The tree is very popular with producers, as it is very cold hardy. The leaves are dark green and cupped-shape. The tree cannot pollinate itself, it needs another citrus tree to act as a pollinator.
The fruit is on average about 3 inches wide (7.5 cm) with bright orange skin that is usually smooth, though sometimes a bit “pebbled.” The fruit is a bit hard to peel, as the tight skin clings to the flesh inside. It is round, but slightly flattened at both ends.
Inside, the fruit has sections that separate easily. Sometimes there can be a lot of seeds. The flesh is sweet, mild and juicy.
The fruit matures by November and is ready for processing into juice, etc., though fruit for eating out of hand is left on the tree till December to develop better quality taste.
Orlando Tangelos were developed in 1909/1911 by a Dr Walter T. Swingle in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Citrus Breeding Programme at Eustis, Florida. He was also involved in the following fruits: Murcott Orange, Orlando Tangelo, Tangelos and Kumquats.
The fruit was released commercially in 1931.
A few sources say that the parent grapefruit used was “Bowen”, but others are fairly certain that even where Bowen was mentioned, the parent was actually Duncan.