are parallin-waxed, graded, sized and packed in two-
fifths-bushel crates-one-fourth of the standard orange crate of
one bushel and three-fifths. Sizes run: 48, 64, 80, 100, 125, 150,
180 and 200. indicating tile number of fruits to a box. During
tle 1938-39 season this association packed approximately 14,000
Picking Persian limes dry improves their keeping qualities.
Practically all citrus fruits break down more quickly when
picked wet.

Numerous lime varieties and hybrids are grown in the state,
over wide areas, but chiefly as dooryard plantings for individ-
ual use. Many of these are excellent in quality and appearance,
but for a number of reasons very few are grown commercially,
and then only to a limited extent. In addition, there are various
other acid citrus fruits that compare favorably with lemons for
home use in cooking and in making drinks. Because none of
these varieties or hybrids has so far reached commercial impor-
tance, only the most familiar will be discussed here.
Many experiments with acid citrus varieties and hybrids are
being carried on over tile state for possible commercial produc-
tion. Much research has been conducted by the Florida Agri-
cultural Experiment Station at Gainesville and intensive experi-
mentation along these lines is in progress. Some of the results
have been published while other material is still unpublished.
The full results of the station's experiments will, when pub-
lished, no doubt contribute considerable information to this

The Limeqiruts
Among the selection of lime varieties and hybrids which seem
to have commercial possibilities are the limequats.
The following article, published by the Bureau of Plant In-
dustry, United States Department of Agriculture, June 1934,
specifies the Eustis limequat as the only one of thle three lime-
quat varieties commercially planted. Since then, the two otlier
varieties, Lakeland and Tavares, have been planted in Florida

DEPARTMIxENT oi- Acttici lii UR

for commercial production, and at present most of the limequat
plantings in tlhe state are of the Lakeland variety.
"The tenderness to (old of the common lime las, as already
pointed out, restricted its planting to the warmest parts of Flor-
ida. In an attempt to secure a hardy lime, the West Indian lime
was crossed wiith the kumquat, the cross resulting in a series of
new fruits known as the limequats. Three varieties were selected
for propagation and given the names Eustis, Lakeland, and Ta-
vares. Only tlie first has been commercially propagated and
planted. It has fulfilled all expectations as to hardiness and fruit
quality, beimi in effect a hardy lime of small size, capable of
being grown throughout thle sweet orange belt.
"Previous to the severe winter of 1924, it was being commonly
grown throughout the Gulf Coast territory from northern Flori-
da westward. and it has gone through temperatures as low as
18 degrees F) without being killed beyond the smaller twigs.
Like the kumquat, when cut back by cold, it blooms and fruits
oin new twig growth made the same season, so that cold damage
if not too severe does not necessarily mean the loss of the sea-
son's crop. From the kumquat parent, the Eustis limequat has
inherited immunity to lime withertip, a disease which in humid
regions makes liime-rowing a hazardous venture.
"'The fruit of the Eustis limequat is ovoid or egg-shaped rather
than spherical in outline. \\ell-grown fruits range from one to
one and a quarter inches in diameter and are thin-skinned and
very juicy, the flavor of the juice being strictly that of the lime
parent. The peel is witliout bitterness, somewhat like the kum-
quat. and the whole fruit lends itself to crystallizing purposes.
The rind is of light yellow color, very smooth and glossy. Seeds
average one to the segment, usually seven to nine to the fruit.
The tree is more or less e\erhearing, though maturing the bulk
of its crop in the late summer and fall months. It succeeds on
any of the connmon stocks used for budding to citrus except the
sour orange. For culture in its northern range it should be
budded to the trifoliate orange stock, or on tlie citrange, which
is a hybrid of the trifoliate andl the sweet orange.
"The small size of this fruit lias thus far largely restricted
the utilization of this hybrid to the home fruit garden and small
plantings supplying fruit to local trade and for making lime-


ade. For this purpose tile limequat is admirably adapted, as tile
trees are vigorous in growth, precocious, and produce albundant-
ly. They serve practically every purpose in the cuisine that
would call for a lime or a lemon, and have a much greater range
of adaptability to soil and climate in Florida and the Gulf Coast
region than the true limes and lemons."
While the limequats are fairly similar in character, the Lake-
land variety is on an average the largest, resembling a small
Persian lime in size and shape. The flavor of the juice is pre-
dominantly lime with a noticeable kumquat quality. Quite a
few Lakeland plantings are scattered over the state, including
one at Howey-in-the-Hills of about 4,000 trees.

Ranlpuir Lime
*The so-called Rangpur lime is a fairly common doorvard
tree in Florida, its range extending farther north than the true
lime varieties. It is relatively hardy and prolific but shows its
probable relationship to the lemon in its marked susceptibility
to a citrus scab, a disease that does not attack the true lime (Cit-
rus aurantifolia). The fruit when ripe somewhat resembles a
small puffy tangerine, for which it is sometimes mistaken. It is
intensely acid, but has a flavor or "after taste" not always rel-
ished. This flavor is sometimes described as "clavev." For
flavoring and for dressing fish and salads, however, it is quite satis-
factory. The fruit peels freely like a tangerine, and it is some-
times called the Mandarin lime. It is somewhat seedy. The main
crop matures in the fall and winter months, and its use is chiefly
restricted to home requirements.

Cala mI ondin
*The calamondin (Citrus mitis, Blanco) might easily be
classed as an ornamental rather than a grove tree. Although a
native of the Philippines, it has proved decidedly hardy and was
being successfully grown all around the Gulf Coast region prior
to the freeze of 1924. Its everbearing habit keeps the tree loaded
most of the year with small tangerine-red fruits which present a
vivid contrast with the dense green foliage.
(*Pamphlet, United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant
Industry, 1934).

