More about the Navel Oranges...

Within the extensive collection is held 71 types of Navel oranges, 64 of which are considered early or midseason, and 7 types which have been propagated as ‘late varieties. The goal is to be able to produce the highly desired Navel on a year-round basis to consumers. Between research efforts here, as well as throughout the world, and the globalization of agriculture in general, it is now possible to find a Navel orange at any given time of the year.


Following is the list from the UCR collection with descriptions, history, and observations of a few of the varieties of Navels grown in Riverside:




Apopka navel orange


Atwood navel orange –

Source: Received as budwood from Russ Davis, Ivanhoe, via CCPP, 1978.

Parentage/origins: Atwood (Atwood Early) navel orange (VI 363) originated as a bud sport of Washington navel on the property of Frank Atwood in Lemoncove, California, around 1935. 

Season of ripeness at Riverside: November to January

Notes and observations – EMN, 1987: Virtually indistinguishable from the parent variety, Washington. ...The fruit characteristics are very similar to the parent navel orange, but the rind develops color slightly earlier than the Washington navel and the rind is slightly smoother in texture. In addition, the fruit stores especially well on the tree without a significant loss of quality. However, during the early part of the season the quality is not quite as good as the Washington navel.


Australian nucellar navel orange

Bahianinha Araras navel orange

Bahiananha SRA 513 navel orange

Bey navel orange


California Rojo navel orange SRA 507 –

Source: Received as budwood from the Citrus Clonal Protection Program in 2008. The Citrus Clonal Protection Program received this accession from INRA Station de Recherche Agronomique Corsica, France in 1997. The INRA Station de Recherche Agronomique received this accession from Venezuela in 1984 from an unknown source.

Parentage/origins: Unknown. Presumed to be a mutation of a standard navel orange.

Season of ripeness at Riverside: December to February

Notes and observations – 6/12/2010, RRK: Selected as being of interest to the California citrus industry by members of the California Citrus Nursery Society during a tour of INRA-CIRAD, Corsica, in conjunction with the Congress of the International Society of Citrus Nurserymen in 1997. According to Franck Curk, Curator of the French Citrus Germaplasm Collection, “In our collection the fruit is exactly the same than the Cara Cara. It is a pink salmon flesh navel orange as the Cara Cara orange is”.


Cara Cara navel orange –

Source: Received as budwood from Florida (originally came to Florida, Budwood Registration Program, Winterhaven, from Venezuela), 1988.

Parentage/origins: Cara Cara navel orange, a mutation that occurred on a Washington navel orange tree, was discovered in 1976 at Hacienda Cara Cara in Venezuela. From Venezuela, it was brought to Florida and then introduced into California, where it is well adapted.

Season of ripeness at Riverside: November to January.


Carter navel orange –

Source: Received as a live tree from Armstrong Nurseries, 1930.

Parentage/origins: Unknown. 

Season of ripeness at Riverside: December to January.

Notes and observations – EMN, 1986: From letter to Dr. Webber 3/28/30 from J.C. Watts of Armstrong Nurseries: The Carter navel originated at the home of Mrs. N.C. Carter, #1 East Carter Avenue, Sierra Madre, Calif. There are several trees of the variety growing on Mrs. Carter’s place, but we don’t know just how the variety originated. Possibly it is one of the older navel types, but we are not certain just what variety it is. We have never been able to locate a variety which is exactly similar; therefore we have called this variety the “Carter navel”. We like the fruit very much, since it is very thin-skinned and very sweet. The trees have borne abundant crops.


Ceridwen navel orange

Cluster navel orange

Cogan navel orange

Corrugated Thomson navel orange


Cukurova navel orange –

Source: Received as budwood from Adana, Turkey, via the CCPP, 2001.

Parentage/origins: Parents unknown. Probably budsport.

Season of ripeness at Riverside: December to January.

Notes and observations: Came from the University of Cukurova in Adana, Turkey. A Standard navel cultivar in Turkey.


Dream navel orange

Dry navel orange

Everhard navel orange


Fisher navel orange (CRC 3135) –

Source: Received as budwood from Armstrong Nurseries, Ontario, Calif., 1958.

Parentage/origins: Apparently arose as a bud sport of the Washington navel orange. Fisher was introduced from Armstrong Nurseries who had received it from Mrs. Fisher.

Season of ripeness at Riverside: November to January.

