Florida is known as The Sunshine State. Its sunny climate is ideal for growing oranges. In fact, 80% of all orange juice in the United States is made from Florida oranges. There are so many orange trees and orange groves in Florida, that the state named the orange blossom its state flower.
The orange blossom's scientific name is Citrus sinensis. The flower falls into the kingdom plantae, division magnoliophyta. The flower's class is magnoliopsida, and its order is sapindales. It is a member of the family rutaceae, genus citrus, and species seninsis.
Orange blossom flowers are small and white, with waxy petals. There are five petals and five sepals per flower. Each flower has 20 to 25 stamens in the center, arranged in a compact spiral. Orange blossoms are very fragrant, with a distinct citrus scent.
Oranges grow on trees during the fall and winter. The blossoms are produced by the tree during the spring, and each indicates a point at which an orange will develop later in the year. Each spring, blossoms emerge in clusters of up to 6 flowers per cluster.
Orange blossoms impart a mild citrus flavor when used in cooking. The blossoms should be used within 4 hours after picking them from the tree, to enjoy the most flavor. The blossoms are used in salads and desserts. Before eating, remove the sepals and stamen.
The only state flower that is used to make perfume is the orange blossom. The flower's essential oil is used to add scent to colognes and toiletries. The orange blossom is also used to make herbal tea.