Walking through the orchard this morning I was really happy to see most of our citrus trees are quite heavy with fruit. Let’s keep our fingers crossed we don’t have any serious frost this year, and we get to enjoy all of these beauties! One of the things I find most fascinating with citrus is how long the fruit is on the tree. Doing a little reading on the Plant Scientist blog, I learned that oranges are actually hybrids of the Pomelo and Tangerine. Only in more temperate climates will the skin turn orange, in the tropics they stay green.
The cooler temperatures and lack of sun reduces the amount of chlorophyl; more sun in the tropics = more chlorophyl = ripe oranges that stay green. Interestingly though the Blood Orange, which is a Mediterranean fruit, gets its darker colored flesh from anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are strong anti-oxidants, it creates the blue color in blueberries, and the dark color on our artisan cherry tomatoes. The Blood Orange does well in a Mediterranean climate and since that is what we have here, perhaps we should look into planting a row. So much to look forward to!