By: Tim Bortoli
Oranges are a citrus fruit best known for sharing a name with the color orange. This fruit grows on trees and comes in a variety of different varieties. Most of these varieties are known for their sweet, pleasant flavor. The fruit is commonly eaten raw or made into a variety of popular products such as orange juice and marmalade. Oranges are a very popular fruit and they are known for being grown more than any other tree fruit in the world. However, they didn’t always grow all over the world. Let’s find out how oranges grow, where the orange originated from and where it is grown today.
How are oranges grown and harvested?
We now know that oranges grow on trees, simply known as orange trees. These usually grow to about 9-10 m (30-33 ft) tall, but can reach 15 m (50 ft) in height. In commercial orange farms these trees are planted in long rows with space between these rows to make harvesting easier. The oranges are often picked by hand with a group of workers. However, a tree shaking machine is also commonly used in commercial situations to collect the oranges quickly.
Where did oranges originate from?
It is believed that oranges originated from Southeast Asia and were first cultivated in China around 2500 BC. The sweet orange didn’t spread to Europe until the 1400′s and it wasn’t long before it was one of the most popular fruits. From here it quickly spread to the rest of the world.
Where are oranges grown today?
This fruit is grown in many subtropical and tropical regions of the world. The largest producer of oranges is Brazil at approximately 19 million tons. Other large producers of oranges includes the United States (9 million tons), India and Mexico (both about 4.5 million tons), China (4 million tons) and Spain (3.5 million tons)
Did you know?
Sailors used to plant orange trees along their trade routes to prevent scurvy, which is caused by a lack of vitamin c. This is one of the reasons for the spread of this popular fruit to the Americas, Caribbean islands and Hawaii.