Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck
Received as budwood from South Africa, 1985.
Rootstocks of accession
Carrizo citrange, C-35 citrange
Season of ripeness at Riverside
March to July
Notes and observations
1986, EMN: Import put directly into thermotherapy; no pre-index.
A.T.C. Lee: Selection made in South Africa in 1930s. Considerably slower growing than other Valencias & shows marked bud union incompatibility on rough lemon. Tree shape is roundish; leaf shape is large and almost grapefruit-like. Bears similar yields to Valencias of same size (not age). At first sight does not appear to carry a good crop but this is the result of the large fruit size. In South Africa the Midknight produces fruit of excellent size (mainly 70-85 mm), good round shape (sometimes very slight shoulder) and very smooth rind texture. Excellent internal quality with high juice percentages and TSS levels. Seedless as Delta but has slightly tougher rag; can also be difficult to peel. Matures at same time as most Valencias, not early like Delta.
Etienne Rabe: Midknight is better than Delta.
Description from The Citrus Industry Vol. 1 (1967)
"Midknight is a virtually seedless, medium-large, somewhat oblong fruit of excellent quality and medium-late maturity. Marloth and Basson (1955) regard this South African variety as an early Valencia selection and it is commonly called Midknight Valencia. Since it ripens earlier than Valencia and does not fruit in clusters to the same degree, it is probably best considered a variety. The tree is moderately vigorous and upright-growing, with large, broad leaves, but not as productive as standard Valencia.
It originated on the place of A. P. Knight at Summerville, Addo, eastern Cape Province, as a selection from a rather variable lot of budded trees ordered from Westfalia Estates (northern Transvaal) in 1927. Unfortunately, more than one clone seems to have been propagated under the same name, for two are now recognized—that characterized above and another of which the fruit is round and the tree less vigorous and more spreading. Neither clone is currently of much importance."