Sweet Oranges

Varieties of Sweet Oranges

Citrus Sinensis

Sweet oranges have been the lifeblood of our family since 1882. Today we grow 83 acres of mixed citrus varieties including: Sugar and Summerfield Navel oranges, Hamlin, and Parson Brown juice oranges, Obawase Satsuma mandarins, Hall, Sunburst, and Murcott tangerines, Ambersweet tantangors, Sunshine Sweet Valencia oranges, Seville sour oranges, and Ruby Red grapefruit. There are many varieties which we do not grow, but we have friends all over Florida that grow the varieties which we don't.

Below is a list of all the different sweet oranges currently grown in Florida.

SWEET ORANGES:

Florida sweet oranges have three seasons which overlap, early season, mid-season, and late season. Sweet oranges can be grown/grafted to any number of citrus rootstock from dwarf to cleopatra (cleo). Depending on the rootstock chosen, tree size can range from a height of 8' to 40', with a diameter equal to about 70% of the trees height. Learn more...

EARLY SEASON VARIETIES

Navel Oranges: Mid-October - Mid-February

The first navel orange was discovered growing in a garden at a Monastery in Bahia, Brazil, the year was 1820. In 1835 Botanist D. J. Brown brought the first navel oranges from Brazil to Florida. Several years later the U.S.D.A. in Washington D.C. received several navel orange seedlings as gifts from the Brazilian Government. In 1873 the first navel orange buddings appeared in Riverside California starting the second California Gold Rush.

Navel oranges usually pass maturity testing by mid-October but aren't really sweet for gift fruit shipping until mid-November. Navels peek between Thanksgiving and late January, after that they're a little over ripe and begin dropping off the trees. A Navel orange is a seedless double fruit and are the #1 grown eating orange in Florida which makes them readily available. We grow two navel varieties, Sugar Navel, and the Summerfield Navel, both excellent. Learn more...

Red Navel Orange: Mid-October - Mid-February

Red Navel Orange or Cara Cara Navel Orange, is a natural mutation that occurred on a Washington navel orange tree, which was discovered in 1976 at the Hacienda Cara Cara in Valencia, Venezuela. From Venezuela, it was brought to Florida where it is well-adapted and performs best on a sport rootstock. The Red Navels grown in Florida have a very deep red color similar to the Star Ruby grapefruit. The Red Navel is not a cross with a grapefruit and has absolutely no grapefruit flavor. In fact Red navel oranges have a lower acid content than either the Sugar navel, or the Summerfield navel we grow giving them a sweeter, and slightly milder flavor. Learn more...

Hamlin Orange: October - January

Considered seedless by the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) with 6 seeds or less. Hamlin is the most widely grown early-season sweet juice orange grown in Florida and the tree among the most cold tolerant. Hamlin oranges are very prolific at setting fruit and will out perform either pineapple oranges or valencia oranges for juice production. Hamlin oranges are small when compared to Navel oranges and is the main reason we do not ship them for gift fruit. We use Hamlins mixed with our secret blend of oranges, and tangerines for making fresh squeezed orange juice. Learn more...

Parson Brown Orange: October - January

Parson Brown is an early season seedling orange with up to 30 seeds per fruit. Parson Browns can be harvested slightly earlier than Hamlin, and make an incredible juice orange. Before 1920, Parson Brown oranges were the leading commercial orange grown in Florida. The seeds of the orange were brought to Savannah, Georgia on an English ship from China then shipped to Webster, Florida. The seeds were grown from a seedling orange by Rev. Nathan L. Brown near Webster, Florida. In 1874 Capt. J. L. Carney bought the rights to the tree as he was looking for budwood to graft his sour oranges onto. He named the cultivar, 'Parson Brown'. It is believed the first Parson Browns grown commercially were planted on what is now called Carney Island on Lake Weir (our home town). And we believe the first sweet oranges Great Granddaddy Reed planted came from these trees, less than 2 miles from his first grove. The skin is thick and has a slightly pebbled peel. Learn more...

Blood Orange: November - December

It is believed that blood oranges were brought to North America by Spanish and Italian immigrants in the late 1800's. Commonly known throughout most of the world as "blood," or "blush" oranges, they have a number of other common or regional names. Blood oranges have never been a commercial success in Florida. Florida varieties never had more than a few red flecks of red color running throughout the fruit. The one's we had in our grove were very sweet, and juicy. Learn more...

MID-SEASON VARIETIES

Pineapple Orange: December - February

This is one of my favorite oranges. Considered a seedling with 15-25 seeds per fruit. Pineapples have a dark orange external color and excellent flavor. The Pineapple originated from seedlings planted about 1860 near Citra, FL. Pineapples are medium large, somewhat flattened on both ends, with a moderately thick, smooth peel. Pineapples mature about Thanksgiving and get sweeter the longer they hang on the tree until late February. Over the years we have grown pineapple oranges throughout the Lake Weir area. Learn more...

Sunstar, Gardner, and Mid-Sweet Oranges: December - March

These are relatively new sweet orange varieties which have been in development since 1963. The 25 year research was conducted as a joint venture between the USDA, and the Florida department of Agriculture in Orlando, Florida. These new varieties were released in the early 1990's and have become very popular for juicing and for fresh fruit. We prefer the Mid-Sweets for flavor, and size, these are available for gift fruit shipping beginning in January. Learn more...

LATE SEASON VARIETIES

Valencia Orange: March - June

Considered seedless with 6 seeds or less. Valencia oranges can hang on the tree until late July and become very sweet. Valencias can carry two crops on the tree after bloom, the current seasons crop and the previous season's crop that takes about 15 months to mature. Valencia's are used primarily as juice oranges, but since they are the only late season fruit we have, they are also used for fresh fruit. The Rhode Red "Valencia" orange has a superior peel and flesh color, and in my opinion is sweeter than the standard Valencia orange. Learn more...

To learn about the other varieties we grow, and grown around Florida by our friends use the NavBar on the left.

For more info or to ask a question call 352-821-2915 or email reedsgroves@mail.com. Thanks sweet oranges


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