Is Lemon A Citrus Fruit Or A Sour Vegetable?

Citrus fruits are an important part of our culinary choices, the most popular amongst them being the bright yellow, lemon. It is believed that lemons first originated in Asia and was initially used only by royalty. It’s resilience to grow in summer has made it quite easy to cultivate in warm climates.

But due to a high degree of sourness, it is often mistaken for a vegetable. Often used in salads and pickles along with other veggies, it is indeed a fact that the lemon is a typical fruit.


According to botanists, a fruit is the seed-bearing part of a plant which develops from the ovary of the plant.1The easiest way to say whether a plant part is a fruit or a vegetable is by looking for the presence of seeds. Whereas, vegetables are those parts of the plant that include the leaves, roots and even stems.

Fruits That Are Often Mistaken For Vegetables

We generally tend to associate fruits with sweetness and tanginess. Fruits are also common ingredients of desserts. While on the other hand, vegetables are associated with sourness, saltiness or just blandness. Vegetables also find themselves added to curries, casseroles, and other savories which are not often sweet to taste.


Lemons are not the only fruits to be mistaken for vegetables. Here are some popular fruits that carry a mistaken identity.


lemon a fruit or vegetable avocado


The super fruit has big, round seed in the middle and yet gets confused as a vegetable. Primarily added to the famous guacamoles, salads, it can even be added to desserts and thick milkshakes.


lemon a fruit or vegetable eggplant


Actually a berry (also a form of fruit) due to its pulpy center and multiple seeds, this fruit is largely used in preparing delicious main course dishes.


lemon a fruit or vegetable cucumber


A staple in almost any salad, the light and refreshing cucumber is yet another fruit that is falsely considered as a vegetable by many.


lemon a fruit or vegetable tomato


For ages, the nutritious berry, tomato’s identity has always been the source of confusion. It is a juicy fruit that is very versatile in the culinary world.


lemon a fruit or vegetable squash


From zucchini to spaghetti squash, all varieties of squash are basically fruits. Amongst the different types of squash, butternut squash’s sweet flavor makes it taste yummy when caramelized.

Bell Pepper

lemon a fruit or vegetable okra

One bite into a bell pepper and an explosion of flavors from sweet to tangy occurs inside the mouth. The green pepper to the sweet red varieties, each one is popular for the distinct flavors.


lemon a fruit or vegetable olive

The fibrous okra can be fried or added to stews. Power-packed with antioxidants and other nutrients, okra is actually a fruit.


lemon a fruit or vegetable olive

Rich in vitamin E and other nutrients, olive oil is a significant ingredient in the Mediterranean cuisine. Its characteristic tanginess allows it to be used as a pickle or as a topping. It is actually a drupe fruit.2


lemon a fruit or vegetable pumpkin

A very versatile and nutrient-dense fruit, pumpkins can be used to make delicious pumpkin pies and casseroles. Pumpkin seeds are also excellent sources of antioxidants and minerals.

Lemon, A Fruit You Wouldn’t Want To Miss

The oval, yellow lemon has wonderful health benefits and other uses, This makes it widely popular in both culinary and non-culinary fields. The juice is used to make refreshing lemonades. The zest, to add flavor to cakes, meringues and even biriyanis! The essential oil of lemon is excellent in aromatherapy as well. Lemon extracts are good at cleaning and removing stains too.3
This wonder fruit is not a vegetable. Regardless of the fact that its identity is mistaken quite often, ensure that you include the nutritious lemon as a part of diet regularly.