2018 2c Meyer Lemons
Value: 2¢ 1-ounce Denominated, Mail-use
Issued: January 19, 2018
First Day City: Kenner, LA
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Format: Coils of 10,000
Quantity Printed: 100,000,000 stamps
Many fruits grown in America today originated from different countries. In fact, in the early 1900s, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) hired men specifically to travel the world and bring back new plants from abroad. Many new fruits and vegetables were discovered on these expeditions, including the Meyer lemon.
Frank Meyer was a Dutch-American botanist working for the USDA in 1908. During his 13 years of travel, he brought over 2,500 new plant species to the United States. His most well-known discovery came from China and was a cross between a lemon and mandarin orange. It had thinner skin, was rounder and smaller, and had sweeter juice than other lemons. The new fruit was later named the “Meyer lemon.”
Once brought to America, it was discovered Meyer lemons grew more quickly than other lemons. When started from seed, the trees reached fruit-bearing age in just four years. They were a hit with the public, but Meyer lemons’ thin skin made them difficult to transport. For this reason, Meyer lemons were mostly found in the regions they were grown.
Better shipping methods now allow Meyer lemons to be sold in markets across the country. Restaurant and celebrity chefs have helped re-popularize the fruit and made it a staple in modern American cuisine.