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The Dancy Tangerine was once one of the most popular citrus fruit varieties commercially sold in the US. It is now mostly sold by nurseries for backyard planting. The Dancy Tangerine has also played a big role in the citrus industry, by contributing to the parentage of premium citrus varieties like the Minneola and Orlando tangelos, Frua and Fortune mandarins, and the Dweet and Mency tangors.
The Dancy Tangerine tree origins can be traced back to a seedling tree grown in the orchard of Colonel Dancy of Orange Mills, Florida in 1867. The seed of this tangerine tree was from the Moragne tangerine tree brought to Florida from Tangier, Morocco before 1843. This is the source of the name tangerine, which means from Tangiers.
The Dancy Tangerine Tree is an evergreen, vigorous growing tree that is large compared to other tangerine trees. This citrus tree has an upright-spreading growth habit, is densely foliated, and is nearly thornless. It is typically productive but with a tendency to be alternate-bearing.
Both the Standard and dwarf tangerine trees produce fruits that are 2¼ – 2½ inches in diameter with rind that is deep red-orange in color, leathery and easily peels gaining them the names zipper-skin tangerine and kid-glove orange.