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Facts About the Blood Orange Tree: Types and Health Benefits

A botany graduate, Nithya Venkat enjoys writing about plants that help sustain life on planet Earth.

 Blood Orange Tree

Blood Orange Tree

The blood orange tree is a unique variation of the citrus family. This fruit is characterized by the blood-red color of the fruit pulp.

The blood orange is a hybrid of the citrus fruits, Citrus maxima (pomelo) and Citrus tangerina (tangerine) that occurred naturally in Sicily, Italy, in the late 17th century.

Blood oranges have thick, pitted skin and look like regular oranges from the outside. However, the inside flesh is dark pink, maroon or dark blood red. The fruit can be eaten as a snack, juiced, or used in cooking and baking. The blood oranges are easier to peel and often have fewer seeds.

Scientific Classification of the Blood Orange

Blood Orange Tree

Kingdom – Plantae

Phylum – Magnoliophyta

Class - Magnoliopsida

Order - Sapindales

Family - Rutaceae

Genus - Citrus

Species - Citrus x sinensis

Blood Orange Tree - Description

Blood orange is a small flowering evergreen tree that grows to about 30 feet in height. They grow well in temperatures between 55 degrees Fahrenheit to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

These trees must be frequently watered, and the soil should be rich and well-draining. Overwatering, these trees will harm their growth.

The deep red color in blood orange fruit is because of the anthocyanin color pigments in the fruit (the anthocyanin pigments are water-soluble and red, purple, or blue).

Blood oranges are in season in winter and early spring. They thrive in Mediterranean climates, primarily grown in California, Italy, and Spain.

Types of Blood Oranges

There are three common types of blood oranges - Moro, Tarocco, and the Sanguinello.

Moro - The "Moro" variety of blood oranges is round and the peel has a crimson-purple tinge. The inner pulp of this fruit is the reddest when compared to other varieties of blood oranges. It has a unique and refreshing taste.

The "Moro" variety of blood oranges is the most common in the United States.

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Tarocco - "Tarocco" blood orange is the most popular variety of blood oranges. This fruit is very sweet and juicy, and the skin is thin and easy to peel. The "Tarocco" blood oranges have the maximum vitamin C content.

This fruit variety is seedless and is medium to large. The skin of the "Tarocco" is yellowish-orange in color.

Sanguinello - The "Sanguinello" blood orange variety is sweet and has few seeds. The skin is yellowish red, and the pulp of the "Sanguinello" is blood red.

These fruits can be stored for up to a week at room temperature and longer in the fridge.

Deep Red Slices

Deep Red Slices

Health Benefits of Blood Oranges

Blood oranges contain antioxidants, folates, vitamin C, anthocyanins, calcium, vitamin A, and other minerals that aid in good health.

These oranges have the highest level of vitamin C as compared to other orange varieties.

  • Vitamin C helps to protect tissues in the body from damages
  • Anthocyanins in blood oranges help to reduce LDL or bad cholesterol and keep the blood vessels healthy
  • Vitamin A helps to improve the immunity of the body system and is essential for clear vision
  • Calcium helps to strengthen the bones
  • Good source of fiber and has three grams of fiber per orange.
  • Folates or vitamin B9 are essential for the proper growth of the fetus in the early stages of pregnant women.

The Italian Volcano Blood Orange Juice

The Italian "Volcano Blood Orange" juice is made from three varieties of blood oranges found close to Mt. Etna in Italy. The rich soil of the volcanic region makes the land fertile and the best place to grow blood oranges.

This juice has no dyes or preservatives and is flash pasteurized. This process makes juice last longer.


Science Direct - Citrus sinensis

Health Benefits of Blood Oranges

© 2013 Nithya Venkat


Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on October 16, 2013:

Daisy Mariposa thank you and am glad you understood.

Audrey Howitt thank you.

rebeccamealey thank you.

CraftytotheCore thank you, they are delicious!

CraftytotheCore on October 16, 2013:

Someone visiting brought blood oranges one time. They are really delicious.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on October 16, 2013:

I am glad to learn about the blood orange and its wonderful health benefits. Thanks!

Audrey Howitt from California on October 16, 2013:

Such a good article! Thank you!

Daisy Mariposa from Orange County (Southern California) on October 16, 2013:

Nithya (Vellur),

Thanks for publishing this very informative article. It helped me to understand why my physician suggested I take a Citrus Bergamot supplement.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on June 16, 2013:

MrsBrownParlour thank you, blood oranges are good for health.

