What Is the Origin of Valencia Orange Trees?


Valencia orange trees grow in sub-tropical areas around the world. The fruit is sweet with excellent quality juice and pulp, making it one of the most popular orange varieties in the world.

History of Citriculture

Citriculture is the cultivation of citrus fruit, such as oranges, lemons and grapefruits. Citrus fruits were grown as ornamental plants in Italy during the first century. The practice of growing citrus trees decreased in later years, but was revived in the 1400s by the Arabs.

The Move to Valencia

Historical resources differ on who first transported oranges to Valencia, Spain. Some references say the Arabs or Italians took oranges to Spain in the mid-1400s, while others claim that the Portuguese were the first to take oranges to Spain in the 1500s.

Valencia, Spain

By the 1600s, people were beginning to use oranges for medicinal purposes and as food. Wealthy home owners in Valencia grew orange trees in their gardens, or in orangeries--conservatories built especially for citrus trees.

The Move to the New World

Spanish conquistadors carried orange seeds to the New World in the 1600s, which led the establishment of orange groves in Peru and Chile. Later an Englishman, Thomas Rivers, transported orange trees to Florida, where many orange groves were already established.

Valencia Oranges Today

Valencia orange trees are the most commonly grown orange trees in the world. They are grown in the Far East, the Mediterranean, South Africa, Australia, South America and the Caribbean. The United States leads in the production of oranges, with Florida, California and Texas as the top producing states.


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About this Author

Melody Lee began working as a reporter and copywriter for the "Jasper News" in 2004 and was promoted to editor in 2005. She also edits magazine articles and books. Lee holds a degree in landscape design, is a Florida Master Gardener, and has more than 25 years of gardening experience.