One of the more unusual citrus trees is the Blood Orange. With brilliant blood red tinged orange fruit, and that interesting red pigmentation on the inside Blood Oranges are a dual purpose tree.
The pigmentation is from the anthrocyanin, said to be a good antioxidant. In terms of taste they are like a slightly bitter orange but less acidic although varieties differ in sweetness.
Not only great for the fruit which can be juiced or eaten. When grown as a standard with a good clear trunk Blood Oranges also make attractive container plants for a sunny courtyard. Glossy foliage and when in fruit they look spectacular.
A number of varieties are available, the most popular are.
- Citrus sinensis Moro is the most common variety grow in Australia.
- Arnold, marketed as such yet said to be a Moro sport.
- Tarocco, very large fruit and great flavour, however slow to produce fruit.
- Cara Cara is actually a pigmented Navel Orange and not a true blood orange.
Although they are found widely in Italy and Spain it is thought that the species is originally from China.
To grow blood oranges successfully you will need a climate that allows for cold winters and hot dry summer, they do like cold nightime temperatures as well. So a typical Mediteranean climate where the difference between night temperatures and daytime varies a lot.
Thy also like good temperature variation in autumn.
Otherwise the same care as other citrus trees, and yes they can be grown in a container.
You will need to have pollinating insects for the tree to successfully produce fruit. The insects are attracted by the flowers, so follow a proper fertilisation regime and do not over use nitrogen based fertiliser, a normal citrus tree slow release type fertiliser will be sufficient.
Blood Orange Trees are available for sale from the following nurseries
Carey Gully, Adelaide Hills.
Family business selling a large range of deciduous trees in pots 1-4m high. Crepe myrtle specialist. Includes Ornamental pears & plums, Red maples, Japanese maples, Gingko, Cercis, Ash, Birch, Crab apples, Weeping cherries, Gleditsia, Liquidambar and more. Hedging plants, evergreen trees & fruit trees.
Mail order fruit tree nursery with over 200 temperate climate fruit trees.
Heritage varieties and dwarf fruit trees. Apple Trees, Stone Fruit, Nut Trees and Berry Fruit.