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Orange, Sour

Bitter, Seville, Bigarde orange, Naranja agria

Rutaceae Citrus aurantium L.

Source: Magness et al. 1971

These oranges (See also citrus fruits.) are similar to the sweet orange in tree and fruit appearance, but are characterized by a very acid pulp and by a hollow axis or core in the fruit. Cut fruits and crushed leaves have a characteristic, very strong odor. Fruit is too acid for fresh use but is used for marmalade. The sour orange was widely used as a rootstock for other varieties prior to the appearance of the Tristizia virus disease, which affects trees on this stock. It is still used in areas where Tristizia is not important. The Bergamot oranges grown in Mediterranean areas for essential oil, belong in this group. They are not grown commercially in the U.S. There are no orchards of sour orange, but numerous plantings of a few trees serve as seed sources for rootstocks.


Season, bloom to harvest: 8 to 12 months.

Production in U.S.: No data, as not grown for fruit.

Use: Fruit generally discarded after seed extracted. Some may be used for marmalade.

Part of fruit consumed: Whole fruit when made into marmalade.


Last update February 18, 1999 by ch