About Zhaoqing

Deqing tribute orange

( chinadaily.com.cn )

update: 2011-07-08

Deqing tribute orange

The Deqing tribute orange is a natural hybrid of an orange and tangerine. It integrates the advantages of sweet oranges, mandarins and honey pomelos.

China’s famed Deqing tribute orange originated in Deqing county in the Guangdong province city of Zhaoqing. Its color is golden yellow, its skin is thin and smooth, and its pulp is crispy, tender and refreshing. Its juice is plentiful and sweet. This fruit is full of nutrients and rich in vitamins, trace elements, minerals and organic acids.

The Deqing tribute orange was first planted during the Kaiyuan Period of the Tang Dynasty more than 1,300 years ago. According to historical records in the Shaoxing Era of the Song Dynasty, Emperor Gaozong visited Deqing prefecture. After he ate the local oranges, he spoke highly of them. Since then, the Deqing orange became known as the Deqing tribute orange.

The Deqing tribute orange is a natural hybrid of an orange and tangerine. It has the golden color and intense flavor of an orange, and the tender, smooth appearance, easily peeled skin and refreshing and moderately sweet taste of a tangerine. It integrates the advantages of sweet oranges, mandarins and honey pomelos.

The total soluble solid of Deqing tribute orange exceeds 11 percent in general. The total acid amount is less than 0.3 percent, and the solid/acid ratio is as high as 36.7: 1 – exceeding national standards by every measure. It is high in sugar and low in acid. Because it features a thin skin and few kernels, its edible rate is above 80 percent.

Growing the Deqing tribute orange

The quality of the Deqing tribute orange owes much to the unique geographic environment and climate conditions of Deqing county. Deqing county lies in the central-west part of Guangdong. This region is a low latitude area characterized by a moderate climate, abundant heat, profuse rainfall and a long frost-free season. The annual average air temperature is 22.2℃, the annual average precipitation is 1,434 millimeters, and the annual average sunshine duration is 1,662 hours. It is encircled by mountains to the east, west and north. The forest coverage is extensive.

The landscape is beautiful. To its south is Xijiang River, which has the second largest flow in China. This contributes to a micro-climate characterized by warm winters, cool summers and a large temperature difference between day and night. The soil in the mountainous areas and arable land of Deqing is dominated by sandy loam. After long-term human modification and utilization, a deep loose and air permeable soil stratum has formed. The stratum retains water and fertilizer and contains rich organics. Its PH value is 4.5-6.5. This extraordinary geographic environment and soil and climatic conditions have been proven suitable to the growth of China’s renowned Deqing tribute orange.

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