|Columbus introduced citrus to|
The New World in 1493.
At the time, citrus fruit was a symbol of luxury and health in Europe, having spread over hundreds of years from the Middle East, China, and India along centuries-old trade routes. Before that, there isn’t a lot of historical information. Until recently, most historians agreed that citrus probably originated in Southeast Asia.
This, along with still more research suggests that these ancestors to the oranges and the grapefruits of today actually came from Southeast Asia’s neighbor, Australasia. This is the group of land masses which include Australia, New Guinea, and New Caledonia. Nobody is certain how they made the jump to Asia, but one of the more interesting ideas is that they simply floated there once they fell off of the trees along prehistoric ocean currents.
It’s interesting to think that thousands of years before Columbus braved the oceans to bring citrus fruits to America, they could have already spent untold hundreds of years on their own sea voyages without ever needing a boat.
- Study on the genetic origin of citrus:
- Citrus may have originated from Australasia
- Columbus introduced Citrus to the Americas
- Citrus History (columbus facts, haiti)
- "Citrus medica" by H. Zell is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
- "Pomelo" by Biswarup Ganguly is licensed under CC BY 3.0. The original image was cropped for inclusion in the above graphic.
- "Citrus Medica" by Deborah Griscom Passmore provided by U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705
- "Citrus grandis: Chinese" by Amanda Aimara Newton provided by U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705
- "World Map Parchment wallpaper" by Guy Sie is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0