The small size of the fruit, about an inch or less in diameter,
excludes it from commercial consideration, but the vigor and
prolific bearing of the tree. together with the fruit quality, en-
titles it to consideration for the home fruit garden. With some
provision for protection against cold ill tle coldest winters it
can be grown in all the (Gulf Coast states and in southeastern
(;eorgia, providing a ready source of limeade and flavoring. The
clusters of fruits with foliage attached are also very decorative,
often being used in this xway in a manner resembling the kum-
quat. When first introduced to the nursery trade. it was called
"To-kumquat," or sour kumquat, although not at all closely re-
lated to the kumquat. It has also been called llhe Panama orange
because of its introduction from Panama into the I. ited States.
and sometimes, because of its free-peeling character, the Man-
darin lime.
While not a true lime, its uses are similar to tliose of the lime,
the juice being strongly acid and having a rich orange color. It
comes true from seed, but is usually grown as a budded tree,
making a more shapely andl compact tree when budded. .. It
may be budded on any of the common citrus stocks, though
nAt well suited to tihe sour orange stock. For hardiness in its
northern range, it should be budded onto the trifoliate orange


Both limes and lemons are probably particularly sensitive to
diseases affecting oranges and grapefruit, and such atllictions must
be considered by the grower. The susceptibility of the lime to
types of scald and blossom-end rot has been briellv described.
Withertip, a serious disease of the lime, occasionally causes ma-
terial losses and is especially severe in wet seasons. This is par-
ticularly true of Key limes, which are planted in close jungle
formation, unlike other citrus trees which arc planted ill orderly
rows. In this case its control by the iuse of fungicides has not
proved practicable because of the difficulty of access with spray-
ing equipment.
Bark disease, which has given growers of Persian limes serious
concern, has resulted in considerable tree loss. This disease



also affects the Perrine lemon and will be discussed here as ap-
plying to both acid citrus varieties. The Agricultural Experi-
ment Station at Gainesville has given this problem considerable
study and under )December, 1935, issued the following bulletin:

Bark Disease of Tahiti Lime andi
Periaine Lemon
Plant Pathologist, Florida Experiment Station
Since the number of plantings of Tahiti (Persian) limes be-
gan to increase rapidly a few years ago, the Agricultural Experi-
ment Station has received numerous complaints, together with
specimens of bark disease that attacks branches and trunks of
the trees. First reports were to the effect that the trunks of
two to four-year-old trees were attacked at or below the origin
of the lower branches and that the trees or parts of them were
killed in a comparatively short time. Subsequent inspections
of plantings in different parts of the state have revealed diseased
trees in most groves examined, regardless of age. As a rule the
infection is confined to a small percentage of the trees, but in a
few instances 25 to 50 per cent of the trees were diseased or had
been removed because of the disease by the time the groves were
three or four years old. Occasional heavy losses were observed
in groves less than one year old. The disease was found also in
the nursery on trees that had been injured by wind or other

Observations indicate little or no correlation between type of
soil and occurrence of the disease. In a few groves in which the
disease was most destructive, the trees have been growing very
rapidly and showed more cracks in the bark than trees growing
more slowly. All trees inspected were on rough lemon stock,
except in a few small groves where they have been topworked
into grapefruit or orange. These latter groves showed only a
small amount of the bark disease on the lime branches, but they
were not old enough to give any definite information as to how
long they would remain fairly free from it.

D)EP'ARTM1ENTr OF Awluct 1.Tt RE

InI older trees the disease is characterized by a dying of the
bark in localized areas on the branches and trunks. Guin is
sometimes found on the diseased parts, but its occurrence is not
sufficiently frequent to be considered a definite sign of dis-
ease. (ConsetlqueIntly, the lame "gumlosis" cannot lbe appro-
priately applied to the disease and it should not be confused with
gunllIIosis of grapefruit and orange. As a rule, the bark and
wood die rapidly in all directions from the point of attack, gird-
ling the branches or trunks so that the parts above (die. Be-
'cause of their location, tlie diseased parts may not l]e noticed
until the leaves begin to turn yellow and shed. Presence of the
disease in transplanted trees is evidenced by thie failure of inew
shoots to develop on the upper part of the trunk or by their
death if thev do start. In nursery trees the disease is indi-
cated by diving of the tips of branches or tlihe whole top of the
tree. In trees of all ages, it is apparent that the disease may
begin in growth cracks in the bark, pruniiig wounds. thorn
punctures and otlihr mechanical in juries. Wh\\ ether it will at-
tack union jured bark is yet to be determined.
Although several fungus organisms have been found in tlie
diseased parts, Diplodia and Phonmopsis occur most frequently.
These organisms cause steni-end rot of citrus fruits and maV be
found \wherever citrus is grownii il tlhe State. I inoculation
tests the disease attacked and invaded thle bark and wood of Ta-
hiti Persian) limes and Perrine lenionis more rapidly and ex-
telnsively than any other species of citrus.
The cause of the disease, the method of its attack, and the rel-
atively high susceptibility of Tahiti lilies and Perrine lemons to
infection hav ing been determined, experiments were begunii i
1933 to find some mietliod to present infection or reduce it to a
minimum. I.nfortunately, most of the( experimental trees were
killed bv the freeze in December 1934 and no experimental in-
formation has been( obtained thus far that will permit making
definite recommendations for preventing the disease.
However, prospective growers are here offered a few practical
suggeslions. These are as follows: 1l I Handle the trees carefully
at all times to avoid injury to tlie bark and branches. I21 Ferti-
lize and c ultimate tile trees in such a manner as will prevent ex-
cessively rapid flushes of grow th. 13) If the trees are cut back


when they are removed from tile nursery for transplanting, dip
tile cut ends into a good fungicide, such as 4-4-5)0 bordeaux. The
sooner this is done after pruning, the more effective the treatment
will be. It should not be delayed under any circumstances more
than a few hours. When the fungicide has dried, the cut sur-
faces should be covered with a wound dressing. All thorns
should be cut off tile trees before they are packed for shipment
and before they are treated with a fungicide. (4) Treat growth
cracks and wind injuries with a fungicide as soon as possible
after they occur.
Once the disease gains foothold in the trunks of trees, it is
difficult if not impossible to check its advance. The fungi invade
the wood quite rapidly and it is often difficult to determine the
extent of penetration. This makes uncertain the possibilities
of control by surgical treatment. Also, the removal of all diseased
wood will often leave the tree trunk too weakened to withstand
winds. Considering the evidence thus far obtained, it seems
cheaper and safer to try to prevent this disease than to be faced
with the necessity for its cure or control.

