Maltese Oval sweet orange (CRC 590)

Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck

CRC 590 (This variety was de-accessioned in 03/2011)
PI 539649


Received as budwood from Rubidoux Tract variety block, 1914.


Parents unknown.

Rootstocks of accession

Carrizo citrange, C-35 citrange

Season of ripeness at Riverside

Unknown at this time.

Notes and observations

HJW, 1/26/1934: This is Garey's Med. sweet introduced by Garey of L.A. and considered by Florida growers as identical with Maltese oval introduced earlier by Gen Sanford. Our tree CES 590 and Maltese CES 274 seem on careful study of fruit, tree, and foliage to be surely the same. Tree and foliage very characteristic. As Gen Sanford introduced and named another Mediterranean sweet which is different, it seems that Garey's Med. sweet should be called Maltese oval.

EMN, 2/8/1988: Still seems identical to CRC 274, Maltese Oval. Since H.J.Webber suggested we change the name on this accession in 1934 (see above), and 54 years have gone by without action, I hereby take Dr. Webber's suggestion and make said change lest it (his suggestion) becomes 100 years old without giving birth.

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 590


Photos by David Karp and Toni Siebert, CVC.
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