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the web of life in southern Africa

Citrus sinensis (Edible, Sweet, Valencia, Navel Orange)

Hybrid between Pummelo Citrus maxima and Mandarin Citrus reticulata.

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid II > Order: Sapindales > Family: Rutaceae > Genus: Citrus

Although originating from the same parent species as Citrus aurantium, the actual parents were different varieties to those of Citrus aurantium. There are clear records of Citrus sinensis in China only by the 1100's and in India by the 1300's. By the 1400's it had spread to the Mediterranean. From the mid 1600's onwards, European colonists spread it around the world's tropical regions. The Navel variety originated in Bahia, Brazil in the 1800's. 


  • Brown, D. 2002. The Royal Horticultural Society New Encyclopedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London.

  • Sauer, J.D. 1993. Historical geography of crop plants - a select roster. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.