Citrus limona

Photo of two yellow lemons on a lemon tree

General Description/Cultural Significance

Lemon is one of the most significant scents for Argentina and the country is the largest producer of lemons in the world. They are grown throughout the country and used every day by the people for their smell, in cooking, décor and personal scenting. The men of Argentina have traditionally worn lemon fragrances and the country considers it a masculine scent. In Argentina lemons have been an important part of traditional medicine practice for millennia due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-fungal activity.

Climate/Conservation Status

Fresh lemon production has been up and down over the recent years due to adverse weather. From 2018-2019 lemon production was up from the previous year because of favorable weather, followed by a downward trend in lemon production in 2020-2021. By the end of this century, warming is predicted to reach 3.5ºC (38.2ºF). The severity of the damages this may create for Argentina may be heavy. Despite investment in genetics and other factors to increase lemon yields, Argentina is shifting away from its iconic lemon and towards genetically modified soybeans, maize and cotton because of their resistance to drought.

The impact of climate change varies greatly across the country, but involves too much water or not enough. Besides rainfall extremes, Argentina is being affected by new trends in temperature, destabilizing the regions where lemon orchards are prevalent. If the current weather and rainfall patterns continue, land loss is projected for southern Argentina. In the Andes mountain area, reduced rainfall and rising temperatures is causing the glaciers to recede, reducing the flow of rivers. The retreat of the glaciers is having a serious impact on the region that depends on them for water. 

Alternate Names

Boninsegna, J., et. al., 2015. Climate change in Argentina: trends, projections, impacts and adaptation. WIREs Climate Change, 6: pp. 151-169. DOI: 10.1002/wcc.316

Embassy of Argentina, Washington, D.C. This statement can be found on the World Sensorium original website.

Gutman, D., 2019. Does Climate Change Offer New Opportunities for Agriculture in Argentina? Inter Press Service. [website]