Dancy Tangerine

More Information:

Dancy Tangerines on the treeThe first American tangerine was introduced to the market by the legendary citrus grower Col. Adam Dancy in 1867-1868. This acidic, richly flavored fruit immediately established a new category of citrus product in the United States - less tart than an orange, more complex and bright than a Pomelo, and not oversweet like the Chinese Sweet Orange then in fashion. Its compact size, easily peeled skin (it was called the zipper tangerine), and tendency to become ripe in mid-December made it a favorite holiday season treat. It became known in the twentieth century as the Christmas tangerine.

While most frequently shipped as fresh fruit for direct consumption, the Dancy Tangerine was the first mandarin category citrus fruit to be processed commercially into tangerine juice. Home growers of the Dancy Tangerine developed methods for canning and preserving the fruit. The most subtle and beautiful variety of preserve employed thin slices of the fruit suspended in syrup.

Grown from the seed of a Mandarin Orange planted on the property of N. H. Moragne at Palatka, Florida, Col. Dancy's fruit (like many citrus trees grown from seed) produced fruit different in quality, configuration, and taste than that of its parent. Since the parent was thought to have been from Morocco, it bore the name the Morangne "tangierine" alluding to Tangiers. Dancy recognized the superlative quality, distributed cuttings to his circle of fellow growers in 1872. It became the first Florida citrus variety around which a breeding discipline was imposed. Orchards were grafted or budded, and the old seedling groves that had characterized Florida citrus plantations were abandoned because of Dancy's innovations. In the 1870's the Dancy Tangerine spread throughout Florida and Cumberland Island, Georgia. The twentieth century saw its expansion to Southern California and Arizona. For the first seven decades of the twentieth century, most of the tangerines grown and consumed in the United States were Dancy Tangerines. Its historical importance as a product was matched by its crucial role as breeding stock. It was crossed with either the Pomelo or Grapefruit to create most of the significant Tangelo varieties?Minneola, Orlando, Sampson, and Seminole. It was the parent of the Frua and Fortune Mandarin Oranges, the Dweet and Mency tangors, and the Ark of Taste Pixie Tangerine of the Ojai Valley.

Several factors began to mark the eclipse of the Dancy in the 1970s. Its thin delicate peel required careful handling. Mechanical harvesting was proscribed in a citrus world increasingly looking to industrial methods. Its penchant for alternate year bearing resulted in inconsistent yearly production. Although pruning could compensate for this to a certain extent, the natural cycle of bearing could not be entirely overcome. Fruit breeders during the twentieth century began developing varieties with greater resistance to pests, greater yield, and fruit uniformity than the Dancy. Large-scale growers abandoned Dancy groves for these newer varieties. They also chose sweeter tasting tangerines?The Honey particularly--banking on the public's increasing addiction to sugars.

The Dancy Tangerine is vulnerable to Alternaria brown spot and a disease called greening, that severely threaten its survival. In 2012, no Dancy fruit was available on the market for the first time since 1874. While nurseries still sell young trees as a "door-yard" cultivar, the most historically significant and culturally resonant tangerine has vanished from the produce market.

It is through the efforts of a handful of dedicated professional and home orchardists that the Dancy tangerine, and its unique flavor, can be rescued from extinction.

Showing page 1 of 2 for 10 listings


  Walla Walla, WA    LocalHarvest Sponsor!

https://www.bonanza.com/booths/MillCreekHoney https://www.millcreekhoney.store https://www.etsy.com/shop/MillCreekHoney https://www.ebay.com/str/Mill-Creek-Honey-com https://www.millcreekhoney.store (more...)

Wild n Woolly Acres

  Salado , TX

Small agricultural and horticultural farm growing a wide cross section of seasonal fruits and produce, eggs, honey and select speciality items in an organic environment. (more...)

Sunshine Chicken Farm

  Garwood, TX

Sunshine Chicken Farm is a non-GMO producer of heritage and rare breed chickens. We also sell fresh eggs that are collected daily and stored ready for you to take home. We are P/T tested and free and will provide certificates of such when requested. We welcome all of our clients to come and see our hens in action and appreciate your patronage.(more...)

Murray Family Farms

  Bakersfield, CA

We're a family owned and operated farm located in Central California. We are absolutely open to the public where you are welcome to come and pick your own fruit grown ripe! While we have a big selection of games and activities available on our farm, most people know us for our Cherries! (more...)

Love Family Farms

  Captain Cook, HI

Our farm produces Kona coffee as well as over 100 types of exotic tropical fruit. Http://www.hawaiifruit.net shows some of the fruit and research we do for the Univ. of Hawaii. We also offer farm tours by appointment and have a wide variety of farm products forsale. (more...)