June 30, 2009
did you know the navel orange originated as a mutation of a sweet orange?
in 1820, in brazil, at a monastery, in an orange grove, on a sweet orange tree, an orange produced a tiny second orange inside itself. this “mutation” resulted in a seedless orange …
as history goes, we can assume the monks liked this seedless orange and grafted cuttings onto other citrus trees (the only way to reproduce the mutation as there are no seeds) as today there are navel oranges galore.
and…because cutting and grafting in the only method of reproduction, the navel orange of today carries the same genetic makeup as the original mutated orange. so, in a sense, the navel orange i peeled today is a clone of that one orange picked from that sweet orange tree at the monastary in brazil in 1820.