Variegated pink Eureka lemon
One of my favorite foliage plants in the front yard is actually a citrus tree: a variegated pink Eureka lemon. This variety was first discovered in 1931 in a Southern California home garden as a sport of the conventional Eureka lemon and is now widely available in local nurseries. Sometimes it is sold as “Pink Lemonade” because the flesh of the fruit has a pink cast (see photos after the jump).
For me, the main attraction is the beautiful foliage. It looks great against the baby blue bamboo (Bambusa chungii ‘Barbellata’) behind it.
This year is the first year when the fragrant blossom that covered the tree in the spring have actually turned into lemons. Last year they all aborted after fruit set.
While small—even smaller than a Meyer lemon and certainly much smaller than a regular Eureka—they are very ornamental.
I’d been wanting to harvest one for a while to see if the flesh actually is pink but I knew they weren’t quite ripe. Today, I finally decided to pick one to satisfy my curiosity. Yes, the flesh is slightly pink (and no, it wasn’t entirely ripe).
With its striped rind and slightly pink flesh, it’s easily the most unique-looking lemon variety.
As much as I love this tree, we’re faced with a bit of a dilemma. Its current location is fairly crammed and doesn’t give the tree much room to spread. While still technically a dwarf lemon, its natural size is 12-15 ft. tall and wide. I’ve been pruning it each year to keep it more compact but I’m thinking we may have to move it. Not an undertaking I look forward to, and another vivid reminder to be smarter about selecting the right location in the first place.