Orange Trees Varieties


Orange tree varieties include:

Common oranges

Common oranges (also called “white”, “round” or “blond” oranges) make up about two-thirds of all oranges grown and include all oranges not described in one of the other three groups. They are used primarily for juice production.


Main article: Valencia orange

The Valencia or Murcia orange is one of the sweet oranges used for juice extraction. It is a late-season fruit, and therefore a popular variety when the navel oranges are out of season. For this reason, the orange was chosen to be the official mascot of the 1982 FIFA World Cup, which was held in Spain. The mascot was called “Naranjito” (“little orange”), and wore the colours of the Spanish football team uniform.

Hart’s Tardiff Valencia

Thomas Rivers, an English nurseryman, imported this variety from the Azores Islands and catalogued it in 1865 under the name Excelsior. About 1870, he provided trees to S. B. Parsons, a Long Island nurseryman, who sold trees to E. H. Hart of Federal Point, Florida.


The Hamlin orange was once the most important juice orange in Florida, replacing the inferior Parson Brown variety as the principal early-season juice orange. Today it is the predominant early-season orange grown in Florida and Brazil. It thrives in humid subtropical climates and is for that reason found primarily in Florida and Brazil; cooler, more arid climates (such as California) produce edible fruit, but the size is too small for commercial use.

The cultivar was discovered in 1879 near Glenwood, Florida, in a grove later owned by A.G. Hamlin. It is small, smooth, not highly coloured, seedless and juicy, but the juice is pale. The fruit is of poor to medium quality but the tree is high-yielding and cold-tolerant. The fruit is harvested from October to December and this cultivar is now the leading early orange in Florida and possibly the world’s principal variety of very early maturing common sweet orange.

On pineland and hammock soil it is budded on sour orange which gives a high solids content. On sand, it does best on rough lemon rootstock.