The cost of growing limes in Florida on a grove basis is some-
what higher than that of oranges or grapefruit. While lime cul-
ture is quite similar to that of tile more familiar citrus varieties,
the trees are smaller and more closely spaced, causing additional
expense from the time when plantings are purchased and set out
to the eventual harvesting. The greater initial cost, however, is
largely offset by the earlier bearing of the trees. Lime trees
usually bear fairly well in the fourth year and frequently in the
third, with a good commercial production at from four to six
years. Limes are also more expensive to harvest than are oranges
or grapefruit because of the frequent pickings and the size of the
If the grove is equipped with irrigation, expense is still higher.
This also applies to heating equipment, for the principal thing
to bear in mind is the sensitiveness of the lime to cold.



In comparing Florida acid citrus fruits with imported lemons,
it has been found that the Florida products in most cases com-
pare favorably in all characteristics except sugar. For instance,
according to the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, "Italian
lemons are higher in sugar, having around two per cent, and at
the same time these lemons have a highl acid content of seven
per cent. The Sperryola lemon and Calamondin surpass the com-
mercial Italian lemon in sugar but do not have so high an acid
content. Most of our acid citrus fruits, however, have a higher
percentage of juice than those grown in the drier regions of the
United States and are equal or superior to them with regard to
other constituents. especially acid and sugar content."
The table on the following page may be studied for relative
characteristics of both limes and lemons.

(Coutrursy tiiivcrsity of Florida Agrilcriuhral E. Iu'rintetit Stgationa, Gairies ulle, Florida.)

VIIrloty and Typte

Tahiti Lime....

Tahiti Lime....... ..

Key Lime ............

Jamllilen Iime......

Rangpur Lime..

Woglum Lime..... ..

Everhearing Lime

Villa Franca L.........

Genoa Lemon............

Meyer Lemon.......

Kennedy Lemon..

SpIrryoln Lemon......

Eureka Lemon.........

Perrine Lemon***.


Limequnt (Lakeland)

Limoquat (Eustis)....

Italian Lemon****.

Sourn Weiht
(If Fruit
(, ts.)l.

Lake Alfred


Florida Keys

Winter Haven

l Homestead

Coconut Grove

St. Petersburg

Luke Alfred

Lake Alfred

I ake Alfred

I.ake Alfred

Winter Haven


DeSoto City


Lake Alfred

Lake Alfred



















Sp,. (r.




. 006














0-2 0.2

0-0 0.0

3-9 1.5

2-16 1.5

8-10 2.5

20-25 ..5

0 0.0

7-22 1.0

10-26 1.5

13-26 1.5

7-33 1.9

12-24 4.3

7-10 2.1

:2-46 1.7

3-8 1.6

5-9 3.6

7-14 5,2

0-16 ..

Peel 1l P Iu I (alve

70 62.6

52 58.2

20 58.1

7:1 419. 9

. 53.0


65 .16.7

85 :17.1

107 :19.0

.149 51.5

83 31.8

26 .13.2

27 ........

128 50.4

96 .9.8

1111 .7.6





. 16











*All figures are averages of 10 analyses each (analyzed 1931-33).
**(1 oz.= 28.4 grams) (1 Ib. 454 grams).
***Figures for Perrino Lemon are averages of 4 analyses.
****Italian lemons thought on local market for comparison.

Siz~e 'CNo.
(of of
Fruit Sul.g
(ems.) IluilI1I

5.x6.1 7 a 10
5e.6a61! 20
5. 2x6.1 10

l.7 U.8 9

5.Ox5.'4 8

.:.4..6 9

l.7x6.0 9

7.2x9.:l 10

5.9x&.1 9

6.2x7.2 10

6.0x7.7 9

.1.x65.1 10

7.209.2 10



: 2.1x3.4 8
.X4.1 .8

Sp, tlr. Free IIl-
of Idue- dle ily-
i .e A. td pil Ing al ,I T'(lnl

1.035 6.1 2 :1 0.81 0.0o; o.87

1.039 6.2 2.2 1.49 0.25 I1 71

1.032 8.0 2.4 0.37 0.07 0. 14

1.038 6.0 2.4 0.97 0. 17 1 1.1

1.010 6.7 2.6 0.57 0.26 0 83

1.036 5.9 3.2

1.01.1 5.7 .. 0.80 0.18 0 98

I .035 6.3 2,. 0.48 0.02 0.50

1.033 5.3 2.1 0.83 0.10 0.93

1.035 4.7 2.5 1.66 0.25 1 91

1.035 5.5 2.5 0.86 0.1 1 00

1.037 .1.0 3.2 2.56 0.63 3.19

1.035 5.6 2. 0.90 0.20 1.10

1.034 6.7

1.033 4.0 2.51 0 6 3.37

1.037 5.3 2.1 0.86 0.1 1 1.00

1.035 6.1 2.5 0.90 0.31 1.21

1 .018 7 07 2.. 2 02


Thicker Rind -- Less Juice

Citric Acid (Varies), 43/4 to 7%


TIh inner Rind More Ju ice

Uniform Citric Acid: 61/ to 6.,'3


InItr odlc tio< t

Recent interest ill commercial lemon production in Florida
is attributed to se\cral causes. As described. lemon iprolidtion
in the state reached considerable pIrolportions before the freezes
of 1894-9. wh len lemons were shipped out of Florida in earlots.
F'or Imany .%ars after ti.hese freezes. commercial production Nwas
albandonil. Otilr factors to discoiiracg tile gro%\%cr were Ilemon
seal). tin' ipreselincie of gilln disease.. aind a disfiiiuration known as
silver scuirf. caoseld iv a rust mite which severely attacked the
Curiiig of the fruit during the \warmi. humid .i-inmer m1ontihs
presented another difliciltv resulting ill deca andl hea% \ losses
in the curing rooms or in shipment. The necessity of sw eating thle
fruit il order to color alll totughenlithe rind for market. whlien
done during tlie period of high temperatures aiI humidlity. anl
when eooting facilitiev- %ere practically unknown or unavailahle.
was one of tlle worst drawbacks of all.
Also. standard market \arieties such as are grown in driver
climate. for instance California. were hiarill adaptable to
Florida climate and soils. since suclh varieties \wlien mIatlure. be-
came gre'all\ oversized. If the fruits were picked according to
the accepted commercial sizes tlie\ were imlllature aln lacking
ill juice. This was and is the case %with all true lemon varietiess
groln i Hlorida.
An additional liflicultv resulted from the nature of' the tree
itself. Because of its et\erltearing character and the denseness
of foliage. the tree is a \ gracious feeder a.nd requlirte more moist-
ure than oranges or grapefruit. Plantings were restricted, there-
fore, not onll to cold-protected areas but also to sections promis-
ing a suiflicienlt degree of moisture. Thle uncertainties of satis-
factory returns did not seem to justify. irrigation expense.

