Lemon Zest was a seedling of ‘Lemon Meringue’ from the breeding program of Gary Zill in Boynton Beach, FL (planting # 27-1).
The fruit somewhat resembles Lemon Meringue, a solid yellow color but is larger and more oval-oblong with a small nak at the bottom. The flesh is yellow and fiber-free. They are unbelievably richly sweet with candied orange and tangelo citrus flavors dominating, enough to overwhelm the palate for many. The seed is large and polyembryonic.
Lemon Zest fruits later than Lemon Meringue, more of a July-August season.
The trees start out slow but become very vigorous growers with vertical, dense canopy.
They are moderately prone to anthracnose at the floral and small fruit stage, and *highly* prone to powdery mildew. They also tend to bloom erratically, sometimes flushing growth in winter season, and these factors conspire to limit production over the long run.
Recently it has been discovered that Lemon Zest is highly prone to bacterial black spot disease as well. Given all these unfortunate factors, we do not recommend the planting of Lemon Zest in south Florida and have begun the process of topworking our trees to other cultivars.