April to June
Because of the orange blossoms ability to both bear flowers and produce fruit, they were popular with Victorian era brides as a symbol of fertility.
Orange oil is an effective grease cutter and has become popular as an ingredient in some popular commercial cleaners.
When people think of Florida, they conjure up images of sunshine, beaches and Florida oranges, so it may come as no surprise that the state flower of Florida is none other than the Orange Blossom, the flower of the orange fruit tree.
Florida is the largest producer of oranges in the United States. Each spring, the scent of countless flowering Orange Blossoms fills the air in parts of central and southern Florida. The orange tree is an evergreen that reaches heights of 20-30 feet and grows in full sun and sandy soil. It thrives in Florida, thanks to its climate and typically abundant rainfall.
The tree flowers in spring, producing white Orange Blossoms that are made up of five waxy petals and give off a sweet, fragrant scent. Months after the arrival of its blossoms, the orange tree bears its fruit, which is commonly called the sweet or navel orange.
The arrival of the Orange Blossom symbolizes a cause for Floridians to celebrate. In Davie, a small town north of Miami, flower lovers celebrate the arrival of the Florida state flower with the Orange Blossom Festival. The three-day rodeo and music event celebrates Florida’s agricultural history.
Orange Blossom season has long been associated with good times. From 1925 to 1953, a passenger train named the “Orange Blossom Special” brought well-to-do vacationers to sunny Florida from New York, winding its way from Jacksonville to Miami. In the wintertime only, a section of the train trekked to Tampa and St. Petersburg, dropping winter-weary passengers off at resorts for restorative vacations.
Beyond its attractiveness and romantic image, Florida’s state flower is also commercially valuable. Products made from the flowers include an essential oil that is sometimes used in natural skin care products and in aromatherapy. Honeybees make a favorite product from the flower: orange blossom honey. Its orange flavor and mild taste make it a popular treat.
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