Valencia Sweet Oranges
The Valencia or Murcia orange is one of the sweet oranges used for juice extraction. The dwarf Valencia orange tree is also among the easiest citrus tree to grow. It is a late-season fruit, and therefore a popular variety when the navel oranges are out of season. This is why the orange was chosen to be the official mascot of the 1982 FIFA World Cup held in Spain.
The Valencia orange tree is known among growers as a tough tree that stands up to less than desirable soil conditions. The tree is medium sized with oval dark green leaves. The oranges, which generally ripen in February or March, are medium sized with a smooth skin. While Texas is noted for its red grapefruit, orange trees are common throughout areas of the state where citrus can be grown.
Even though the Valencia Orange is most productive in warm coastal regions, it can also produce fruit in colder regions, so long as the tree is moved to a greenhouse or sunroom before the first frost.
Primarily grown for processing and juice production, Valencia oranges have seeds, varying in number from 0-6 per fruit. However, its excellent taste and internal color make it desirable for the fresh markets, too. After bloom, it usually carries two crops on the tree, the old and the new.
The Valencia Orange is the "King of Juice Oranges"- accounting for 1/2 of the entire fruit crop grown in Florida.
The Valencia Orange is an orange first created by the Californian agronomist William Wolfskill, on his farm in Santa Ana, California. Its name comes from the city of Valencia in Spain, widely known for its excellent orange trees. The orange was later sold to the Irvine Co. who would dedicate nearly 1/2 of their land to its cultivation.
The success of this crop may have led to the naming of Orange County in Southern California . The Irvine Company's Valencia operation later split from the company and became the Sunkist Company. Cultivation of the Valencia in Orange County had all but ceased by the mid 1990s due to rising property costs, which drove what remained of the Southern California orange industry into Florida.
An orange - specifically, the sweet orange - is the citrus tree Citrus sinensis. Oranges are often referred to as Citrus sinensis and Citrus aurantium. Fruits of all members of the genus Citrus are considered berries because they have many seeds, are fleshy and soft, and derive from a single ovary. An orange seed is called a pip.
Oranges originated in southeast Asia, in either India, southern China or Vietnam . The fruit of Citrus sinensis is called sweet orange to distinguish it from Citrus aurantium, the bitter orange. The English name derives from the Sanskrit naranga-s ("orange tree"). It is known as a "Chinese apple" (e.g. Dutch Sinaasappel, "China's apple") in a number of languages.
Some languages have different words for the bitter and the sweet orange, such as Modern Greek nerantzi and portokali, respectively. Or in Persian, the words are narang and porteghal (Portugal), in the same order. The reason is that the sweet orange was brought from China or India to Europe during the 15th century by the Portuguese. For the same reason, some languages refer to it as Applesin (or variants), which means "Apple from China", while the bitter orange was introduced through Persia.
Orange trees and fruit are susceptible to frost damage. Growers commonly use sprinklers to coat them with water when temperatures are expected to go below freezing. This practice protects the crops because the freezing of water absorbs heat energy, protecting the foliage as ice begins to form. The thin layer of water and ice also acts as a layer of insulation that protects the leaves from cold winds.
Sweet oranges, according to http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/Citrus/oranges.htm, are native to northeastern India, are the most widely grown species of citrus. They spread rapidly along trade routes between Asia, Europe and Africa, so little is known of their actual introduction to Europe. Columbus reportedly established a planting in Hispaniola on his second voyage in 1493. Spanish explorers introduced oranges throughout the New World, including to Florida when they founded San Augustine, Fl in 1565.