Botanical name: Citrus junos
Ideal location & conditions: Full sun in either a pot or in open soil
Size after 5 years: 1.5m x 1.5m
Soil: Well drained rich soil with additional stone
Flowering colour: White/yellow
Flowering period: Late May - early August
Fruit harvest period: November - late April
If you are a fan of Asian and Far Eastern cuisine, then growing a Yuzu lemon tree is a must!
Of course, that’s not the only reason to grow a Citrus junos. A hybrid between the Mandarin Orange and a Papeda citrus, Yuzu lemon was given the Latin name 'Citrus junos' in recognition of the belief in parts of rural Japan, that growing a Yuzu lemon in your garden would bring monetary wealth to your household.
Why junos I hear you ask? Well, the Roman God Jupiter married Juno - 'Queen of the Heavens and Goddess of Finance'. Make sense now?
As one of the parents is a Papeda (which is a very hardy wild and uncultivated citrus species), the Yuzu has inherited that hardiness and the plants can withstand temperatures down to -9c. This makes it one of the hardiest citrus species and they are suitable for planting out in a sheltered spot in well-drained soil in UK gardens.
The fruits of the Yuzu are best described as round and rather flat and they are held on the growth stems of a tree which is naturally dwarfing, so ideal for container growing as well.
The skin is full of oils and is used in many Far Eastern dishes. The juice of the Yuzu is much less acidic than a European lemon, and whilst it cannot be described as sweet, it really is delicious to drink. For a full-on Yuzu effect, squish the fruits whole to extract all the juice and the essential oils. It’s a real blast of goodness!
The Yuzu lemon leaves (which appear to have wings at the base of them), are also used in dishes - you will find plenty of recipes that include them. They cost a small fortune in the shops so even without the fruits, Yuzu is a big winner and certainly lives up to its name as a 'Goddess of Finance'!
For some of us though, there is only really one use for our wonderful Citrus junos - pick the fruits in December when they are ripe (around the Winter Solstice), cut them in half or slices and throw them in a hot bath. It’s known as a 'Yuzu-Buro' and apparently protects the bather from colds for the whole winter long, relaxes mind and body and of course, makes you smell really nice! Enjoy!
PS. If our 'Citrus junos' does live up to its name as ‘Goddess of Finance’ then please do remember us!
Five reasons to plant a Yuzu:
• A must for fans of Asian and Far Eastern cuisine
• One of the hardiest of all citrus
• Ideal for container growing
• Known to keep the colds at bay if you infuse your bath with them!
• Growing one of these in your garden could save you money?!