For these reasons Ileons were cons-idered a less reliable source
of profit than oranges. grapefruit. or tangerines.



"In growing of lemons." wrote Hlunie in The (.ullitiation of
Citrus Fruits I 192t "there is always ia doubtful prolbllm: first
the production of high-grade fruit, and tlen tei coloring amd
curing of it for market. It is questionable whether lemon grow-
inlg will e er become a stable and profitable industry in any cit-
rus region where seal) is prevalent and where the harvesting and
curing season is loi)st."
IlThe United States Department of Agriculture in Bulletinl No.
1313 19l29 had this comment: "The standard lemon varieties
when grown in Florida. tend to produce fruits too large in size
and too coarse in texture to meet market requirements. so that
few commercial plantings now exist."
The several reasons for what may be called a revival of in-
terest in commercial lemon production in the state are more or
less contingent upon each other. The creation of the Perrine
lemon, for instance, though not a true lemon, has offered a stim-
ulus to production as a type which seems particularly adaptable
to Florida. The rapid expansion of lime plantings has been a
contributing factor because many lime growers hase also be-
come interested in lemons as an additional source of income.
Also, with the development of the lime industry and the con-
current stimulation of state and private experimentation with
varieties and hybrids of acid citrus fruits, as well as the im-
provement in cultural methods. prolIably more has been learned
about lemon production in Florida during the past few years
tlian at any period of the past. Also, growers now have tile ad-
vantage of facilities such as packing house equipment. refrigera-
tion. and improved juice-canning technique, to an extent not
available in the past.
Established and prospective growers have begun to realize the
possibilities of developing markets in Florida alnd nearby states.
Florida alone imports in excess of 20().(MI crates of lemons

IPlan tin m fronr .VNl rserie's bI I'a rietien

Tihe following table will give an idea of the number of lemon
trees mo\ed from Florida nurseries, by varieties, for tie periods


TAII.: 9. (From Citrus Growing in Florida, Iulletin Yo. 2,
Florida departmentt of Agriculture, August, 1937)

36 8-16
833 1,065
16,801 1.961
6.800 1.934
24.134 2.207

223 701
1 1,931
716 1.630
294 2,238

Total 3,744 48.627 9.050 1,234 11.878

354 2,020
299 1,907
209 3,031
296 3,771
829 4,313
1,380 22,438
194 11,486
341 29,472

3,90. 78,438

In the above table it is interesting to note the recent popular-
itv of the Perrine lemon which, like the Persian lime, has greatly
exceeded in production all other varieties combined. In consid-
ering the table on nursery movements it must be borne in mind
that figures given are incomplete in some degree, and that a
considerable number of trees moved were for private plantings
and not for commercial production.

Prinicipatl I'liatihi g of IBeai'ig Trees

According to lthe Florida Agricultural Statistical Report,
Twenty-first (ensus, compiled by tile Florida Department of Ag-
riculture for the period 1936-37, there was a total of .4,262 bear-
ing lemon trees in the state with a value of $348,072. Of these
plantings, 50,478 trees were in six counties distributed as follows:





50,178 $326.285





Yields by Leaditny countiess with Ifatl esm

In the same report the following fields are given:

TABLE 11. LEMON YIELDS ( 1936-37)
Polk 27,179 $37,354
IHillsorough 23,660 45,239
Hrevard 3,819 7,436
IPa Monroe 2,744 3,926
Dade 1,143 3,186
Total 62,019 $101,091

It will be noted that principal lemon yields for the above
period were confined to the six counties represented in the table
on principal plantings but in slightly different order. Total
lemon yield for the state for the season given consisted of 66,983
crates, valued at S108,889.


In production and marketing possibilities, Florida's lemon
outlook presents a somewhat different picture from that of the
lime industry. There seems to be doubt in the minds of a num-
ber of growers as to whether or not the state will ever success-
fully compete with California lemons in the northern markets.
Other growers believe that by gradually building up certain
varieties particularly suitable to Florida conditions, and with
proper organization, standardization, and education of the pub-
lic to the local products, this can be accomplished.
In any event practically all growers are convinced that, with
Florida using over S500,000 worth of imported lemons annually,
lemon culture in the state may be considerably expanded. Also
in favor of Florida in this respect are the nearby southern mar-
kets to which the local products can be trucked or otherwise de-
livered with less expense than with lemons brought in from far-
off sections. It has been estimated that these markets consume
about S5,000,000 worth of lemons a year.
Lemon production in California, however, has so increased
that surpluses are common.

1JlE A':r NI l .11 % r I b1 tlItU SL L. KII

California's Lemon PIrodluction by Vears
It will he seen from the following chart that from 1926 to and
including 1937 a portion of California's lemon production each
year represented a surplus over fruit actually shipped.
AM///07 BO XJe




lu Gj Iz
0ar ercudc~rj

___~__I____ 1__ _________ ____ 1

I I I i I I i ll I I I I






According to the University of California Agricultural Exten-
sion Service, "The demand for lemons, although larger the last
five years, has never exceeded 7,300,000 boxes. With consumer
purchasing power lower in 1938, returns for the 1937-38 crop,
which is estimated as slightly larger than the last two years, will
probably be lower but hardly so low as for the tremendous crop
in 1934-35. The drop in returns to local growers in 1936-37 is
largely due to poor quality resulting from the freeze rather than
to oversupply."
In Outlook for Lemons for 1939, the Bureau of Agricultural
Economics, U. S. D. A., states:
"In view of the probable increase of productive capacity of a
large part of the present bearing acreage (California), together
with the prospect that present non-bearing acreage will permit
an increase in bearing acreage of approximately 23 per cent
during the next five years, average annual production of lemons
during that period can be expected to amount to at least 10,000,-
000 boxes. Production has increased from an average of
4,900,000 boxes during the five-year period, 1919-20 to 1923-24, to
an average of 8,022,000 boxes for the five-year period, 1932-33 to
"Bearing lemon acreage in California in 1938 is estimated at
about 51,000 acres, while non-bearing acreage, exclusive of 1938
plantings, is indicated to be approximately 11,500 acres. Forty
per cent of all trees now in bearing are between the ages of five and
15 years and have not yet reached full producing capacity.
"Although production has increased at a relatively rapid rate
for 19 years, the average price per box has declined only slightly.
But in view of an annual production of approximately 10,000,000
boxes during the next five years, it seems certain that consumer de-
mand for lemons must be stimulated still further if a declining
price trend is to be averted in the future. Production trend is
expected to continue upward."


