Inside, there are many seeds. The segments inside, an average of 12 per fruit, separate easily. The flesh may sometimes be reddish-orange.
The tree tends to bear heavily in one year, poorly in the next. The fruit is not pulled from the tree, as the thin skin might tear, but clipped.
The pale skin colour is not always appealing to consumers, but the oranges are very fragrant and the taste is very good and sweet (thus one of its other names referring to “honey.”)
They are grown in South America, Florida and Mexico.
Murcott Tangors were developed as a King Mandarin hybrid, crossed with a sweet orange. They were likely developed by a Dr Walter T. Swingle at the very start of the 1900s in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Citrus Breeding Programme nursery at Eustis, Florida. We can only say “likely”, as the ID tag fell off the tree in transit at one point in 1913. Swingle was involved in the following fruits: Murcott Oranges, Orlando Tangelos, Tangelos and Kumquats.
They take their name from Charles Murcott Smith, one of the first growers. He began growing and promoting it in 1922; commercial production started in 1952.
Murcott Oranges are sometimes called Honey Tangerines, but Murcott is the preferred name over Honey to avoid confusion with other oranges called Honey. There are two other pretenders to the Honey name: a California variety recognized in 1943 but never released, and Kinnow Mandarins, which the Sunkist company has decided to start calling Honey Mandarins.