The Valencia Orange is a sweet orange first hybridised by California pioneer agronomist and land developer William Wolfskill, on his farm in Santa Ana in southern California in the United States.
Its name comes from the city of Valencia, Spain, known through history for its sweet orange trees, originally from India. The patented orange hybrid was later sold by William Wolfskill to the Irvine Ranch owners, who would plant nearly half of their lands to its cultivation. The success of this crop in Southern California led to the naming of Orange County, California. The Irvine Company’s Valencia operation later split from the company and became Sunkist. Cultivation of the Valencia in Orange County had all but ceased by the mid-1990s due to rising property costs from urban sprawl, which drove most of what remained of the Southern California juice orange industry into Florida and Brazil.
Valencia is the most important commercial variety in the world, living up to its nickname of the “King of Juice Oranges”. Valencia accounts for 50% of the total Florida fruit crop and the principal variety used for processing into juice. The Valencia originated in China and was taken to Europe by Portuguese or Spanish voyagers. The Valencia is perfect for the tropics, even though colour development may vary when the weather is hot. It has a thin and slightly pebbly rind. The flesh is bright orange and extremely juicy and nearly seedless. Valencia is a late orange, which has a smooth, thin skin, and contains few if any seeds, pale flesh, a sharp flavour, and is very juicy.
- Deliciously sweet and juicy, used for juicing as well as eating.
- Available in Australia
- November to February
Other smaller orange varieties grown in Australia – the Hamlin, the Parson Brown, the Pineapple and the Salustiana.