On My Bookshelf

More
oranges.jpg

"Just beneath the navel-like opening in the blossom end of each navel orange, there is a small and, more or less, fetal orange, usually having five or six pithy segments. The navel strain that we know now originated in Bahia, Brazil, probably as a bud sport, or mutation, of the Brazilian Selecta Orange. In 1870, an American Presbyterian missionary in Bahia was impressed b the seedlessness and rich flavor of this unusual orange with an umbilicus at its blossom end, and sent twelve nurser-size trees to the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington. The department propagated the trees and sent the progeny to anyone who cared to give them a try. In 1873, Mrs. Luther C. Tibbets of Riverside, California, wrote for a pair of trees, got them, and planted them in her yard. Mrs. Tibbets' trees caught the attention of her neighbors and, eventually, of the world. From them have descended virtually every naval orange grown anywhere on earth today." ~ from Oranges by John McPhee


Jump to comments
Presented by

Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

This Short Film Skewers Hollywood, Probably Predicts Disney's Next Hit

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

How Will Climate Change Affect Cities?

Urban planners and environmentalists predict the future of city life.

Video

The Inner Life of a Drag Queen

A short documentary about cross-dressing, masculinity, identity, and performance

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In