lemon was first recorded in literature in a tenth century Arabic
treatise on farming, and was also used as an ornamental plant in early
Islamic gardens. It was distributed widely throughout the Arab world
and the Mediterranean region between AD 1000 and AD 1150.
Lemons entered Europe (near southern Italy) no later than the first
century AD, during the time of Ancient Rome. However, they were not
widely cultivated. The first real lemon cultivation in Europe began in
Genoa in the middle of the fifteenth century. It was later introduced
to the Americas in 1493 when Christopher Columbus brought lemon seeds
to Hispaniola along his voyages. Spanish conquest throughout the New
World helped spread lemon seeds. It was mainly used as ornament and
medicine. In 1700s and late 1800s, lemons were increasingly planted in
Florida and California when lemons began to be used in cooking and
In 1747, James Lind's experiments on seamen suffering from scurvy
involved adding Vitamin C to their diets through lemon juice.