The sweet orange tree comes from southern Asia regions where their cultivation has been taking place for thousands of years. Later on, it was expanded to the East through the silk route. Sweet oranges were very popular due to their nice flavour and curative properties. During the 10th century the Arabians introduced the bitter orange tree to Europe through Andalucía and then Murcia, rapidly. Sweet orange tree cultivation started in the 15th & 16th centuries. The vast orchard of Murcia cultivates numerous varieties of oranges with particular flavours, juices, sizes through various cultivation conditions. This allows the use of each type for the most suitable consumption: i.e. juice, in the hand, for the manufacture of different derivatives (jams, marmalades, desserts, salad fruits …), etc.
There are discrepancies about the exact location, where the lemon tree started to be cultivated. The general idea is to attribute its origins to Southeast of Asia and Malaysia. The lemon can be found in mural paintings in Pompeii and in some roman tombs artifacts, confirming thus, this fruit was already known in the Roman Empire period. The lemon was appreciated for its powerful detoxifying properties. The plant came to Spain and North of Africa during the Middle Age. Lemon has been cultivated in Murcia since 15th century. The Mediterranean weather provides Murcia with excellent conditions, making this region suitable for lemon trees cultivations throughout Segura River valley. The region of Murcias native lemon varieties are: Primofiori and Verna, representing more than 95% of the total Spanish lemon cultivation.
Mythology says that mandarin trees covered the Atlas mountains. However its real origin was in Southeast of Asia, particularly in Indochina and south of China. It is believed that its name is due to its colour, which is similar to the government uniforms colour, called also “mandarines”. Through the centuries the fruit was adopted through Europe and historic campaigns: Alexander the Great, the crusades … Spain started to trade mandarins at the beginning of 18th century. In 2006 Spain produced over 2.5 million tons, making this country the second largest mandarins’ producer in the world. Murcia region employs 1,657 hectares to the mandarins’ cultivation. The weather in this region is highly suitable for this fruit cultivation.