The Valencia Late is a late season orange, medium to large in size, round to oblong in shape, with a smooth and relatively thin skin which peels reasonably easily. The flavour is good, with high levels of sweetness in mature fruit, though earlier picked fruit can be slightly acidic. Usually, there are 2 – 3 seeds present per fruit. The segments are a rich colour and have a high juice content, though can be a little ‘raggy’ to chew in comparison with Navels. The variety has excellent juicing qualities and is often sold at prices that allow the option of home juicing. Valencia Lates have very good keeping qualities and store well under refrigerated conditions, so are available for extended periods when other varieties, such as Navels, have finished.
Valencias are very good all-round oranges for sweetness, flavour and juice content, but can sometimes be quite tangy.
Good Fruit Guide Rating: ***
Names: Valencia; Valencia Late; Maroc Late. Selections include: Delta Seedless; Midknight; Turkey; Benny
Origin: Valencia Late is of Portuguese origin, first noticed in the Azores. In 1860, trees were sent from the Azores to a nurseryman, Thomas Rivers, in Sawbridgeworth, England who named the variety Excelsior. From England nursery stock was sent to the USA: Long Island, Florida, and California, where it was renamed Rivers Late. It was later christened Valencia Late by a Spanish citrus expert who saw it while visiting Florida in 1887.
Grown in: Valencia Lates are grown in virtually all main citrus growing areas, but also in tropical climates and warmer sub-tropics were Navels are unsuitable. It is probably the most widely grown and versatile orange in the world. Valencia Lates for UK and European markets come mainly from Spain, Cyprus, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, South Africa, Argentina and Uruguay.
Harvest & Availability: Availability for the UK and European market
- March: Spain, Morocco, Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt
- April: Spain, Morocco, Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt
- May: Spain, Morocco, Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt
- June: Spain, Morocco, Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt
- July: Spain, Morocco, Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt
- August: South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay
- September: South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay
- October: South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay
- November: South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay