The orange (specifically, the sweet orange) is the fruit of the citrus species Citrus × sinensis in the family Rutaceae. The fruit of the Citrus sinensis is considered a sweet orange, whereas the fruit of the Citrus aurantium is considered a bitter orange. The orange is a hybrid, possibly between pomelo (Citrus maxima) and mandarin (Citrus reticulata), which has been cultivated since ancient times. Probably originating in Southeast Asia, oranges were already cultivated in China as far back as 2500 BC. Arabophone peoples popularized sour citrus and oranges in Europe; Spaniards introduced the sweet orange to the American continent in the mid-1500s. As of 1987, orange trees were found to be the most cultivated fruit tree in the world. Orange trees are widely grown in tropical and subtropical climates for their sweet fruit. The fruit of the orange tree can be eaten fresh, or processed for its juice or fragrant peel. As of 2012, sweet oranges accounted for approximately 70% of citrus production. In 2010, 68.3 million metric tons of oranges were grown worldwide, production being particularly prevalent in Brazil and the US states of California and Florida. The orange is unknown in the wild state; is assumed to have originated in southern China, northeastern India, and perhaps southeastern Asia and that they were first cultivated in China around 2500 BC. In Europe, citrus fruits—among them the bitter orange, introduced to Italy by the crusaders in the 11th century—were grown widely in the south for medicinal purposes, but the sweet orange was unknown until the late 15th century or the beginnings of the 16th century, when Italian and Portuguese merchants brought orange trees into the Mediterranean area. Shortly afterward, the sweet orange quickly was adopted as an edible fruit. It also was considered a luxury item and wealthy people grew oranges in private conservatories, called orangeries. By 1646, the sweet orange was well known throughout Europe. Spanish explorers introduced the sweet orange into the American continent. On his second voyage in 1493, Christopher Columbus took seeds of oranges, lemons, and citrons to Haiti and the Caribbean. Subsequent expeditions in the mid-1500s brought sweet oranges to South America and Mexico, and to Florida in 1565, when Pedro Menéndez de Avilés founded St Augustine. Spanish missionaries brought orange trees to Arizona between 1707 and 1710, while the Franciscans did the same in San Diego, California, in 1769. An orchard was planted at the San Gabriel Mission around 1804 and a commercial orchard was established in 1841 near present-day Los Angeles. In Louisiana, oranges probably were introduced by French explorers. Archibald Menzies, the botanist and naturalist on the Vancouver Expedition, collected orange seeds in South Africa, raised the seedlings onboard and gave them to several Hawaiian chiefs in 1792. Eventually, the sweet orange was grown in wide areas of the Hawaiian Islands, but its cultivation stopped after the arrival of the Mediterranean fruit fly in the early 1900s. As oranges are rich in vitamin C and do not spoil easily, during the Age of Discovery, Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch sailors planted citrus trees along trade routes to prevent scurvy. The word orange derives from the Sanskrit word for "orange tree" (नारङ्ग nāraṅga), probably of Dravidian origin. The Sanskrit word reached European languages through Persian نارنگ (nārang) and its Arabic derivative نارنج (nāranj). The word entered Late Middle English in the fourteenth century via Old French orenge (in the phrase pomme d'orenge). The French word, in turn, comes from Old Provençal auranja, based on Arabic nāranj. In several languages, the initial n present in earlier forms of the word dropped off because it may have been mistaken as part of an indefinite article ending in an n sound—in French, for example, une norenge may have been heard as une orenge. This linguistic change is called juncture loss. The color was named after the fruit, and the first recorded use of orange as a colour name in English was in 1512. As Portuguese merchants were presumably the first to introduce the sweet orange in Europe, in several modern Indo-European languages the fruit has been named after them. Some examples are Albanian portokall, Bulgarian портокал (portokal), Greek πορτοκάλι (portokali), Persian پرتقال (porteghal), and Romanian portocală. Related names can be found in other languages, such as Arabic البرتقال (bourtouqal), Georgian ფორთოხალი (p'ort'oxali), and Turkish portakal. In Italy, words derived from Portugal (Portogallo) to refer to the sweet orange are in common use in most dialects throughout the country, in contrast to standard Italian arancia. In other Indo-European languages, the words for orange allude to the eastern origin of the fruit and can be translated literally as "apple from China". Some examples are Low German Apfelsine, Dutch appelsien and sinaasappel, Swedish apelsin, and Norwegian appelsin. A similar case is Puerto Rican Spanish china. Various Slavic languages use the variants pomaranč (Slovak), pomeranč (Czech), pomaranča (Slovene), and pomarańcza (Polish), all from Old French pomme d'orenge. Varieties Common oranges Common oranges (also called "white", "round", or "blond" oranges) constitute about two-thirds of all the orange production. The majority of this crop is used mostly for juice extraction. Valencia The Valencia orange is a late-season fruit, and therefore a popular variety when navel oranges are out of season. This is why an anthropomorphic orange was chosen as the mascot for the 1982 FIFA World Cup, held in Spain. The mascot was named Naranjito ("little orange") and wore the colors of the Spanish national football team. Hart's Tardiff Valencia Thomas Rivers, an English nurseryman, imported this variety from the Azores Islands and catalogued it in 1865 under the name Excelsior. Around 1870, he provided trees to S. B. Parsons, a Long Island nurseryman, who in turn sold them to E. H. Hart of Federal Point, Florida. Hamlin This cultivar was discovered by A. G. Hamlin near Glenwood, Florida, in 1879. The fruit is small, smooth, not highly colored, seedless, and juicy, with a pale yellow colored juice, especially in fruits that come from lemon rootstock. The tree is high-yielding and cold-tolerant and it produces good quality fruit, which is harvested from October to December. It thrives in humid subtropical climates. In cooler, more arid areas, the trees produce edible fruit, but too small for commercial use. Trees from groves in hammocks or areas covered with pine forest are budded on sour orange trees, a method that gives a high solids content. On sand, they are grafted on rough lemon rootstock. The Hamlin orange is one of the most popular juice oranges in Florida and replaces the Parson Brown variety as the principal early-season juice orange. This cultivar is now the leading early orange in Florida and, possibly, in the rest of the world. Navel oranges Navel oranges are characterized by the growth of a second fruit at the apex, which protrudes slightly and resembles a human navel. They are primarily grown for human consumption for various reasons: their thicker skin makes them easy to peel, they are less juicy and their bitterness – a result of the high concentrations of limonin and other limonoids – renders them less suitable for juice. Their widespread distribution and long growing season have made navel oranges very popular. In the United States, they are available from November to April, with peak supplies in January, February, and March. Cara cara navels Cara cara oranges (also called "red navel") are a type of navel orange grown mainly in Venezuela, South Africa and in California's San Joaquin Valley. They are sweet and comparatively low in acid, with a bright orange rind similar to that of other navels, but their flesh is distinctively pinkish red. It is believed that they have originated as a cross between the Washington navel and the Brazilian Bahia navel, and they were discovered at the Hacienda Cara Cara in Valencia, Venezuela, in 1976. South African cara caras are ready for market in early August, while Venezuelan fruits arrive in October and Californian fruits in late November.