Special thanks to Univercity of California, Riverside | College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
for use of the many carefully photographed species of citrus from their archives.
By far the most abundant species of Citrus worldwide is the orange. But an orange is an orange is far from the whole story. Botanists, plant pathologists, historians and many other researchers have grappled for years with theories of how to classify the many types of fruit known as ‘citrus’ and has existed throughout history since antiquity. Only now, thanks to new genetic and molecular biological techniques, the relationships between these fruits have been unraveled.
FIRST, the orange is not one of the three true species of citrus—these have now been determined as:
The ‘orange’ is a hybrid of the pummelo and the mandarin.
SECOND, within the classification of orange, are two sub-classifications:
THIRD, although the ‘sour oranges’ are a small group with specialty utilizations, the ‘sweet oranges’ represent the largest group of documented and producing citrus varieties. This most consumed group of citrus, the ‘sweet oranges’, is divided into four more subgroups:
the Common oranges;
the Navel oranges;
the Blood oranges;
the Acidless oranges.
Further classification is given to the group known as the common orange:
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