II'orld IProductiou
World Production decreased from the record crop of 27,400.(00
boxes in 1932-33, to about 19,300,000 boxes for the 1936-37 season.
Production in Italy. hiitherto the world's leading producer of
lemons. has declined froin an average of 12,764.000 boxes during
the five-year period. 1926-27 to 1930-31, to an average of about
10,000,000 boxes for the five years, 1933-34 to 1937-38. Dutrini the
last two seasons the Italian crop amounted to only about 8.200.000
boxes annually.

AVvenI. 1926-30, ANNViAL 1931-37
Sli ureau of Ag;ricultural Ecoinoics, U. S. I). A.)
( country 1926-27 1931-32 1933-3- 1931-35 1935-36 1936-37 1937-38'
U. S. 6.805 7.696 6,704 7.295 10.717 7.787 7.579 8,778
Italy 12.764 10.651 17.755 12.575 10.895 10.130 8.218 8,206
Spain 1.553 1.538 1.711 1.721 1.582 1.181 1,479
'Not available.

The reduction in the Italian crop is attributed chiefly to exten-
sive disease damage during the last few years. In 1937-38 the
United States, for the first time, produced more lemons than
E.rports and Inmports
Lemon exports front the United States increased from 168,000
boxes for the calendar year 1933 to 638,000 boxes in 1936. A de-
cline occurred in 1937, but during the first eight months of 1938,
exports amounted to 541.000 boxes.
Imports into this cotuntr have declined rapidly during recent
years until they are practically negligible. In 1936 only 6,000
boxes were imported: 5,000 boxes in 1937 and 5,1000 boxes in 1938.
From a preliminary estimate of California's lemon crop for
1937-38, made in 1938 by the Bureau of Agriculture Economics, U.
S. D. A., it was indicated that the average farm price would amount


to about S2.65 per box. This compared with an average of S2.14
for the five-year period, 1932-33 to 1936-37, and $2.88 for the
previous five-year period. Prices during the last 19 years ranged
from S1.41 per box for the record crop of 10,747,000 boxes in
1934-35 to S3.80 in 1927-28. The following table gives the average
prices received by growers each year for the 19-year period.

(Itirerau of Agricultural iconoinics, U. S. I). ..)


Crop Season Thou-and Boxus
1919-20 4.138
1920-21 5.641
1921-22 4.320
1922-23 .. 3,775
1923-24 ....... .. 6.432
1924-25 ...... ... 5,301
1925.26 ... .. .... 7.316
1926-27 .... 6.967
1927-28 ..... 5419
1928-29 ... 7,582
1929.30 ...... ......... 6,109
1930.31 .. .. ......... . 7,950
1931-32 .. ... 7,696
1932-33 ... .6.704
1933-34 7.295
1934-35 ... .10,747
1935-36 .... 7.787
1936-37 . . 7,579
1937.38* .. ................. .......... 8,778
Average price from all nmethodsl of -ale.

Prices per Hox
IRceived by

The table below will give an idea of the quantities of lemons
harvested in California by months for 1937.

January ...
February ..
March ........
April ......... .
M ay ...... .. .
June .....
July ....
September ....
October .....
November .......

(100,000 P1oNDs)

. . . I . .

. . .
.. .......
, . . .
.... .. ......


PIroessifJng into By-prlod 'tats
Generally when lemon production in California has been less
than 8,000,000 boxes, a relatively small part of the crop was uti-
lized in the manufacture of by-products. An exception was the
production of 1936-37, when 13 per cent of the crop was so utilized
because freeze injury rendered a considerable part unfit for fresh
markets. For the crop of 10,747,000 boxes in 1934-35, however, it
was necessary to divert 33 per cent of production to by-products
plants. The prospects of larger crops in the future indicate the
probability that tihe volume of fruit used for processing can be ex-
pected to increase also.
Prices received for lemons used for processing are much lower,
however, than prices for fruit disposed of in the fresh market.

Until the introduction of the Perrine lemon, the chief varieties
grown in Florida were the Myer, Villa Franca, and Sperryola
lemons. Other varieties included the Lisbon, Eureka, Genoa,
Everbearing, Sicily, and Ponderosa, but, as explained, since the
time when commercial lemon production in the state reached a
standstill, practically all varieties were confined to doorvard plant-
ings, chiefly for private use. During this period many other varie-
ties were tried out, budded on all of the common citrus stocks.
Except under unusual conditions, Florida soils and climate are
apparently unsuited to the California varieties for commercial
production. This is also the case wNith all the true lemon tvpes.
In (California, lemon culture mav be said to be based almost en-
tirely on the Eureka and Lishon varieties. The two are so similar
in quality and shape that they are practically indistinguishable.
The Villa Franca has long been a favorite for dooryard plant-
ings in Florida. The Ponderosa has little value as a fruit and its
chief use is as a stock on which to bud other varieties of citrus. The
fruits are pear-shaped and very large. They are used occasionally
in the home by individuals growing them.

