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Citrus ID






American Wonder, Wonder (sec. Cottin 2002); Ponderosa Lemon (sec. Hodgson 1967)

Cultivar or taxon


Citrus maxima (Burr.) Merr. (sensu Zhang and Mabberley 2008); Citrus pyriformis Hassk. (sensu Tanaka sec. Cottin 2002)



Hodgson (1967) noted that:

"Both fruit and plant are clearly citron in most respects, and there can be little doubt that Ponderosa is a hybrid between citron and lemon. According to Webber (1943), this variety originated about 1887 as a chance seedling (presumably of lemon) grown by George Bowman of Hagerstown, Maryland, and was named and introduced to the nursery trade in 1900. If this account is accurate, the fruit from which the seed was obtained must have been of Italian origin.

Ponderosa is of importance primarily as an oddity and ornamental, although the fruit can be used as a lemon substitute. It is used somewhat as a tubbed plant in patios but most commonly as a dooryard ornamental in California and Florida."

The Chiefland Budwood Facility (2010) provided the following additional notes on the cultivar (clone DPI-203-8): "A seedling collected in 1976 by Leon Hebb for planting in the Florida Citrus Arboretum. The Ponderosa is not a true lemon; it originated in 1886 as a chance seedling found in Hagerstown, Maryland."



Crown compact or dense, not weeping. First year twig surface glabrous; second or third year twig surface striate; thorns straight; prickles absent or not persistent. Petiole glabrous, length short, wings absent, if present, narrow or medium, adjoining the blade. Leaflets one, margin bluntly toothed or serrate/serrulate, shade leaflet blades flat or weakly conduplicate, sun leaflet blades flat or weakly conduplicate. Leaflets freshly lemon-like when crushed. Fruit as broad as long or longer than broad, rind green-yellow (6), yellow (7-10), yellow-orange (11) or orange (12), rind texture slightly rough (4-5) or medium rough (6-7), firmness leathery, navel absent, flesh yellow, taste sour.

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

"Fruit medium-large, obovoid; collar radially ribbed or furrowed or short neck and low broad apical nipple; color lemon-yellow; seedy and monoembyonic. Rind medium-thick and fleshy; surface smooth but slightly bumpy and indistinctly ribbed. Flesh color pale green; juicy; flavor acid. Fruits mature throughout year.

Tree small, round-topped, and productive; branches medium-thick and theory; leaves large elliptical to oblong and citron-like. Flowers and new growth purple-tinged. Everflowering. Tree sensitive to cold."



The Chiefland Budwood Facility (2010) provided the following additional notes on the cultivar (clone DPI-203-8): "Ponderosa is more cold sensitive than true lemons. The fruit is very large and used for lemonade and in most other ways lemons are utilized."



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

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

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

Zhang, D. and D.J. Mabberley. 2008. Citrus. In: Flora of China Editorial Committee (eds.). Flora of China, Vol. 11. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.



Search for this cultivar in NPGS/GRIN1

Search for this cultivar in NCBI2 Entrez

Additional information on this cultivar at University of California: Riverside Citrus Variety Collection

1GRIN: Germplasm Resources Information Network; NPGS: National Plant Germplasm System

2NCBI: National Center for Biotechnology Information


Citrus ID Edition 2
October, 2011