Notes and observations: Fisher is an early-season navel orange cultivar that reaches 8:1 solids to acid ratio ahead of Atwood, Bonanza, Newhall and Washington navel in Lindcove, California, but it does not reach color-break before mid-season cultivars such as Atwood and Washington navel. (Nauer et. al. 1985). Based on another study, Fisher reaches 8 to 1 solids to acid ratio about the same time as Beck-Earli and Fukumoto, but ahead of Washington navel.


Fisher navel orange (CRC 3645)


Frost Washington navel orange –

Source: Received as seed from an unknown source.

Parentage/origins: A nucellar seedling selection from Washington navel orange.

Description: “Frost Washington is the first, and currently much the most important, nucellar budline of the Washington navel. It was originated by H. B. Frost, the geneticist and breeder, at the University of California Citrus Research Center, Riverside, from a controlled cross made in 1916. It was not released until 1952, however. Since that time its popularity has increased until it is now more widely planted in California, Arizona, and Morocco than any other clonal selection of Washington.” 


Fukumoto navel orange –

Source: Received as budwood from Japan via Glenn Dale (requested by W.P. Bitters), 1983

Parentage/origins: Fukumoto navel orange selection (VI 430) was introduced into California from Japan via the USDA Glenn Dale quarantine facility at the request of W.P. Bitters in 1983. S. Fukumoto, from Kokawa-cho in Japan was the first to grow this selection in Wakayama Prefecture.

Season of ripeness at Riverside: November to January.

Notes and observations: This early maturing navel orange selection reaches legal maturity three to four weeks before Washington navel and is one of the earliest to reach color-break. One of the most outstanding characteristics of this selection is the deep reddish rind color of the fruit. The fruit are harvested from mid-October to late December in California.


Fulwood navel orange

Gillemberg navel orange

Gillette navel orange

Golden Buckeye navel orange

Golden Nugget navel orange


Johnson navel orange –

Source: Received as budwood from A. Harty, New Zealand, via CCPP, 2001.

Parentage/origins: Apparently a sport taken from a Washington navel.

Season of ripeness at Riverside: December to January.

Notes and observations: A Washington navel budwood line imported from NSW, Australia, by Gordon Johnson, Keri Keri, NZ in the late 1930s. As of 1991 it was the standard cultivar in the Keri Keri district. Fruit matures from July to early September. The flesh is orange in color, sweet, juicy, and seedless, but difficult to segment. An excellent quality early-season navel orange.


Leng navel orange

McFadden Ribbed navel orange

Navel orange seedling (CRC 3305)

Navel orange seedling (CRC 3306)


Navelate navel orange –

Source: Received as budwood from Spain, date unknown.

Parentage/origins: Navelate (VI 548) is a selection discovered in 1948 in the Castellon Province of Spain as a limb sport on a Washington navel orange tree. This selection was released for propagation in Spain in 1957 and imported into California in 1991. As a recent import into California, it has not been evaluated extensively yet.

Season of ripeness at Riverside: November to January.

Notes and observations: Navelate trees are reported to be vigorous and slightly larger than Washington navel orange trees. The fruit are somewhat smaller than Washington navel fruit with a smaller and often concealed navel structure. The rind of Navelate has a similar texture to that of Washington navel but the rind is thinner and more difficult to peel. Navelate fruit are also reported to hang on the tree for four months or more without appreciable loss of quality.


Navelencia navel orange

Navelina navel orange

Newhall nucellar navel orange

Palmer navel orange (CRC 3964)

Palmer navel orange (CRC 4013)

Paradise navel orange


Parent Washington navel orange (CRC 1241A) –

Source: Received as budwood from another Washington navel tree, Riverside, Calif., 1918.

Parentage/origins: Washington navel orange is also known as the Bahia for the Brazilian city from which it was imported into the United States in 1870. Although its origins are uncertain, it is believed to come from a bud sport found in a Selecta orange tree in the early 1800s. Upon its arrival at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. it was propagated and trees were sent to California and Florida. Although the Florida trees did not flourish, those sent to Eliza Tibbets in Riverside, California found an ideal climate for their culture. These exceptionally delicious, seedless, easy-peeling fruits quickly attracted the attention of citrus growers, and within a decade the “Washington” navel orange, as it came to be known, was the most widely planted variety in the area.

Season of ripeness at Riverside: November to January.

