Oranges


in het nederlands 


Spain


USA


Morocco


Brazil
 

orange

any of several species of small trees or shrubs of the genus Citrus of the
family Rutaceae and their nearly round fruits, which have leathery and oily
rinds and edible, juicy inner flesh. The species of orange most important
commercially are the China orange, also called the sweet, or common,
orange; the mandarin orange, some varieties of which are called
tangerines; and the sour, or Seville, orange, which is less extensively
grown. Other varieties include the Jaffa, from Israel; the Maltese, or blood,
orange; and the navel, which is usually seedless. The tree of the sweet
orange often reaches 6 m (20 feet) and sometimes 10 m. The broad,
glossy, evergreen leaves are medium-sized and ovate; the petioles
(leafstalks) have narrow wings. Its flowers are very fragrant. The usual shape of the
sweet-orange fruit is round and the colour of its pulp orange, but there are variations. The
mandarin, for example, is distinctly flattened, and the blood orange has red pulp. The pulp of
the sweet orange is agreeably acidulous and sweet, the peel comparatively smooth, and the oil
glands convex.

Prior to 1920 the orange was mainly considered a dessert fruit. The spread of orange-juice
drinking, in contrast with eating of the fresh fruit, significantly increased the per capita
consumption of oranges. Also important was the growing appreciation of the dietary value of
citrus fruits; oranges are rich in vitamin C and also provide some vitamin A.

The most important product made from oranges in the United States is frozen concentrated
juice, which accounts for nearly 40 percent of the crop. Essential oils, pectin, candied peel, and
orange marmalade are among the important by-products. Sour, or Seville, oranges are raised
especially for making marmalade. Stock feed is made from the waste material left from
processing.

Oranges are believed native to the tropical regions of Asia, especially the Malay Archipelago;
along with other citrus species, they have been cultivated from remote ages. Orange culture
probably spread from its native habitat to India and the east coast of Africa and from there to
the eastern Mediterranean region. The Roman conquests, the development of Arab trade
routes, and the expansion of Islam contributed significantly to this dispersal. By the time
Christopher Columbus sailed, orange trees were common in the Canary Islands. Today
oranges are cultivated in subtropical and tropical America, northern and eastern Mediterranean
countries, Australia, and South Africa.

Oranges thrive best where the trees are chilled somewhat by occasional light frosts in winter.
The trees are semidormant at that season, and temperatures just below freezing will not harm
trees or fruit unless frost occurs early, before the trees have finished their annual growth. In
the coldest cultivation areas, the orchards may be heated with smudge pots or smokeless
natural-gas burners.

The orange thrives in a wide range of soil conditions, from extremely sandy soils to rather
heavy clay loams; it grows especially well in intermediate types of soil. Orange orchards are
generally planted in relatively deep soil where drainage is good. The orange trees are usually
budded on stocks grown from the seed of selected trees. The seeds are sown in well-prepared
soil in a lath house; after about 12 months' growth there, the seedlings are removed to a
nursery. After about 12-16 months in the nursery, the trees are usually large enough to bud.
When the budded tops are one to two years old, the trees are large enough to plant in the
orchard.

The culture of intercrops such as beans, tomatoes, or melons among immature orange trees is
common. The growth of cover crops makes use of seasonal rainfall for production of organic
matter to be incorporated into the soil. In many areas where oranges are grown, it is necessary
to supplement the rainfall with irrigation; this is generally the practice in Texas, California,
Israel, Spain, Morocco, and parts of South Africa. Orange trees bear abundantly from 50 to 80
years or even more, and some old orange trees whose age must be reckoned by centuries still
produce crops. Oranges are picked when fully ripe, for, unlike some deciduous fruits, they do
not ripen or improve in quality after being picked.

The sweet and mandarin oranges are the principal species produced commercially in the
following countries, listed in order of importance: Brazil, the United States, China, Spain,
Mexico, Italy, India, and Egypt. The chief orange-growing states in the United States are
Florida, California, Texas, and Arizona, in that order. The world production of all kinds of
oranges is approximately 70,000,000 metric tons annually.



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