The new Summer Prim lemon variety is already enjoying its first year as a protected plant variety. It is the spontaneous mutation of the Fino lemon, detected in Murcia in 2005, although there are several factors that distinguish the two varieties, in particular their harvest calendar, because Summer Prim reaches optimum juice levels for harvesting during February and can be harvested right up until June. Its breeders classify it as a good alternative to the Verna lemon in terms of production consistency, quantity of juice and quality of the peel: thin and smooth, like the Fino lemon.

According to Charo Marín, technical director of GCM Variedades Vegetales, the tree of this variety is more vigorous than that of the Fino lemon, this latter being much appreciated due to its shape and its thin and smooth peel. “Summer Prim has all the qualitative characteristics of the Fino lemon, and it ripens very late in the season, which allows for the Fino lemon season to be extended in the trading calendar from spring to summer without the need to resort to expensive and uncertain imports”, she indicates.

“This new variety produces more than the Fino lemon, because the Summer Prim tress is approximately 15% larger. In addition, it doesn’t rebloom much, which means that harvests are more consistent and regular than, for example, the Verna lemon, which it would coexist with on the market around the same dates and whose produce tends to vary every year”, she notes. “It has good juice percentages and commercial size, between 53 and 67 mm. Most of the fruit is placed in Class I, improving the percentages of substandard fruit of the Verna lemon”.

On the other hand, it is worth noting that it degreens well, it is easy to conserve in fridge chambers and that it withstands long journeys. Recently a protocol has been opened in China that exporters of Spanish lemons must comply with, with very strict cold processing requirements that very few varieties can withstand. “We believe that Summer Prim could be a more resistant variety for sending at very low temperatures. We are performing the necessary tests to be able to respond to this new demand”.

The plant varieties model is becoming increasingly present in the citrus sector, although we are used to seeing it in mandarins and oranges, not lemons. “The benefit of being a protected variety stems from protecting the added value, which benefits the breeder, the farmer, the supplier and the consumer, avoiding possible over supply”, says Charo Marín.

The lemon is a product on the increase in recent years, something which is translated into better seasons also for farmers. “Interest in new lemon varieties is very high at the moment”, confirms Charo Marín.


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