Indian hybrid Orange

  • Belladonna (Italy)
  • Berna – Grown mainly in Spain
  • Biondo Commune (“common blond”) is widely grown in the Mediterranean basin, especially in North Africa and Egypt; Greece, where it is called theKoines; Italy, where it is also known as the Liscio; and Spain. It is also called the Beledi and Nostrale. In Italy, this variety ripens in December, earlier than the competing Tarocco.
  • Biondo Riccio (Italy)
  • Cadanera is a seedless orange of excellent flavour grown Algeria, Morocco and Spain, where it is quite popular. It is known by a wide variety of trade names, including Cadena FinaCadena sin JuesoPrecoce de Valence (early Valencia), Precoce des Canaries, and Valence san Pepins (seedless Valencia). It was first grown in Spain in 1870. It begins to ripen in November.
  • Calabrese or Calabrese Ovale (Italy)
  • Carvalhal (Portugal)
  • Castellana (Spain
  • Clanor (S. Africa)
  • Don Jao (Portugal)
  • Fukuhara (Japan)
  • Gardner (Florida) This midseason orange ripens around February 1, about the same time as Midsweet. Gardner is about as cold hardy as Sunstar and Midsweet.
  • Hamlin (worldwide)
  • Homosassa (Florida)
  • Jaffa orange, also known as Shamouti
  • Jincheng – the most popular orange in China.
  • Joppa (S. Africa, Texas)
  • Khettmali (Palestine, Lebanon)
  • Kona is a type of Valencia orange introduced to Hawaii in 1792 by Captain George Vancouver, whose ship’s surgeon and naturalist, Archibald Menzies, raised the seedlings on board and gave them to several Hawaiian chefs. In Kailua-Kona, some of this original stock still bears fruit. For several decades in the 19th century, these oranges were the leading export from the Kona district on the Big Island of Hawaii.
  • Lue Gim Gong (Florida) An early scion developed by Lue Gim Gong, a Chinese immigrant known as the “Citrus Genius”. In 1888, Lue cross-pollinated the “Harts late” Valencia and “Mediterranean Sweet” orange varieties, which produced a fruit both sweet and frost-tolerant. Originally considered a hybrid, the “Lue Gim Gong” orange was later found to be a nucellar seedling of the “Valencia” variety, which is properly called the “‘Lue Gim Gong”. Distributed by Glen St. Mary Nurseries, the variety was awarded the Silver Wilder Medal by the American Pomological Society in 1911, the first such award for a citrus fruit. As of 2006, the “Lue Gim Gong” variety is still grown in Florida, but is sold under the general name “Valencia”.
  • Macetera (Spain) Known for its unique flavour.
  • Malta (Pakistan)
  • Maltaise Blonde (North Africa)
  • Maltaise Ovale (South Africa), grown in California as Garey’s or California Mediterranean Sweet.
  • Marrs (California, Iran, Texas) relatively low in acid
  • Midsweet (Florida) Midsweet is a newer scion similar to the Hamlin and Pineapple. It ripens later than Pineapple and is cold-hardier. Fruit yield and quality are similar to the Hamlin although the juice is deeper-coloured.
  • Moro Tarocco is popular in Italy and is ovoid in shape, resembling a tangelo, with a distinctive caramel-coloured endocarp. The original mutation occurred in the 17th century in Sicily, creating the striking caramel-toned endocarp. This colour is the result of the pigment called anthocarpium, not usually found in citrus, but is common in other red fruits and flowers.
  • Mosambi (India, Pakistan) So low in acid and insipid-tasting that it might be classified as acidless.
  • Parson Brown (Florida, Mexico, Turkey) ‘Parson Brown’, once a widely-grown Florida juice orange, has declined in popularity as new varieties with more juice, better yield, and higher acid and/or sugar content have been developed. It originated as a chance seedling at the home of Reverend N. L. Brown near Webster, Florida, in 1865. Its fruit are round, medium large, has a thick, pebbly peel and contains 10–30 seeds. It is still grown because it is the earliest maturing fruit in the United States; it usually matures in early September in the Valley district of Texas, and from early October to January in Florida. Both peel and juice colour are poor, as is juice quality.
  • Pera (Brazil) – popular in the Brazilian citrus-producing industry, yielding 7.5 million tons in 2005.
  • Pera Coroa (Brazil)
  • Pera Natal (Brazil)
  • Pera Rio (Brazil)
  • Pineapple (North and South America, India)
  • Premier (S. Africa)
  • Rhode Red is a mutation of the Valencia orange, but has a more highly coloured flesh, more juice, and less acidity than the Valencia. It also has less Vitamin C. It was discovered in 1955 in a grove near Sebring, Florida, by Paul Rhode.
  • Roble was first shipped from Madrid, Spain, in 1851 by Joseph Roble to his homestead in what is now Roble’s Park in Tampa, Florida. It is known for high sugar content.
  • Queen (S. Africa)
  • Salustiana (North Africa)
  • Sathgudi (South India)
  • Seleta, Selecta (Australia, Brazil) High in acid
  • Shamouti (Africa, Asia, Greece) Sweet
  • Shamouti Jaffa (Israel) is a mutation of an earlier and inferior Palestinian variety, dating from around 1850. The tree is considered ornamental due to dense foliage, large leaves, and absence of thorns. It is harvested in Palestine from December through May.
  • Shamouti Masry (Egypt) A richer variety than Shamouti
  • Sunstar (Florida) A newer cultivar, the Sunstar ripens mid-season (December–March. The juice colour is darker than the competing Hamlin and it is more resistant to cold and fruit-drop than the competing mid-season Pineapple variety.
  • Tomango (S. Africa)
  • Verna (Algeria, Mexico, Morocco, Spain)
  • Vicieda (Algeria, Morocco, Spain)
  • Westin (Brazil)

Navel oranges

Navel oranges are characterized by the growth of a second fruit at the apex, which protrudes slightly and resembles a human navel. They are primarily used for eating, as the skin is thicker and easier to peel than a common orange, they are less juicy, and a bitterness from limonin during processing renders them less satisfactory for juice. They are very popular because of their use as an eating orange, their widespread distribution, and their long growing season; in the United States, they are available from November through April, with peak supplies in January, February and March.

