Tangerine Tree Varieties
The tangerine is a sweet type of mandarin orange, much more cold hardy than sweet oranges like Valencia or Navel. Tangerines can be easily identified by their floral fragrance and puffy skin, which coats the fruit like a jacket. Growers in subtropical and tropical areas can choose from many old and new tangerine varieties.
Marketed as the "honey tangerine," the Murcott is the largest commercially grown tangerine in Florida, notes the University of Florida. The fruit's origin in unclear, but it's like a tangerine-orange hybrid, technically a tangor. Murcotts do have seeds. Their flesh is deep orange and the peel may range in hue from yellowy to red. Maturing in January to March, Murcott is the latest tangerine to mature.
While Dancy tangerines have fallen out of favor due to disease problems, they are an old tangerine variety dating back to 1867. Dancy tangerines feature the thin leathery peel common among the fruit. They ripen in December and January. The fruits are squat with a tiny neck at the stem end that makes them resemble a pomegranate in shape. Since this tangerine is highly susceptible to Alternaria fungus, it's not widely planted.
The clementine, or Algerian tangerine, is technically a tangerine. The fruit was introduced to the United States via Algeria in 1909, notes Purdue University. Clementines feature few seeds and a long growing season. While clementines have the loose wrinkly skin common among all tangerines, their skin is less puffy than that of other types.
Fallglo was invented in 1962 and released commercially in 1987. The fruit is a cross between the Bower and Temple tangerines, themselves tangerine-tangelo and tangerine-orange hybrids. With a genetic makeup of 1/8 grapefruit, 1/4 orange and 5/8 tangerine, according to the University of Florida--Fallglo is nonetheless marketed as a tangerine. The fruit ripens early, from September to November. While Fallglo tangerines contain a large amount of seeds (as much as 40 per fruit), the trees are resistant to diseases and pests.