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advice on navel orange varieties

Posted by fragrantgardener01 (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 22, 08 at 2:11

I am in the process of choosing a navel orange tree. The three candidates are Washington Navel, Robertson navel and trovita navel. I'd like to know the difference between the three. Maybe there is room for two or even all three. But I'd like to know which one grows best and is the sweetest.
Thanks so much.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: advice on navel orange varieties

Where are you?? Growing location is essential to know. I personally think the red navel is best of all for Florida. Paul.

Washington Navel and sports

The original navel orange was the result of the mutation of a common sweet orange growing in an orchard at a monastery in Brazil in 1820. A cutting from that tree was sent to Washington, D.C., in 1870 for propagation. As a result, the original navel orange variety came to be called the Washington navel orange.

In the late nineteenth century, Washington navel oranges were distributed around the United States for general cultivation. They were so well suited for the climate of Southern California that they spawned the California citrus industry. The navel orange is the most commonly grown orange in California today.

The Washington navel orange ripens from fall into winter, and the fruit will keep on the tree for 3 to 4 months.

Other navel orange varieties are sports or mutations of the original Washington. When plant mutations result in desirable traits, they are often developed by growers into separate varieties.

Well known Washington navel sports include:

Cara Cara: a navel orange with a flavorful, juicy pink flesh. Cara Cara is sweet and mildly acidic. Its flavor is reminiscent of strawberries and raspberries.

Cara Cara was discovered on a Washington tree growing in Venezuela. Sometimes Cara Cara is called Red Navel. It ripens from fall into winter.

Fukumoto: a sweet and juicy navel with a reddish-orange rind. This is a medium-sized orange that ripens about one week before the Washington.

Lane Late: similar to the Washington but has a smaller navel and smoother skin. This variety was discovered in Australia in 1950. Lane Late ripens 4 to 6 weeks later than the Washington. The Lane Late is sometimes called a summer navel.

Riverside: this navel orange is the original Washington navel orange by a different name. A cutting of the Washington was sent to Riverside, California in 1870. This was the Washington orange that started commercial orange growing in California. (Bahai is yet another name for the Washington and Riverside navel orange. Bahia is the region of Brazil where the original Washington was discovered.)

Robertson: has medium-large fruit just like the Washington but this variety ripens 2 to 3 weeks earlier than the Washington. The Robertson, which is moderately juicy, bears its fruit in clusters.

Skaggs Bonanza: is a medium-large to large navel orange that bears more fruit than the Washington and ripens 2 weeks earlier. Skaggs Bonanza has a rich and sweet flavor and is moderately juicy.

Here is a link that might be useful:

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