Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Citrus sinensis ‘Malta Blood Orange’

This is a cultivar of Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck. For details of the Sweet Orange see Citrus sinensis  ‘Chinese Oval’. The following description is of a blood orange still grown in Western Australia in the early 20th century. ‘Maltese Blood. The pulp is streaked and mottled with red. It has few seeds. Tree thornless and of dwarf habit, and may be planted closer than freer growing kinds; hardier than the Washington Navel, and the tree a more generous bearer. The foliage is dark and glossy. Fruit small to medium, oval, of high flavour; a good keeper and carrier.’ [Despeissis p.237/1903].

Horticultural & Botanical History

The Blood Orange is a variety of some antiquity, probably originating in the Mediterranean region some centuries ago. I have no specific information on its origin.

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1845, 1850 and 1857 catalogues as ‘Malta or True Blood Orange’ [Orange Tribe no.12/1845].


Published May 04, 2010 - 03:09 PM | Last updated Jul 22, 2011 - 05:28 PM

The figure shows fruiting branch, flower details and 3 varieties of orange, blood, navel and tangerine. Source unknown.

Citrus sinensis ‘Blood Orange’ | source unknown. The blood Orange is the small red orange in the centre.


Family Rutaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, originally South East Asia and China but this variety probably from Malta

  • Citrus aurantium L. var. melitensis


Common Name

Sweet Orange, Blood Orange

Name in the Camden Park Record

Malta or True Blood Orange

Confidence level high