Maltese Oval sweet orange (CRC 274)

Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck RUTACEAE

CRC 274
PI 539597


Received as budwood from Dr. Fawcett's #96, Florida collection, 1914.


Parents unknown.

Rootstocks of accession

Carrizo citrange, C-35 citrange

Season of ripeness at Riverside

January to March

Notes and observations

3/23/1987, EMN:Most fruits more round than oval; mid-season, good flavor. Not enough fruit on CRC 590 to compare.

2/08/1988, EMN: Appears to be the same as CRC 590; see notes on that card.

Description from The Citrus Industry Vol. 1 (1967)

"Fruit medium-sized, spherical to oval; basal collar radially furrowed; seeds relatively few.  Color pale at maturity and some tendency to regreen.  Rind medium-thick; surface somewhat pebbled; peels readily.  Flesh pale-colored; moderately juicy; flavor mild.  Medium-late in maturity.

Tree vigorous, large, spreading, and drooping; leaves long, narrow, somewhat rumpled, and of paler color than most.  Distinctive in appearance.

This is an old Mediterranean variety of unknown origin which was introduced into California about 1870 by T. A. Garey, a pioneer citrus nurseryman of Los Angeles, and distributed under the name Mediterranean Sweet.  At about the same time, it was brought to Florida and distributed under the name Maltese Oval.  It is not the same, however, as the midseason variety introduced into Florida a few years later and distributed as Mediterranean Sweet.

Under its California name, this variety soon became important as a midseason variety, maturing between the superior Washington navel and Valencia oranges.  With the expansion of the California industry into areas of different periods of maturity, overlapping production of these two varieties resulted.  As a consequence, Mediterranean Sweet rapidly lost favor and was replaced.  In the meantime, it was introduced into South Africa where it still retains some importance as a midseason variety, although it is no longer planted.

Two clones are recognized in California which differ only in fruit form, one being prevailingly round and the other oblong to oval."


Not commercially available in California.


USDA Germplasm Resources Information Network page for Maltese Oval (CRC 274)


Photos by David Karp and Toni Siebert, CVC.
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