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Citrus sinensis

Image of Citrus sinensis

Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Common name: Sweet Orange
Life cycle: Perennial

Citrus sinensis originally come from China and Southeast Asia. Sweet Orange is a compact evergreen tree 20-30 ft tall with a rounded, symmetrical crown spreading 15-20 ft or so. The leaves are shiny and leathery, oblong to elliptic, up to 4 in long, and have narrow wings on their petioles (leaf stems). The twigs on many orange cultivars are thorny. Orange blossoms are white, very fragrant, and arranged in clusters of 1-6. They bloom in spring and give rise to oranges the following autumn or winter.

Orange trees are widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical climates for the delicious sweet fruit, which is peeled or cut (to avoid the bitter rind) and eaten whole, or processed to extract orange juice, and also for the fragrant peel. For culture Citrus sinensis need full sun to light shade or very high interior lighting with a well drained soil mix.

  • They are rich in vitamin C, flavonoids, acids and volatile oils. They also contain coumarins such as bergapten which sensitizes the skin to sunlight.
  • Bergapten is sometimes added to tanning preparations since it promotes pigmentation in the skin, though it can cause dermatitis or allergic responses in some people.
  • Some of the plants more recent applications are as sources of anti-oxidants and chemical exfoliants in specialized cosmetics.
  • The fruit is appetizer and blood purifier.
  • It is used to allay thirst in people with fevers and also treats catarrh.
  • The fruit juice is useful in the treatment of bilious affections and bilious diarrhoea.
  • The fruit rind is carminative and tonic.
  • The fresh rind is rubbed on the face as a cure for acne.
  • The dried peel is used in the treatment of anorexia, colds, coughs etc.