Is Lemon a Fruit or a Vegetable? (Fully Explained)

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By Bryan Peters

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Lemons are well cherished for their tartness and sweetness, and they have so many culinary uses. But is lemon a fruit or a vegetable?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions among farmers and individuals, and many people have pondered this question for years.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about lemon and it’s classifications and in the end, you will be able to tell whether lemon is a fruit or vegetable.

Let’s get started!

Is Lemon a Fruit or a Vegetable?

Scientifically, lemons are usually considered citrus fruits and have a minimal resemblance to traditional vegetables like carrots. On average, something is generally considered a fruit if it has or is a seed-bearing structure that develops from the ovary of a flowering plant. 

Vegetables are usually the rest of the edible parts of a plant, like the leaves, stalks, stems, and others. One of the easiest ways for you to think about this is for you to determine if the food in question is the process by which the plant gets its seed into the world. If this is so, then it is a fruit

However, in culinary terms, the classification of fruits becomes less clear.  Some of the research among some culinary experts suggest that they go either way since they are used as both sweet and as savory dishes. 

However, most people agree that lemons are often used in sweet dishes, making them commonly referred to and regarded as fruit.

See Also: Is Edamame a Vegetable?

What Is The Difference Between A Fruit And A Vegetable?

As we are aware, the culinary and botanical definition of fruit differs a little, so that we will look into each of them one by one.

Culinary Definition Of Fruits And Vegetables

In culinary senses, we differentiate food based on their different tastes, fruits are usually sweet and colorful, and they equally serve as dessert after eating. On the other hand, vegetables can either be savory or have a sour or bitter taste. 

Botanical Definition Of Fruits And Vegetables

In a botanical sense, a fruit is usually defined as “the fleshy or dry ripened ovary of a flowering plant that contains the seed.” Whereas vegetables are generally defined as the edible part of a plant, this is typically from the plant’s stems, roots, or leaves. 

So if we are to ask whether a carrot is a fruit or vegetable, it will fall under vegetables because it emanates from the root of the plant. So with this said, lemons fit into the botanical name and definition of a fruit and not a vegetable.

What Makes Lemon A Fruit?

From the ongoing discussion, the difference between a fruit and a vegetable is apparent. Now let’s look at some of the main reasons for what makes a lemon fruit instead of a vegetable. 

1. Lemons Contain Seeds

There’s no doubt that lemons Contain Seeds, their seeds are usually present inside, and immediately after you cut the lemon, you will see plenty of them in just one lemon. 

In addition to these, lemons are a hybrid of two other fruits. Lemon is an artificial hybrid of two fruits and not a vegetable, one of the crucial factors that make lemon a fruit.

This hybridization process was made with two citrus fruits, the bitter orange and the citron, which were crossed to form a new type of fruit known today as the lemon fruit. 

From the above explanation, it is safe to say that the entire family line of lemons proves why it is a fruit.

2. Lemons Grow From Flowers

If you have visited any lemon farm around you, you will have noticed the beautiful white flowers growing from the lemon plant. These flowers are responsible for turning into ovaries, pollinating, and growing into a lemon plant.

3. Growth Cycle Of A Lemon Plant

A lemon seed usually contains genetic material and sprouts roots deep into the soil. Then it sends up a stem and two leaves. 

This lemon seed then sends up a stem and two different leaves; the plant will continue to grow, and the taller it grows, the more branching and leaves it to develop.

After two to five years of planting, this plant has now grown to the extent of being considered a lemon tree, it will produce wonderful fragrant flowers, and each of the branches contains different male and female flowers. 

If the lemon flowers undergo pollination, the fertilization will become a process for the production of seed-containing lemons.. this lemon usually starts small and green. Within 3 to 5 years, the plant continues to grow and turn yellow as they mature. 

Uses Of Lemons

Lemos is the most widely used type of citrus fruit. They’re often added to dishes to add a very bright, tart flavor, and at times they can equally be used in place of vinegar when cooking.

The acidity of lemons is usually ideal for salad dressings. In addition, lemons contain pectin, which is perfect for making homemade jams.

In addition to lemon juice which you can use for homemade lemon juice jam, you can equally use it to add wonderful flavors to your dishes. This you would beat yourself for not trying earlier.

This means that most people usually use lemon medicinally. It has been tested and has been used to treat scurvy (scurvy is a vitamin C deficiency).

Conclusively, most people equally use lemons for cleaning and freshening up the atmosphere. Lemon oil can be extracted and used in so many different ways.

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