The lumpy skin can be orange or reddish-orange. It is loose, so it peels off easily. There are 10 to 15 sections inside, and about 7 to 20 seeds per fruit. The flesh is very sweet and rich tasting.
Dancy tangerines were grown a lot in Florida, and somewhat in California. They are fading in popularity, though many of the old groves are still around. They lost favour with producers because the branches weren’t strong enough to hold the fruit, and would break. Consumers turned away from them with the advent of seedless alternatives.
Dancy tangerines were one of the first tangerines to be mass marketed. Its ancestor may have come from China or Morocco. The first tree was planted in 1867 as a seed from the Moragne tangerine, but this different variety — the Dancy tangerine — grew instead. It was noticed by a Colonel Francis Litterbury Dancy in his grove at Buena Vista, Florida. He began propagating it deliberately in 1871/72. It was officially recognized in 1877. Commercial production started in 1890.
These tangerines used to be very popular at Christmas.