Why a Navel Orange is a Citrus Fruit For Many Uses

Versatile with its many uses and applications, it is no wonder the Navel Orange is a favorite among citrus lovers. It is naturally sweet and juicy, plus it is packed with healthy nutrients that are good for the heart, immune system, and overall health.

Origin of Navel Oranges

We know that Navel citrus is grown widely in the United States but where do Navel Oranges come from? Well, many stories have been circulated about the origins of the Navel Orange, but we are certain that the Navel Orange was first discovered as a mutated fruit growing on a Laranja Selecta Orange tree sometime around 1820 in Brazil. It was then introduced to Florida in 1835 where it was gladly received by locals. Soon after, it became a popular fruit and played an important role in Southern California’s citrus industry.

All about Navel citrus

If you have eaten Navel Oranges, you have noticed the belly-button like formation found on the blossom end of the fruit. You most probably have asked yourself, “Why do Navel Oranges have Navels?” The answer is simple: the navel-like formation on the fruit is a rudimentary or undeveloped “twin” fruit that grew inside the main fruit. It is an oddity brought on by mutation which also caused the Navel Orange to be seedless.

Navel Oranges Facts

People have the notion that standard and dwarf-sized trees are entirely different species – this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The only real difference between a standard Washington Navel Orange tree and a dwarf Washington Navel Orange tree is the size of the tree. The size of the fruit and the taste of the fruit is the same for both standard and dwarf-sized trees.

Fruits from standard and dwarf Washington Navel Orange trees have the same nutritional benefits and contain the same amount of Vitamin A and C, calcium, dietary fiber, and potassium. Both are great in boosting the immune system, protecting the heart from accumulating plaque, and helping lower the risk of acquiring diabetes.


  • Why are Navel Oranges called Navel Oranges? – Navel Oranges are named for the belly-button like formation found on the blossom end, which is an undeveloped secondary fruit.
  • Where are Navel Oranges grown? – Navels are mainly grown in Brazil, Florida, California, and Arizona.
  • How are Navel Oranges grown? – Navel Oranges are seedless and trees all over the world are from the one single tree from Brazil on which the mutation happened. Growing Navel Oranges may only be done via cloning or cutting and grafting techniques.
  • When do Navel Oranges bloom? – Blooms start growing on Navel Orange trees as early as March and may last until June. April is when the highest numbers of blooms appear on standard and dwarf Navel Orange tree. 
  • How big is a Navel Orange fruit? – The Navel Orange fruit size is the same for both standard and dwarf-sized trees, which is about 3 to 4.5 inches in diameter.
  • Where to find dwarf Navel Orange trees for sale? – You can check with your local nursery or find reputable citrus nurseries online.