Aranis - Orange Tree Joan Simon

Aranis (Orange Tree)

  • Aranis is a very good source of Vitamin C.
  • Sweet orange trees that are produced from seeds will have fewer thorns as they mature.

Citrus sinensis

Aranis trees grow in the tropics and subtropics. It is a recent introduction to many of the Pacific Islands and has become naturalised in Vanuatu. There are four varieties of Aranis in Vanuatu. The tree grows to 12 m and often has spiny stems. It can have multiple flowering periods in the tropics, including year-round. It is a very good source of Vitamin C.


Leaves are 10 cm in length and dark green. The shape is elliptic (a flattened oval) to ovate (egg-shaped), with the margins irregularly crenate (scalloped margin) or crenulate (serrated margin).


Flowers are fragrant, white and 2 to 3 cm in diameter.


Fruits are generally 8 to 10 cm in diameter but can be smaller or larger. The fruit is mildly sweet to sweet. The peel is greenish yellow to bright orange. A thick skin adheres to the flesh of the fruit.

  • First fully open flower
  • Less than half the tree is in full flower
  • More than half the tree is in full flower
  • All of the tree is in full flower
  • No flowering
  • Less than half the tree has fruit
  • More than half the tree has fruit
  • All of the tree has fruit
  • No fruit
  • Green fruit present
  • Ripened fruit present

When to Look

  • Year round
  • Flowering can occur nearly year-round but mainly occurs in spring. Multiple flowering periods can occur in the tropics.
  • Fruiting follows flowering.


Where to Look

  • Found in most villages. 
  • In the tropics it grows best in medium to heavy textured soil and below 1600 m.
  • Areas that receive more than 900 mm per year are required for significant fruit production, unless irrigated. 

Similar Species

All citrus have dark green and waxy leaves and sweet-smelling flowers. They can be differentiated by their fruit. 

Similar orange species are the Wild Orange (C. macroptera) and the Sour Orange (C. aurantium). The Wild Orange grows to 5 m and is spiny, while the Sour Orange grows to 10 m and has short spines. The fruit of the Wild Orange is 6 to 7 cm in diameter and tastes acidic and bitter. The fruit of the Sour Orange is 5 cm in diameter and is very sour.