Sweet oranges are a citrus fruit that is actually a hybrid that was cultivated in ancient times, most likely between a pomelo and a mandarin. The orange tree is a small flowering tree that grows up to 10 metres tall and has evergreen leaves. Its leaves are between 4 to 10 centimetres long, and the orange fruit itself is a type of berry called hesperidium.
Sweet oranges were originally cultivated in Southeast Asia and are genetically different to bitter oranges. In some languages, it is known as a Chinese apple. For example, in Dutch, oranges are called “sinaasapel’ which means “China’s apple”. However, the word orange is actually derived from a Sanskrit word.
Oranges can be grown almost anywhere in the world. It can be grown in the outdoors in warmer climates, and indoors in a cooler climates. However, like most citrus plants, oranges do not fare well in temperatures that are not between 15.5°C – 29°C (60°F – 85°F). In order to grow a seed of a store-bought orange, you cannot let the seed dry out. It is also possible that this seed will not produce any fruit once it grows. One method of growing a seed from a store-bought orange is to put the seeds between the halves of a damp paper towel until the seed germinates. Once it does this, you can then plant it into a soil and water it regularly, as oranges require a large amount of water.
Oranges have a shelf life of about 1 week at room temperature, and 1 month in a refrigerator. Regardless of whether it is kept at room temperature or in a refrigerator, they are optimally stored loosely in an open or perforated plastic bag. Oranges produce odours that are easily absorbed by dairy products, eggs, and meat.
Oranges are a very popular fruit, and is orange juice is a commodity that is traded by the New York Board of Trade. Brazil is the largest producer of orange juice, followed by the USA. Other than orange juice, oranges can be used for sweet orange oil in flavouring, fragrances, and perfumes. In Spain, fallen orange blossoms are dried and used to make tea. Orange blossom honey is made by putting beehives in citrus groves when they bloom. Other uses include using the orange peel as a slug repellent and orangewood sticks are used as cuticle pushers as well as spudgers.