2000- California Historical Landmark No. 20 located in Riverside (RXSQ)

Riverside’s navel orange

From a recent edition of the Los Angeles Times:

The bronze plaque tells the tale: “The most valuable fruit introduction yet made by the United States Department of Agriculture.”

And there, at Magnolia and Arlington avenues in Riverside, stands the last of California’s original Washington navel orange trees, enclosed by an iron fence, looming over the plaque in the summer sun.

It is the tree that launched the storied citrus industry in the Riverside area, an industry that helped shape the world’s view of Southern California as a tropical paradise in the early 20th century.

Los Angeles Times – August 5, 2004

For those who don’t know, from this very navel orange tree (and a second sibling tree that died long ago) descended every Washington Navel orange tree in California, spawning California’s highly-successful — and very lucrative — navel orange industry. Some historians have referred to it as the second “gold rush” for California.


Photo Gallery – Riverside – Land of Oranges

Sources: Los Angeles Times (LAT-20040805), California Citrus State Historic Park

2024 PAGE UPDATE: Added additional info/context; added link to June 2019 news article; removed outdated link to photo gallery.

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