The orange tree, citrus aurantium (bitter) or sinensis (sweet) is a spherical tree that belongs to the Rutaceae family.
The orange tree does not exceed 8 to 10 m in height and is the most cultivated citrus in the world.
By way of reference, the French, if they cultivate little oranges, consume 17 kg of oranges per year and per person!
- Gardening: how to grow an orange tree well
- Cooking: orange-based recipes
- Health: all our plants and health sheets
The orange tree: for the record
The sweet orange tree is undoubtedly a mutation of the sour orange tree (bitter orange tree), which occurred around 2000 years ago. In China and India, bitter orange was cultivated 3000 years ago. The foot of the Himalayas, around Bangladesh, is undoubtedly the place of origin of this citrus fruit.
Greeks, Romans... No one knew the sweet orange tree. It was the Arabs who introduced it to Egypt and Palestine, where the Crusaders discovered it. The Portuguese brought great success to the orange tree, bringing it back from China or Ceylon (Sri Lanka), around 1500.
Orange and its health benefits
The benefits of orange
- The sweet orange tree is one of the most cultivated fruits in the world. If today we can all feast on a good orange juice for breakfast, until the end of the 19th century, this fruit was a luxury.
- With sweet orange, we make refreshing and tangy syrups as well as a lemonade: the orangeade. Syrups and orangeades are both recommended for their benefits in fever.
- We express the essence of Portugal orange zest for perfumers.
- Sweet orange flowers and leaves : they have the same virtues as those of bitter orange trees.
- The zest, is recommended for problems related to the fragility of small blood vessels, such as bruises.
- People who are bedridden or operated on often have sore heels. In this case, we recommend that you cut an orange in half, hollow out each half and fit the heels into it.
Bitter orange, another variety of citrus:
- We use bitter orange leaves (bitter orange tree) for its sedative properties: they soothe spasms nervous people and allow them to fall asleep. Bitter orange leaf is also recommended against coughing coughs, the stomach cramps of nervous origin, palpitations, the cephalalgia (headache). It is also sometimes used as febrifuge and sudorific (which increases sweating) in case of a cold. The essential oil extracted from the bitter orange tree is called "petitgrain oil".
- We can use the orange blossom for the same uses but in general it is used in the preparation of "orange blossom water", very fragrant and used in pharmacies and in food. She also enjoys calming virtues her too.
- Essential oil which accompanies the hydrosol during the distillation is "neroli oil", the basis of quality colognes. It is known for its rarity, its invigorating and stressful character.
- Orange has carminative virtues (promotes the expulsion of intestinal gas) and digestive. Orange infusion lowers fever and relieves headaches. We use the Orange zest for making syrups, tincture or alcoholates. Orange opens the appetite, it is an excellent tonic for the stomach and digestion. By pressing the fruit, we extract "the essence of bitter orange ".
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- Internal use:
Orange blossom infusion : 20 g of flowers or leaves per liter of water. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Consume 2 to 3 cups per day including 1 at bedtime for make it easier to fall asleep. To accentuate the fragrance and the effect, do not hesitate to add a few drops of orange blossom water.
Decoction of orange leaves: 120 to 150 sheets per liter. It was once used against epilepsy and in severe cases nervous disturbances.
Bitter orange peel syrup : this syrup is tonic and stomachic. Preparation: 100 g of dry zest, cut into pieces, which are left to macerate for 12 hours in 100 g of alcohol at 60% vol. Strain and add a syrup prepared with 350 g of sugar in 1 l of water. Promotes digestion.
Aperitif and tonic orange wine: macerate 100 g of bitter orange zest in 1 l of white wine with a few chamomile flowers.
- External use:
Infusion of flowers and orange leaves: calms and softens the skin.
Growing orange for its benefits
To cultivate the orange tree, a soil neutral pH will be ideal. Choose a clay soil, which retains water and fertilizers but not excess moisture. Regarding the exhibition ...
The trunk can withstand - 9 ° C, its foliage is damaged from - 3 ° C. Between 0 and 10 ° C, the orange tree is in the vegetative state. In order to flower and bear fruit, it must grow in areas where the annual average temperature exceeds 13 ° C.
Be careful, the orange tree does not like hot weather either. Above 35 ° C, it goes into vegetative rest again. Last tip: avoid places exposed to strong winds, branches - especially when loaded with fruit - would break.
Whether you choose to grow it in a pot or in the ground, do not scratch the ground more than 5 cm deep when you weed, so as not to damage the superficial roots. They are fragile and each injury can open the door to illness ...
The orange tree in a pot? Yes it's possible. Note, however, that only a veranda or a cold greenhouse can store it in winter without any problem. In containers, they are very decorative plants.
Beware of little animals!
When the orange trees get sick, most of the time it is because they are grown in poor conditions.
- The mealybugs often invade citrus fruits (they are eliminated by a treatment with white oils, which suffocate them). The mites deform leaves and young shoots, giving them a leaden appearance.
- The ringworm caterpillars attack the stamens and prevent fruit formation.
- The chlorosis results in yellowing of the leaves.
- Many viroses lead to the decline of orange trees. For crops under cover, beware of white flies.
- Gardening: how to grow an orange tree well
Species and varieties of oranges
There are three groups of oranges: blondes, navels and sanguines.
Among the blond oranges, we distinguish the varieties communes varieties fine.
The varieties communes grow easily in the gardens of the Côte d´Azur and give small fruits of poor taste quality.
Fine varieties, of better quality, mature between November and March. Among them :
- “Valencialate”: late, juicy, sweet.
- "Maltaise": one of the best, it matures quite well in the South of France.
- "Jaffa": large fruit, fragrant flesh.
- “Salustiana”: large-fruited, fairly rustic.
The navels: they reach maturity in November. They are recognized by their umbilicus and the fruit embryo that forms inside the orange itself. They are sweet, easily cut into pieces.
- “Washington Navel”, “Navelina” and “Navelate”: the most cultivated.
Blood oranges : they reach maturity in February.
- “Moro”, “Sanguinelli”: these are the favorite varieties of connoisseurs. However, they only produce for a short time and require a lot of heat to mature.
Ithere are also half-blood oranges.
- “Half-blood maltese”, “Improved double fine”: they give fruit in March-April.
Orange in the kitchen for its benefits
You can taste the orange fresh, plain or pressed, in jam, marmalade or sorbet. Orange can be added to sauces or candied. In infusion (20 g / l), leaves stimulate appetite. About the Orange Blossom, it is sedative (it is found in many herbal teas).
- Cooking: orange-based recipes
45 kcal / 100 g. An orange covers most of an adult's daily needs in vitamin C (80 to 110 mg / day). Orange is also rich in trace elements and in organic acids, which combine with alkaline substances in our body, producing carbonates and bicarbonates, whose benefits are recognized in cases ofheartburn and D'arthritis.
Now is the time to indulge in an orange carpaccio. Quick, easy, this recipe is foolproof! On your shopping list: oranges, a few mint leaves, a littlecinnamon and voila !
Some synonyms of the word "orange" to shine in society.
The word "orange" comes from Sanskrit. We find it in the words naranja in Spain, laranja in Portugal, naranza in Venice, naranj in the Arab world. The bitter orange is also known as "sour orange" or "Seville orange".