Since the middle of the 19th century states such as Florida began to adopt their own official state symbols.
State symbols were adopted by states to best represent them and their historical roots, and past and present successes.
Like all other states, there are many Florida state symbols that have been adopted and recognized over the years.
What is the State Fruit of Florida?
The official Florida state fruit is the orange. Florida’s official state fruit is pretty young compared to most Florida state symbols, with it only being adopted in 2005.
The adoption took place thanks to the perseverance of a school teacher named Janet Shapiro and her students at Southside Elementary School, who looked at the current Florida state symbols and saw the orange blossom as the state flower, and orange juice as the state beverage, but no state fruit.
This was when they began taking action, directly contacting Florida’s legislature. The Sunshine State has an incredibly impressive economy, and this has been helped tremendously by the citrus production within Florida.
The state produces one of the largest amounts of citrus fruit sold in the United States, with almost half of all citrus coming from Florida in 2022, with the majority being oranges, producing an outstanding 41.2 million boxes!
Here are some additional statistics for orange production in Florida:
- In 2019 the production of oranges increased from 2,027,000 tons in 2018 to 3,233,000 tons – this is the only positive change in orange production in Florida over the past several years.
- In the 2020 and 2021 growing seasons, a total of 2,599,000 tons of oranges were produced in the Sunshine State.
- The most recent production of oranges in Florida was fewer than the previous year, at 2,025,000 tons!
The table below dives even deeper into orange production in Florida, detailing the number of oranges produced over the past 10+ years in tons:
|Year||Volume by Weight Produced||Growing Season|
|2022||2,025,000 tons||2021 to 2022|
|2021||2,599,000 tons||2020 to 2021|
|2020||3,029,000 tons||2019 to 2020|
|2019||3,233,000 tons||2018 to 2019|
|2018||2,027,000 tons||2017 to 2018|
|2017||3,098,000 tons||2016 to 2017|
|2016||3,677,000 tons||2015 to 2016|
|2015||4,363,000 tons||2014 to 2015|
|2014||4,712,000 tons||2013 to 2014|
|2013||6,012,000 tons||2012 to 2013|
|2012||6,602,000 tons||2011 to 2012|
|2011||6,322,000 tons||2010 to 2011|
|2010||6,017,000 tons||2009 to 2010|
We have created a graph below to display the Florida state fruit (orange) production over the past 10+ years, dating all the way back to 2010. As you can see, the annual production of oranges in Florida has been steadily declining since 2010, with the exception of 2019, when 3,233,000 tons were produced.
Out of all Florida’s oranges, the most commonly produced are Navel, Hamlin, Pineapple, Ambersweet, and Valencia. Typically, the season for fresh oranges runs from October to June.
Oranges in Florida are not just produced as the fruit itself, the state is actually the second biggest orange juice-producing place in the world, only being bested by Brazil.
In a typical orange season, over 90% of America’s orange juice is made from Florida oranges and almost 87% of Florida’s citrus is processed into canned, chilled, or frozen concentrates.
Oranges are a symbol of luxury, growth, and health, which is closely related to Florida as a state and the people of Florida both past and present.
Back in the early 20th century, promotors from Florida would sell 10-acre lots to farmers with the intention of producing oranges.
If you look further back, it was the early Spanish settlers that brought citrus fruits such as oranges to the United States, which has in return, made them a key part of Florida’s agriculture today.
Most states will have their symbols showcase a relevant story, that is indicative of the state and its history, and the Sunshine State puts its history and what it stands for across very well in the Florida state Fruit.
This interesting fact about Florida and a whole host of others are what makes the state so unique and fascinating to those that live there or are researching the historical events of the state.