According to Dorsett, Shamel, and Popenoe (1917) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture who conducted a study at first hand, a single mutation in 1810 to 1820 in a Selecta orange tree planted at a monastery near Bahia in Brazil, probably yielded the navel orange, also known as the Washington, Riverside, or Bahia navel. However, a researcher at the University of California, Riverside, believes that the parent variety was more likely the Portuguese navel (Umbigo) orange described by Risso and Poiteau (1818–22). The mutation causes the orange to develop a second orange at the base of the original fruit, opposite the stem, as a conjoined twin in a set of smaller segments embedded within the peel of the larger orange. From the outside, it looks similar to the human navel, hence its name.

Because the mutation left the fruit seedless, and therefore sterile, the only means available to cultivate more of this new variety is to graft cuttings onto other varieties of citrus tree. It was introduced into Australia in 1824 and Florida in 1835. Twelve such cuttings of the original tree were transplanted to Riverside, California in 1870, which eventually led to worldwide popularity. The California Citrus State Historic Park preserves this history in Riverside, California, as does the Orcutt Ranch Horticulture Center in Los Angeles County, California.

Today, navel oranges continue to be produced through cutting and grafting. This does not allow for the usual selective breeding methodologies, and so not only do the navel oranges of today have exactly the same genetic makeup as the original tree, and are therefore clones, all navel oranges can be considered to be the fruit of that single nearly two-hundred-year-old tree. The case is similar to that of the common yellow seedless banana, the Cavendish. On rare occasions, however, further mutations can lead to new varieties.

Cara cara oranges (also called “red navel”) are a type of navel orange grown primarily in Venezuela, South Africa, and California’s San Joaquin Valley. The bright orange exterior of cara cara oranges is similar to other navels, but their interior is a distinctive pinkish red. They are sweet and comparatively low in acid.

It is believed to have developed as a cross between the Washington navel and the Brazilian Bahia navel. It was discovered at the Hacienda de Cara Cara in Valencia, Venezuela in 1976.

From the major growing regions, South African cara caras are ready for market starting in August, Venezuelan fruits arrive in October and Californian fruits make their seasonal debut in late November.

Other varieties of navels

  • Dream Navel
  • Bahianinha or Bahia
  • Late Navel
  • Washington or California Navel

Blood oranges

Blood oranges, which are very widely grown in Spain and Italy (as “sangüina” or “sanguinella”, respectively) are characterized by dark red pigmentation. They are considered, in general, the most delicious juice orange.

Blood oranges are a natural variety of C. sinensis derived from abnormal pigmentation of the fruit that gives its pulp a streaked red colour. The juice produced from such oranges is often dark burgundy, hence reminiscent of blood. Original blood oranges were first discovered and cultivated in the 15th century in Sicily; since then, however, their cultivation spread worldwide, and most blood oranges today are hybrids.

The fruit has found a niche as an interesting ingredient variation on traditional Seville marmalade, with its striking red streaks and distinct flavour. The scarlet navel is a variety with the same dual-fruit mutation as the navel orange.

Other varieties of blood oranges

  • Tarocco is a relatively new variety developed in Italy. It begins to ripen in late January.
  • Sanguinelli is cultivated in Sicily and is actually a mutant of the Doble Fina. It was discovered in 1929 at Almenara, in the Castellón province of Spain.
  • Moro (Italy) Originally from Sicily, it is common throughout Italy. The medium-sized fruit has a relatively long harvest, lasting from December through to April.
  • Maltese is small and highly-coloured. It is often used in sorbets and other desserts due to the rich burgundy colour. It is generally thought to have originated in Italy as a mutation (although the Maltese claim origin) and has been cultivated there for centuries. It is also extensively grown in southern Spain and Malta.

Acidless oranges

Acidless oranges are an early-season fruit with very low levels of acid. They are also called “sweet” oranges in the US, with similar names in other countries: douce in France, sucrena in Spain,dolce (or maltese) in Italy, meski in North Africa and the Near East (where their peculiar rather bland taste is especially popular), şeker portakal (“sugar orange”) in Turkey, succari in Egypt, and lima in Brazil.

The lack of acid, which protects orange juice against spoilage in other groups, renders them generally unfit for processing, due to spoilage, so that they are primarily eaten rather than juiced. They remain profitable in areas of local consumption, but rapid spoilage renders them unsuitable for export to major population centers of Europe, Asia, or the United States.

Oranges in The Borough market. London
by maesejose under CC-SA