Citrus sinensis, commonly called sweet orange, is a small citrus tree in the rue family Rutaceae that originated in China, southeastern Asia, and northeastern India where it has been cultivated and propagated for thousands of years. Different sweet orange cultivars were eventually moved along the Asian Silk Road or trade routes to Europe, Africa, and the Mediterranean where orange groves were established. In the 1500s the Spaniards brought sweet oranges to South America and the fruit was eventually introduced to the United States. Today, orange trees in the U.S. are grown commercially or in backyards in semi-tropical and warm temperate regions.
One of the many sweet orange cultivars that has passed the test of time is the Louisiana Sweet Orange Tree. The LA Sweet Orange Tree is a vigorous, evergreen fruit tree with a rounded crown covered with glossy, fragrant foliage. The tree also has an upright habit, is extremely productive, and cold hardy. The only possible downside of growing this orange is that the tree, like some other citrus trees, is covered with thorns making harvesting quite a challenge. However, the fruit tree compensates by showing off fragrant white flowers that turn to sweet oranges that are juicy and extremely flavorful.
The LA Sweet Orange Tree fruit is a traditional round orange that is medium to large in size and boasts a rich flavor. The fruits ripen and become available in December or mid-winter and should be harvested when ripe as the fruits tend to split and drop from the tree when over-ripe.