History of the Navel Orange
The history of the Navel Orange is a long and interesting one. They are one the most popular citrus fruits, Navel Oranges, were first found in Brazil in the early 1800s, as a mutation on a single branch in the garden of a monastery. Navel Oranges were introduced in Australia in 1824 and in Florida in 1835. In the 1870s, navels were grown in Southern California. Regardless, in 1909, the orange blossom was officially designated the State Flower of Florida.
Navels Oranges, like many orange varieties, are a mutated bud from a sweet orange that then grew into a branch with fruit of its own. Navels are said to be a cross between a pomelo and a tangerine. Navels continue to be one of the world’s most popular varieties due to their mouthwatering sweet taste and the fact that they are seedless. Navel Orange trees are easy to grow and affordable using a grafting method. On average, a grafted tree will begin to bear fruit after only five years, while a tree that is grown from seed can take 15 years to produce oranges.
Large Navel Orange crops were cultivated in citrus-producing states including Florida, California, Texas and Arizona. Hale Groves offers three types of Navel Oranges: Grove Navels, Heritage Navels and Red Navels. Hale’s Navels are handpicked to ensure the sweetest, juiciest and freshest citrus directly from the fields to your home.
Grove Navel Oranges, typically sold in December, are picked at the peak of impeccable quality and flavor. Holiday Red Navel Oranges display a deep red flesh and bold, sweet flavor. Holiday Red Navel Oranges are available in limited quantities in early December; purchase as soon as they are released to avoid missing out. Hale Groves’ Heritage Navel Oranges are grown from trees that are 50 to 100 years old. Because mature trees spend less energy on new growth, these Navel Oranges offer mouth watering superior citrus flavor in every single bite. The harvest period for these Florida Navel Oranges is limited so savor the true taste of Florida sunshine when you can. Heritage Navel Oranges are typically sold in April—they make ideal gifts for Easter, Passover and the welcoming of spring.