Lemons used for decoration and fragrance
During a tour of Antebellum plantations ( I have had a long love affair with old, historical houses!) in Mississippi and Louisiana we were told by the tour guides that bowls of lemons were placed throughout antebellum mansions for their beauty as decoration as well as their wonderful fragrance. This was also considered a sign of wealth in those days because only the wealthy could afford to buy lemons.
Lemons, as far as research can tell, were first cultivated in China or India and South Asia. From there they made their way to the Arabic countries and lemons, or “Persian Apples”, as the Romans called them, were brought to Italy by Christopher Columbus ( he was responsible for importing so many things back to Italy, including pineapples!). He traveled to Hispaniola and introduced them to the Caribbean Islands. During the Spanish conquest of the New World, lemons were introduced to the Americas.
Lemons, in many cultures are the symbol of longevity, purification, love and friendship. In Christianity they symbolize fidelity in love. The Tibetan Buddha, Jambhala is associated with the lemon because of its symbolization of longevity.
I hope this has been interesting and that this brief history of lemons will come to mind the next time you see lemons used for decoration, in art, for fabric designs or other interior design motifs. I do love to have a bowl of lemons on display in my kitchen.