MrsBrownsParlour on June 16, 2013:

I love blood oranges! Very interesting article, thank you. :-)

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on April 25, 2013:

Peggy W thank you. Yes it looks delicious!! Thank you for the votes and the pin.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 25, 2013:

Enjoyed learning about the blood orange tree and the health benefits from consuming the fruit. That video with the tart looks fantastic! Up, useful and interesting votes and will pin to my tree board on Pinterest.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on March 03, 2013:

teaches12345 thank you for stopping by. These oranges are unique and good for health.

Dianna Mendez on March 03, 2013:

We get these once in a while around here. They have a good taste and it is nice to know they are so good for your body. Thanks for the history and background on this orange.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on March 02, 2013:

Mike Robbers they are good for health and the taste differs depending on the variety!! Thank you for stopping by.

Mike Robbers from London on March 02, 2013:

They have a strong taste but I like them a lot. Nice hub.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on March 01, 2013:

girishpuri happy that you came to know about this fruit, thank you for stopping by.

Girish puri from NCR , INDIA on February 27, 2013:

I have never heard about this fruit, an addition to my knowledge, thanks Vellur

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on February 25, 2013:

DDE you must try them, thank you for reading.

dreamseeker2 thank you for reading, much appreciated.

dreamseeker2 on February 25, 2013:

Useful and interesting...had to be voted up. : )

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 25, 2013:

Unique and well informed, I have seen these oranges and had never tired it now I know more about this wonder fruit.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on February 22, 2013:

Jackie Lynnley thank you for stopping by, do try one. Am glad you liked it.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on February 22, 2013:

Wow, I will look for these too. The Granita video was fun and informative, looks like a delicious and fun treat; will look for that better sweetener too. Thank you!

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on February 22, 2013:

idigwebsite the taste depends upon the variety of the blood oranges. Thank you for reading and the vote up.

midget38 go ahead and eat one!! Thank you for stopping by.

Michelle Liew from Singapore on February 21, 2013:

This is closer to the grapefruit than orange, I imagine, but they are all citrus fruits!! Now I'm in the mood for one!

idigwebsites from United States on February 21, 2013:

This is a fascinating fruit, I've never tasted a blood orange before. So, about the taste, is there any difference? is it sweeter, or more sour than the usual oranges I eat?

Thanks for a great hub you presented. Voted up, useful and interesting.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on February 19, 2013:

Mhatter99 awesome then you can have them daily for breakfast or any other meal!! Thank you for stopping by.

rajan jolly thank you for reading and for the vote, much appreciated.

unknown spy yes do eat one it is good for health, thank you for stopping by.

Rosemay50 thank you for reading, do try them. They are good for health and you can use them to bake or in any sweet dish!!

Rosemary Sadler from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand on February 19, 2013:

An excellent informational hub. I have seen threm but never actually tried one, so it's probably time I did. :))

DragonBallSuper on February 19, 2013:

im going to find a blood orange fruit..never seen one before.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 18, 2013:

This fruit is new to me but I can see it is an amazing fruit. thanks for sharing.

Voted up and interesting.

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on February 18, 2013:

Thank you for this info. These oranges are abundant in SF.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on February 18, 2013:

Pavlo Badovsky thank you for stopping by and for the share.

Eiddwen thank you for reading and the appreciation.

always exploring it is available in US. This tree grows in warm climates and cannot stand the cold or heavy snow fall.

Ruchira yes blood oranges are great for health, thank you for stopping by.

Ruchira from United States on February 18, 2013:

I have not heard about these oranges. The benefits look interesting, nithya.

Will look around here...thanks!!

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on February 18, 2013:

I have never heard of blood orange trees. Will they grow in southern Illinois? I have never seen the juice anywhere, but i will look, sounds very healthy..Thank you...

Eiddwen from Wales on February 18, 2013:

So well informed and interesting. Thanks for the great lesson and I look forward to so many more.


Pavlo Badovskyi from Kyiv, Ukraine on February 18, 2013:

I liked it. It is sold in Ukraine. Interesting hub. Shared

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on February 18, 2013:

billybuc you will get it in stores in USA. Thank you for reading.

Faith Reaper yes they are available in US. Thank you for your votes and share.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on February 18, 2013:

Wow, I've never heard of the blood orange. Are they sold everywhere, as I live in southern USA? If I can find them, I will surely try them!

Voted up ++++ and sharing.

God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 18, 2013:

Thanks for the information. I've never heard of the blood orange; now I'll have to look for it in the stores.

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