Health Benefits: The Fascinating History of Navel Oranges

Winter season is not the most productive season for plants, animals, and humans alike. Almost everyone and everything goes into hibernation because of the cold season, except Navel Oranges. The Washington Navel Orange tree, including the dwarf Washington Navel Orange tree, is in full bloom during the winter season and you will find these sun-kissed, mouth-watering oranges hanging from the Navel citrus trees. Such a delight to see!

Navel Orange Origin

It may be one of the most popular fruits in the entire American continent, but Navel Oranges did not originate from the United States. So where are Navel Oranges from? The first Navel orange was found growing in Brazil in the early 1800s as a spontaneous mutation on an orange tree. It wasn’t until in the 1870s that the first Washington Navel Orange cutting was planted in Southern California. As soon as it started bearing fruits, it became popular because it is exceptionally sweet, richly flavored and refreshingly juicy. Because of its instant popularity, it became an immediate success and soon after, thousands of acres of land in California were dedicated to growing both the standard-size and dwarf Washington Navel Orange trees.


  • Why are Navel Oranges called Navel Oranges – Navel orange got its name from the tiny second orange fruit found growing in the blossom end. This tiny rudimentary fruit creates the illusion of the fruit having a bellybutton – hence the name Navel Orange.
  • Why do Navel Oranges have navels? – The navel-like formation found on the blossom end of the fruit is an undeveloped secondary fruit – these oranges are like conjoined twins with the second one not growing into maturity.
  •  From where do Navel Oranges originate? – Navel Oranges were first discovered growing on an orange tree in Brazil.
  • Where are Navel Oranges grown? – Commercial Navel Oranges are primarily grown in California, Arizona, and Florida.
  • How are Navel Oranges grown? – Since Navel Oranges are seedless they can only be propagated by grafting a cutting from an old Navel tree to a scion of a compatible citrus tree.
  • When do Navel Orange trees bloom? – Both standard-size and dwarf Navel Orange trees are in bloom in spring, with the greatest number of flowers produced in April.
  • How big is a Navel Orange fruit? – The typical Navel Orange fruit size is 3-inches across, with some growing as big as 4.5 inches in diameter.
  • Where can I find a Washington Navel Orange tree for sale? – You can call citrus nurseries or check online for nurseries that can deliver a standard or dwarf Navel Orange tree in your area.
  • What are the health benefits of eating Navel Orange? – Navel Oranges are packed with nutrients that can help protect the body from contracting diseases, and help the body heal faster after getting damaged. It is filled with Vitamin A, C, and E – the perfect trifecta of vitamins that are known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Navel Oranges also have potassium that is good for the heart, dietary fiber that is good for the digestive system, B6 that helps boost the production of hemoglobin in the bloodstream, and calcium that promotes healthy bones. Other important nutrients found in Navel Oranges are citrates, beta-carotene, folate, and phytonutrients.