The L'erriije Lenmoo
A number of years ago tile Bureau of Plant Industry of the
United States Department of Agriculture became interested in


Florida's lemon situation and began acid citrus experiments with
the objective of creating a lemon variety for commercial produc-
tion in the state. By crossing the Genoa lemon of Sicily with the
Mexican or Key lime rootstock a hybrid was obtained with suffi-
cient lime blood to decrease the size of the fruit, as well as to pro-
duce a thin skin with a high juice content. Because of its physical
resemblance to the commercial lemon and the fact that it served
all chief purposes of the lemon, it was decided to treat this hybrid
as a new horticultural variety of the lemon. This product was in-
troduced by the Department of Agriculture in 1931 and named the
Perrine lemon in honor of Dr. Henry Perrine, pioneer horticul-
turist of Florida.
While the Perrine lemon has been grown commercially only
during the last few years, this variety apparently meets the need
for a Florida lemon in size, flavor, aroma, and fruitfulness and
seems to have inherited the good qualities of each parent in that so
far it has been immune to lime withertip and lemon or citrus scab.
This is probably because the lemon parent is immune to lime
withertip, while the Key lime is immune to citrus scab. An analysis
of this fruit is given under Table 8, Physical and Chemical Char-
acteristics of Florida Limes and Lemons.
*The fruit, as indicated, has about the size and shape of the
ordinary lemon, ranging from two to two and a half inches in diam-
eter by two and a half to three inches in length, having small
abrupt protuberances surrounding calyx and small nipple at
blossom end characteristic of the lemon; pistil often persistent;
rind thin and tough, slightly wrinkled; segments 10 to 12; small
solid core: thin segment walls, vesicles very small, slender and
tender; pulp very juicy and translucent, of pale greenish-yellow
color; flavor more like lemon than lime, sharply acid, with no "off
flavor" or "after taste;" acidity testing (approximately) 6.39 per
cent of anhydrous citric acid; seeds variable in number ... slender
and long-pointed; tree is vigorous, productive and precocious, of
rather compact habit and resembles more the lime in this respect
than the lemon.
The tree is somewhat hardier than the common lime and the
true lemon, although it is not recommended for cold sections. It

(*Arid Citrus Fruits for the Gulf Coast and Eastern Sub-Tropical Crops
Region, Bureau of Plant Industry, U. S. D. A., 1934).


is more or less overbearing, carrying fruit in usable condition eight
or nine months of the year. The fruit, like tile lime, drops to the
ground when fully ripe but does not decay rapidly. While it ap-
pears to possess excellent keeping qualities, storage and shipping
tests have not been made on a sufficiently large scale to determine
definitely its adaptability to commercial handling. .. The largest
plantings are in llhe ridge section of south central Florida: about
200 acres having been set or topworked by the spring of 1934.
It grows well as a cutting but succeeds best on the rough lemon
stock. It is doubtful whether it can be budded with enduring
success on tlie sour orange stock. Tihe growth made on the sour
orange stock is slow and the bud union indicates a lack of com-
patability. On the Cleopatra mandarin the growth is fairly satis-
factory and a good union is formed, but the trees are as a rule slow
in coming into production.
Topworked trees, budded or grafted on grapefruit or sweet
orange, make a rapid growth, regardless of the rootstock, form a
good union, and begin fruiting in two or three seasons. Topwork-
ing of the Mexican or Key lime has also proved promising, result-
ing in a good union and prompt fruiting of tie lPerrine lemon.
IWhere limes are subject to withertip infection, as on the lower east
coast Keys. this practice offers considerable promise. The Perrine
fruits produced by such topworked lime trees are somewhat re-
duced in size, thus resembling extra large limes, but free from
anthracnose blemishes. Regardless of stock or conditions of cul-
ture, the fruit does not attain its best flavor and juice content until
it begins to show some change in color, from green to greenish-vel-
low: and should o not as a rule be picked until this color is apparent.
Note-Some Florida growers claim that fruit from topworked
trees budded or grafted on sweet orange or grapefruit is apt to be
coarse w ith "off flavor."
(Genteral C('lttire and Other Factors: According
to H. W. Bennett, owner of a 320- acre Perrine lemon grove near
Babson Park, a special type of cultivation is necessary for success-
ful culture since high nitrogen fertilization and high soil culture
produce a type of bark disease or "gunmmosis" in this variety."
"This type of cultivation may be described as neglect," says Mr.

*See Bark Disease of Tahiti Lime iand Perrine Lemon: ihaptier on Dis-
eases of Linmes.


Bennett. "If the Key lime is taken from its native habitat, put on
rich land and highly cultivated, it will die. Therefore the system
of mulching the trees and using organic matter in the soil produces
tle best Perrine lemons.
"'For cover crops we use crotalaria, beggarweed, cowpeas, and
pigeon peas. Pigeon peas, the newest cover crop, are native to the
West Indies and the Bahama Islands. This runs 40 tons to the
acre with stalks as big as a man's thumb and therefore presents
more difficulty in cutting. In planting, the seeds are dropped six
inches apart in rows four feet apart.
"Lemon culture is about the same as that of limes, except that
with limes or a variety with a lime derivation as with the Perrine
lemon, too much stimulation of the soil is detrimental. Lemons
must be sprayed for all of the citrus diseases.
"Because of their smaller size, lemon and lime trees are set 100
to 132 to the acre in accordance with the principle that closer
planting induces greater fruitfulness and more perfect tree and
root development. With proper cultivation and fertilization
lemon and lime groves bear earlier and heavier crops with less pro
rata tree cost for supervision, cultivation, fertilization, etc. For
horticultural reasons, trees are not permitted to bear until after
the third year. Between the third and fourth years about one box
of lemons a tree may be expected with an increase to as many as
three and a half boxes between the fifth and sixth years and a
further increase each year for a considerable period. Irrigation
produces an earlier fruit.
"Three-year rough lemon rootstock is best for production of the
Perrine lemon. Nursery seedlings are two to three years old, and
must be pruned back after planting.
"For location, lands truly adaptable are very limited and the
most drastic selection should be made as to frost protection, soil,
organic matter, both air and water drainage, sub-soil character-
istics, economic availability of irrigation water, contour, moisture-
holding power, etc. The overbearing nature of both lemon and
lime trees causes them to contain more sap during the winter:
therefore a protected location is imperative. The high elevation
of the south Florida ridge is probably to be preferred. Second
choice might be the lower west coast, Terra Ceia, Pine Island and
other islands off Fort Myers, and third choice probably would be


the lower east coast. The ridge section, however, is ideal for air
drainage which is as important as water drainage.
"We generally fire about 25 per cent throughout the grove if
the temperature reaches 30 degrees: if it goes another degree
lower, we fire another 25 per cent, and so on.
"Citric acid content of the Perrine lenion ranges from six and
a half to seven per cent, depending chiefly on whether picked
green or tree-ripened. Our tree-ripened fruit is a bit paler than
the average California lemon. The Perrine lemon is free bearing
during the season in Florida which is from July to January. Prices
are usually advanced during the early months of the year until
about May or June when the big California crop begins to reach
the market.
"Before manv years lemons will go largely into juicing. The
new flash pasteurization method of canning and bottling juice
offers great possibilities."

