is a small flowering tree that grows to about 10 m tall. It has evergreen leaves which are arranged alternately, of ovate shape with crenulate margins and 4-10 cm long. The orange fruit is a type of berry.
Oranges originated in Southeast Asia. The fruit of Citrus sinensis
is called sweet orange to distinguish it from Citrus aurantium
, the bitter orange. In a number of European languages, it is known as "Chinese apple". The name is thought to ultimately derive from the Dravidian and Telugu word for the orange tree, with its final form developing after passing through numerous intermediate languages.
All citrus trees come from the genus, Citrus, and remain largely interbreedable; that is, there is only one "superspecies" which includes grapefruits, lemons, limes, and oranges. Nevertheless, names have been given to the various members of the genus, oranges often being referred to as Citrus sinensis and Citrus aurantium. Fruits of all members of the genus Citrus are considered berries because they have many seeds, are fleshy and soft, and derive from a single ovary. An orange seed is called a pip. The white thread-like material attached to the inside of the peel is called pith.
The word orange is believed to have originaled from Sanskrit na-ran-gah which means "orange tree" and the Telugu "Naringa". In Tamil this tree is known as Nagarukam. The Sanskrit word was borrowed into European languages through Persian na-rang, Armenian na-rinj, Arabic na-ranj, (Spanish naranja and Portuguese laranja), Late Latin arangia, Italian arancia or arancio, and Old French orenge, in chronological order. The first appearance in English dates from the 14th century. The forms starting with n- are older; this initial n- may have been mistaken as part of the indefinite article, in languages with articles ending with an -n sound (e.g., in French une norenge may have been taken as une orenge). The name of the colour is derived from the fruit, first appearing in this sense in 1542.
Some languages have different words for the bitter and the sweet orange, such as Modern Greek nerantzi and portokali, respectively. Or in Persian, the words are narang and porteghal (Portugal), in the same order. The reason is that the sweet orange was brought from China or India to Europe during the 15th century by the Portuguese. For the same reason, some languages refer to it as Applesin (or variants), which means "Apple from China," while the bitter orange was introduced through Persia.