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Tangelo, a citrus fruit, is a hybrid of tangerine and grapefruit. Its unique flavor and texture have made it a popular choice among citrus enthusiasts. This article delves into the world of tangelo, exploring its etymology, description, taxonomy, cultivars, distribution, cultivation, production, uses, phytochemistry, flavor, toxicity, nutrition, and culture.


The name “tangelo” is a portmanteau of tangerine and grapefruit, reflecting its parentage. The term was first used in the 1920s, when the fruit was initially cultivated in the United States.


Tangelo is a small to medium-sized fruit, typically round or slightly oval in shape. Its peel is loose, easy to peel, and ranges in color from orange to reddish-orange. The pulp is juicy, tender, and segmented, with a flavor that combines the sweetness of tangerine and the tartness of grapefruit.


Tangelo is a hybrid of Citrus paradisi (grapefruit) and Citrus reticulata (tangerine). It belongs to the Rutaceae family and is classified as Citrus paradisi × Citrus reticulata.


Several tangelo cultivars exist, including:

OrlandoMost widely grown, seedless, and sweet
MinneolaLarge, seedless, and tart
SunburstSeedless, sweet, and juicy
UgliRough, thick skin, and sweet

Distribution and Habitat

Tangelo is primarily grown in the United States (Florida and California), Brazil, and South Africa. It thrives in warm, subtropical climates with well-drained soil and full sun.


Tangelo trees are propagated through grafting or seedlings. They require regular watering, fertilization, and pruning to maintain shape and promote fruiting.


Tangelo production is significant in the United States and Brazil, with the majority being consumed fresh or used for juice production.


Tangelo is enjoyed fresh, juiced, or used in cooking and baking. Its peel is used to make marmalade and essential oils.


Tangelo contains flavonoids, carotenoids, and limonoids, which contribute to its flavor, aroma, and nutritional value.


Tangelo’s flavor profile is a balance of sweet and tart, with hints of orange and grapefruit.


Tangelo is generally safe to consume, but excessive consumption may cause gastrointestinal issues due to its high acidity.


Tangelo is an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber.


Tangelo has become a cultural symbol in some communities, representing warmth, hospitality, and sunshine. In Florida, the Minneola tangelo is celebrated annually at the Minneola Tangelo Festival.


“The tangelo is a fruit that’s full of sunshine and warmth, just like the people who grow it.” – Florida citrus farmer

In conclusion, tangelo is a unique and flavorful citrus fruit that has captured the hearts of many. Its rich history, cultural significance, and nutritional value make it a fruit worth exploring and enjoying.