JIMyer Lemnon

*The Mver lemon, because of its decided hardiness, thrifty
growth and abundant fruiting, has attracted favorable attention
not only in Florida but all around the Gulf Coast. This lemon was
found in China by the late Frank N. Mver, agricultural explorer
of the United States Department of Agriculture, and was intro-
duced into the United States by the Department in 1908. In China
it is commonly cultivated as a house plant, grown in tubs or pots:
for this reason it was for a time known as the Chinese dwarf lemon,
but later it was named the Mver. The Chinese name is Hlaien
Prior to the severe freeze of 1924, this variety was fruiting freely
at a number of places in the Gulf Coast region, from Florida to
Texas, where it was regarded as almost as hardy as the Satsuma
orange. It was severely cut back or killed out at temperatures of
15 degrees F. or lower, and few trees are to be found in this terri-
tory at the present time, except in South Texas and in parts of
It is, however, much hardier than any true lemon andl differs in
other respects enough to suggest that it may be of hybrid origin.
The fruit when mature is almost spherical, larger than the colm-
mercial lemon. very smooth and glossy, and takes on a color re-


sembling an orange instead of the common "lemon yellow." The
leaves are larger and of a deeper green than the ordinary varieties
of the lemon. The tree habit is low and spreading, though not
necessarily of dwarf character when properly fertilized and grown
in good soil. The fruit is excellent in flavor, though the acidity is
somewhat lower than that of the true lemon.
The Mver lemon may be budded onto any one of the common
stocks used for citrus. For increasing its hardiness the trifoliate
orange stock is best for the more northerly regions. For the cooler
sections of Florida and for south Texas, as well as for the interme-
diate Gulf Coast states, this appears to be the safest lemon variety
for planting because of its demonstrated hardiness. Throughout
the Gulf Coast section where the Satsuma orange is chiefly grown,
it will, however, require protection by firing against damage from
occasional freezes.
For home use and for local marketing it has a promising future
though it is doubtful whether a fruit of this type could compete
successfully in the northern markets with the standard varieties of
long-established reputation. The fruit ripens chiefly in the fall
and winter months, which would tend to restrict further its utiliza-
tion as a shipping lemon.

Speirrtola Lemon
*With the increasing interest in acid citrus fruits in Florida,
attention las been directed to a number of lemonlike fruits usually
grown in dooryards, the history of which is often obscure. One
of these has been propagated in a limited way for commercial
planting. It is called the Sperryola lemon, and was first propa-
gated by W. D. Sperry of Lakeland, Florida. The original seed-
ling tree growing near Lakeland was reputed to be 30 years or more
old when seen by the writers, the seeds having been brought by
a traveler returning from China.
The tree is evidently fairly hardy and thrifty but differs from
the true lemon is some important particulars. The leaf has a nar-
rowly winged petiole, more like a small orange leaf than a lemon,
and the flowers are white instead of a pinkish-purple. The new
tender growth is pale-green in color instead of wine-colored as

(*Arid Citrus Fruits for the Gulf Coast and Eastern Sub-Tropical Crops
Region, Bureau of Plant Industry, U. S. I). A., 1934).


with the tru lemon. The fruit when fully ripe develops a red-
dish-orange color somewhat like the lMver lemon. It is rounded
oval in shape, with smooth rind and rather numerous seeds, rang-
ing from 15 to 20. The odor of the fruit is lemonlike, but the
flavor is not typical of the common lemon, resembling especially
in the "after taste" the flavor of the Raiigpur lime. In acid content
it is also somewhat deficient, fruits testing 2.5 to 3.5 per cent an-
vhydrous citric acid at different stages of maturity. The fruits are
sollmewhat smaller than the commercial lemon, with tile greatest
diameter towards the apical end. It hears the bulk of its crop in
the late summer and fall.
While acceptable as a lemon substitute in home use and in local
markets, it is doubtful Iwhether such a fruit has commercial value
as a shipping product. In fruit and growth characters it accords
very closely with descriptions of the Paak lMing MI lg or "white-
flowered lemon" of tlie (anton region in China, and mav represent
a seedling introduction of this variety.

.-1 Ilo,'d (ibomut ('Ctlifof'nica's Lemitoi Inuldtutr
Of the many lemon varieties tried out since the early days of
the California lemon industry, only two are at present grown com-
mercially. As before stated, these are the Lisbon. a European
variety thought to have been brought to California from Aus-
tralia. and thle Eureka. which originated in Los Angeles from
Sicilian lemon seed. Of the two, thlie latter is proving to be the
more important.
Almost all of California's lemon crop is grown in the southern
part of the state. ,which offers the most protection against cohl.
Cultural treatment is very similar to that given the orange, and
orange rootstock is used for stock.
Although some lemons are produced when the trees are four
ears oldl, commercial bearing begins in tile seventh or eighth
year. Lemons are picked by size rather than by color: they are
clipped from the tree and never pulled. (ro\es are gone over
about every six weeks and the best grades are picked green. The
picker carries a ring for size selection: sizes commonly used are
from 2-6 32 to 2-9 32 inches in diameter. Only lemons that will
not pass through the ring are picked. including both green and yel-
low, or tree-ripened.


