Ortanique oranges can grow to be up to 8 inches wide (20 cm.)The rind is a dark reddy-orange colour with brown specks on it. It’s thin, but tough and hard to peel.
Inside, the orange is a pale orange colour, with 16 segments and only a few seeds. The flesh is very juicy, very aromatic and especially sweet.
The tree is a good, consistent producer that will start bearing fruit when it is 3 years old.
Ortaniques grow extremely well in Jamaica. They have been tried in Florida and South Africa, but are not doing well there.
The fruit is sometimes called a “Honey Tangerine.”
Ortanique oranges were discovered in Jamaica by a man from Manchester, Jamaica named Swaby in the early 1900s. He bought 6 of the oranges and planted the seeds. Two of the trees that grew from the seed produced fruit that replicated what he had bought.
Some of the fruit was bought by a C.P. Jackson, also of Jamaica, who grew trees from the seeds. From those trees, he chose fruit that was the least seedy and that came from trees that were the least thorny. He named the fruit Ortanique
Export of the fruit from Jamaica started in 1944.
English speakers explain the name as bits from the words: ORange, TANgerine, and unIQUE
French speakers explain the name as bits from the words: ORange, TANgerine, and jamaIQUE