Notes and observations: Navel orange trees, in general, and Washington navel orange trees in particular, are not very vigorous trees. They have a round, somewhat drooping canopy and grow to a moderate size at maturity. The flowers lack viable pollen so the Washington navel orange will not pollinate other citrus trees. Because of the lack of functional pollen and viable ovules, the Washington navel orange produces seedless fruits. These large round fruits have a slightly pebbled orange rind that is easily peeled, and the navel, really a small secondary fruit, sometimes protrudes from the apex of the fruit. The Washington navel orange is at its best in the late fall to winter months, but will hold on the tree for several months beyond maturity and stores well.


Parent Washington navel orange (CRC 1241B)

Pollock T4 navel orange

Ricalate navel orange

Rio Grande navel orange

Robertson navel orange (CRC 3792)

Robertson navel orange (CRC 4023)

Robyn navel orange

Rocky Hill navel orange

Rufert A navel orange

Ruvel nucellar navel orange

Secret Garden navel orange

Seedy navel orange (CRC 65)

Seedy navel orange (CRC 956)


Skaggs Bonanza navel orange –

Source: Received as budwood from Willits & Newcomb, 1988.

Parentage/origins: Bonanza or Skaggs Bonanza navel orange (VI 515) is a bud sport found by John Walker in the orchard of Mr. Skaggs of Lindsay, CA.

Season of ripeness at Riverside: November to January.

Notes and observations: Bonanza reaches color break about two weeks earlier than Washington navel and an 8:1 solids to acid ratio about a week earlier on average than Washington navel (Nauer et. al.1985). Bonanza also reaches color break ahead of Fisher navel, but it reaches an 8:1 solids to acid ratio after Fisher during most seasons. The Bonanza fruit has good size and a very thin rind compared to Washington, Newhall, Fisher and Lane Late navel oranges. In addition, the fruit of Bonanza tends to drop earlier in the season than the other selections listed above, so they need to be harvested early in the season.


Smith’s Early navel orange

Spring navel orange

Summer Gold navel orange


Thomson navel orange (CRC 969) –

Source: Received as budwood from USDA #2--thru A.D. Shamel, Riverside, Calif., 1916.

Parentage/origins: Thomson and T.I. or Thomson Improved navel orange selections. Thomson was one of the bud sport selections made from Washington navel on the property of A. C. Thomson in Duarte, Ca, about 1891. Thomson was planted extensively for years because the fruit matured approximately two weeks earlier than the Washington navel orange fruit.

Season of ripeness at Riverside: November to January.

Notes and observations: The fruit is a bit more elongated in shape and has thinner and smoother rind than the Washington navel. The juice vesicles are ricier in texture and less distinct. Although Thomson fruit mature earlier than Washington navel fruit, they do not hang well on the tree and are inferior to the Washington navel orange in all other respects.


Thomson navel orange (CRC 983)

Tibbetts Parent Washington navel orange

UCR Early navel orange

Variegated Cara Cara navel orange

Variegated navel orange 

Whitley navel orange




“New late-season navel orange varieties evaluated for quality characteristics” 

For most people, a navel orange is a navel orange. Most consumers are not aware that throughout the year, the navel orange bin in the grocery store may contain as many as 22 commercial varieties. The increased number of varieties that reach legal maturity earlier or later than the Washington navel variety, which has been the standard since the late 19th century in California, has had a dramatic effect on the fresh orange market. Over the past few years, the return to growers for Valencia* oranges has dropped in California, resulting in a reduction in Valencia acreage. This is due in part to the importation of late-season navel oranges from Australia and to recent new plantings of late-season navel varieties in California, which are more highly colored and easier to peel than Valencia oranges The introduction of new late-season navel orange varieties has extended the season for navel oranges in California’s domestic and export fresh fruit market. (California Agriculture 61(3):138-143. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v061n03p138. July-September 2007.)


Autumn Gold navel orange

Barnfield navel orange

Chislett navel orange


Lane Late navel orange –

Source: Received as budwood from Australia 1973...

Parentage/origins: It was discovered in Australia in1950 and is named for the tree’s owner.

Season of ripeness at Riverside: February to June.

Notes and observations – OJB: Lane Late navel orange, is a late maturing bud sport of Washington navel orange, and was the first of a number of late maturing Australian navel orange bud sport selections of Washington navel imported into California. The tree characteristics are very similar to those of Washington navel orange. The fruit is of similar size and shape, but it has a smoother peel and a slightly smaller navel. The fruit matures four to six week later than the Washington navel orange and stores on the tree for several months after reaching maturity before the quality deteriorates.


Powell navel orange

Rohde navel orange

Wiffen navel orange