Florida has a strong fruit-growing industry, and many homeowners grow their own fruit in their backyards or in pots alongside their swimming pools. Florida's subtropical climate allows fruit growing year 'round. Many citrus tree varieties can be grown in Florida, including exotic fruits that originate far from Florida.
You can identify fruit trees if you know something about how the trees grow, what kind of leaves they have, and how the fruit looks as it grows.
Things You'll Need
- measuring tape or ruler
Identifying Florida Fruit Trees
Florida is known for it's large orange groves and in backyards all across the state. Look for evergreen foliage with faintly-toothed, oval leaves 2 to 6 in. long and 1 to 4 in. wide. Orange trees produce beautiful, fragrant white blossoms in clusters. The flowers are saucer shaped with five petals. The fruit itself is a 2- to 4-in.-wide globe, with an outer rind that starts out green, then goes to yellow, then orange.
Grapefruit trees also grow everywhere in groves and back yards. Look for trees 15 to 20 ft. high with a rounded top and spreading branches. The trunk can be 6 in. or more around. The twigs have short, flexible thorns. The leaves are evergreen, 2 to 6 in. long and 2 to 3 in. wide, with very dark green above and lighter underneath, with rounded teeth on the bottom.
Lemon trees in many Florida backyards. They can reach 10 to 20 ft. high with sharp thorns on the twigs. The alternating oval leaves begin as reddish, then become dark-green above and lighter green below. The flowers emit a mild fragrance, and the blossoms can be single or in clusters with four or five petals. The fruit is a light yellow oval, with a small protuberance at one end. Some lemons have streaks of green, yellow and white. The peel is very aromatic.
Key lime trees are grown in pots around Florida homes. The trees can grow to 16 ft. high, and have many thorns. Leaves are oval and 1 to 4 in. long. The flowers are yellowish-white and may have a slight purple tinge. Fruit is small and round, and ripens from green to yellow. Flowers and fruit appear year 'round.
Avocado groves can be found in South Florida around Miami. These evergreen trees can grow up to 30 to 65 ft. tall. The oval leaves are 3 to 16 in. long. When young, their leaves become hairy before and during flowering. The canopy can be dense and symmetrical and reddish in color, turning smooth and leathery with a dark-green color. The trees produce yellow-green blooms. The fruits can be large, smooth and glossy or pear-shaped, and pebbly in a green color or black.
Tips & Warnings
- You can find citrus groves along roadsides along Florida highways. The central part of Florida is known for these large groves.
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