After the lemons have been washed at the packing house, tile
green are separated from the yellow and placed in coloring or cur-
ing rooms where temperature is maintained at about 55 degrees
F. and the humidity at 90 per cent. In the curing process, the
green color of the rind gradually turns to the waxy fellow of the
commercial lemon. They are then carefully graded, sized and
packed. California lemons are packed in seven principal sizes:
240, 270, 300, 360, 432, and 540. As is the case with other standard
citrus varieties, these sizes represent the number of lemons to the
From a booklet issued by the California Fruit Growers Ex-
change, Los Angeles, the cost of bringing a lemon grove into bear-
ing is generally higher than for an orange grove. For picking,
hauling and packing, the grower pays an average of $1.08 a box.
The cost of marketing a box of lemons is about the same as with
oranges except that more money is spent in advertising lemons.
Average lemon production per acre is somewhat higher than
with oranges; production, however, varies considerably with dis-
tricts. Also costs vary considerably from year to year in different
districts and depend chiefly on variations in cultural practices and
pest control requirements. Likewise, returns show a wide degree
of fluctuation, depending on growing and marketing conditions,
size and quality of the crop, and demand. The last factor is sea-
sonal and depends to some extent on weather conditions. The
bulk of the California lemon crop is marketed through one ex-
According to Bulletin No. 1447 issued in 1930 by the United
States Department of Agriculture, the cultural costs of producing
lemons during the five years from 1924 to 1928, inclusive, cover-
ing about 8,000 acres in various citrus districts in southern Cali-
fornia, showed the following average costs and yields: cost per
acre, $262.48; cost per packed box (up to the time of picking),
$1.47; yield in packed boxes per acre, 178.
This may be compared with California orange costs, of which
estimates were made from about 18,000 acres; cost per acre, $252;
cost per packed box (up to the time of picking), $1.38; yield in
packed boxes per acre, 182.5.
The cost per acre for lemons varies more from year to year than
with oranges, due in part to the varying cost of protection from


low temperatures and to the increase or decrease in the use of
fertilizers and irrigation water and other cultural care as the result
of fluctuating market or groe conditions.
The most eflicientlv protected groves are equipped with a
heater for every tree. The heaters are usually set on tle intersec-
tions of the diagonals of the tree rows to avoid burning the trees
or fruit. In many cases extra heaters are placed in the paths of
prevailing cold-air currents.
If the trees are badly defoliated by low temperatures or other
causes, tile trunks and limbs are protected from sunburn by coat-
ing then with whitewash. Recent experience indicates that
pruning frost-injured trees should be deferred until the extent of
the injuries can be fully determined. Groves located on slopes,
where there is good air drainage. are usually less liable to injury
than those on low or level land.

TeI.rt,. .-rizo nia(

In Texas, lemon growing is on a very minor scale as compared
witl production of oranges and grapefruit in that state. Accord-
ing to J. 1'. Dewald, inspector for the Texas Department of Agri-
culture. the census for lemon trees at the beginning of 1939 showed
50.667 trees or about one-tenth of one per cent of the number of
grapefruit trees in the same and principal producing areas
Brooks, Cameron, Hidalgo. and Willacv Counties.
"Tlhe more recent plantings," Mr. Dewald writes. "are perhaps
50 per cent of the Mver variety while most of the lemons produced
are of the Eureka variety. The older plantings also contain a few
Lisbon and Villa Franca lemons.
"Tlhe orchard layout generally consists of rectangular or square
plantings with al)l)roximately 70 trees to the acre. Mver lemon
groves are somewhat denser, since the trees of this variety are
dwarfed in grow th.
"Thle cost of producing lemons varies according to the care
given them. generallyy speaking the cost of production per acre
for such standard grove operations as cultivation, irrigation, prun-
ing, and pest and disease control is about S40.00 per acre per year.
This cost will vary from season to season according to the num-
her of irrigation and dusting required. If adequate orchard
heating is used. the cost of production will be increased about


$20.00 or more depending on the number of times the heaters are
fired. Also, if fertilization is required, the costs will be corre-
spondingly increased. Very few lemon groves, however, are being
fertilized. The soil and climatic conditions are such that the fruits
are generally somewhat oversized, even with no fertilization."

Few lemons are produced in Arizona, the only other commer-
cial citrus-producing state with the exception of California and
Florida. According to a report of the Arizona Chamber of Com-
merce, January 1939, the number of lemon trees was 8,015 in Mari-
copa County and 806 in Yuma County, the only two counties grow-
ing citrus.



Citrus Growing in Florida, Bulletin No. 2, Florida I)epartment of Agricul-
ture in cooperation with University of Florida, 1937.
Florida State Marketing Bureau, Neill Rhodes, Assistant Conunissioner.
The Production of Limes in Florida, Dr. A. Campl, UIniversity of
Florida Agricultural Experiment Station. 1932. /
Composition of Miscellaneous Tropical and Subtropical Florida Fruits,
Bulletin No. 283, University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, 1935./
Bark Disease of Tahiti Lime and Perrine Lemon, Press Bulletin No. 481,
University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, 1935.
Florida Agricultural Statistical Report, 1936-37, Florida Department of
Florida State Plant Board.
Personal Consultations with Growers.

Dr. E. C. Auchter, Chief of Bureau of Plant Industry, U. S. D. A., Wash-
ington, D. C.
The Florida Key Lime Industry, Bureau of Plant Industry. U. S. D. A.,
Washington, D. C.
Harvesting and Handling Citrus Fruits in the Gulf States, Bulletin No.
1763, U. S. D. A., Washington, D.C., 1937.
Agricultural Statistics, U. S. D. A., Washington, D. C., 1938.
The Outlook for Lemons for 1939, Bureau of Agricultural Econoics,
U. S. D. A., Washington, D. C., 1938.
Acid Citrus Fruits for the Gulf Coast and Eastern Subtropic/ Region,
Bureau of Plant Industry, U. S. D. A., Washington, D. C., 1934.
Culture of Citrus Fruits in the Gulf States, Bulletin No. 1343, U. S. D. A.,
Washington, D. C., 1929.
Fresh Fruits, United States Foreign Trade in 1938, U. S. D. A., Washing-
ton, D. (C.

The Story of California Oranges and Lemons, California Fruit Growers
Exchange, Los Angeles, California, 1936.
California Department of Agriculture.
Summary of California Fruit and Nut Plantings, Acreage Survey of 1936,
U. S. D. A., and California Department of Agriculture. 1937.
Lemon Production Cost Analysis, Twelve-Year Suummary, 1926-1937, Agri-
cultural Extension Service. University of California and U. S. I). A.
Texas Department of Agriculture.
Phoenix (Arizona) Chamber of Commerce.



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