Why is Florida known for its oranges?
When you think of Florida, you think of oranges – they’re as synonymous as America and apple pie. But why is that? Citrus was first farmed commercially in Florida in the mid-1800s, and the first orange trees were planted in St. Augustine, Florida in the mid-1500s.
Oranges have thrived in Florida due to the state’s sub-tropical temperatures, abundant rainfall, plenty of sunshine and unique, sandy soil. Florida’s distinctive natural conditions are why Florida Oranges tend to be juicier as well as taste and look different from other oranges.1
Types of Oranges Grown in Florida
Many different varieties of oranges grow in Florida, including navel, Valencia, Hamlin and Pineapple oranges. While these four major oranges are also grown in other places, such as California, the climate of Florida allows our oranges to have distinct advantages. For instance, Valencia oranges are predominantly associated with Florida because of their thin peels, larger size and substantial juiciness. Valencia oranges from places where the weather is drier and milder have thicker peels and tend to be smaller.2
The size and juiciness of Florida Oranges is part of the difference between Florida Orange Juice and orange juice from other places in the world – our oranges are juicier and provide more of the great taste that you love. In fact, more than 90 percent of the oranges grown in Florida are squeezed for 100% orange juice!
Oranges grown on the side of the tree that face the sunnier southern half of the hemisphere tend to be sweeter.
* Values based on a 2000 calorie diet. FDA rounding rules applied when calculating percent DV based upon 2018 rules. Information is not intended for labeling food in packaged form. USDA SR28 database entries for 90206 and 09209 were used for calculating RDI.
- Morton, J (1987). “Orange, Citrus sinensis. In: Fruits of Warm Climates”. NewCROP, New Crop Resource Online Program, Center for New Crops & Plant Products, Purdue University. pp.134–142.
- Kimball, Dan A. (June 30, 1999). “Citrus processing: a complete guide” (2d ed.). New York: Springer:450.ISBN0-8342-1258-7.