The Ponderosa lemon is a thought to be a hybrid of a lemon and a citron. It is less cold hardy than a true lemon. It bears medium to large fruits that have a thick and bumpy rind. The fruits are seedy, and while they look like a citron, they taste like a lemon. The impressive-sized fruits may be left on the tree for many months after they've ripened without a drop in the fruits' quality. In addition, Ponderosa lemon trees can flower and bear fruit at the same time, further adding to the visual appeal. While the fruit are larger than that of a normal lemon, they have the same flavor and acidity and can replace lemons measure for measure in recipes.
Ponderosa lemon trees are slow growing but reach a height of 12 to 24 feet at maturity. The leaves are long, evergreen, glossy, and citron-like, being ovate elliptic in shape and lemon scented. They have medium thick branches with many spines. New growth is purple tinged, as are the flowers. Ponderosa lemon also has larger than average citrus flowers, and bears fruit throughout the year. When grown as an ornamental, pruning is required to control the shape, and it may be trained as a bush or tree.