2020 55¢ Fruits and Vegetables – Lemons
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: July 17, 2020
First Day City: Charleston, WV
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Double-sided Booklet of 20
Quantity Printed: 200,000,000
The lemon is one of the most important fruits cultivated today. Its juice, oil, and rind can be found in cleaning products, herbal remedies, livestock feed, and countless culinary dishes. The exact origin of lemons is unknown, but scientists have traced their DNA and believe they were first grown in the region around the Himalayas.
Lemon trees were first brought to Europe around the second century AD in Ancient Rome. Eventually, they were introduced to Persia, Iraq, and Egypt in 700 AD and were found throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East by 1000 and 1150. Genoa, Italy, was the first region to mass cultivate lemon trees, doing so in the mid-15th century.
When Columbus journeyed to the New World in 1493, he took lemon seeds with him that he then planted in Hispaniola. By the 19th century, lemon trees were found growing in large groves in Florida and California. Arizona later became a chief grower of the fruit as well.
In 2019, over 17 million tons of lemons were grown worldwide. The top producers were Mexico, India, China, Argentina, and Brazil. Whether you want to polish a copper-bottomed pan, clean furniture, bake a pie, or enjoy a refreshingly sweet summertime beverage, lemons can do it all.