New Citrus Hybrid
The University of Florida this winter released a mandarin orange hybrid, Sugar Belle, as its first commercial citrus variety. The Clementine-Minneola mix, in the works since 1985, has a rich taste and a strong aroma. UF licensed the fruit to the New Varieties Development and Management Corp., a non-profit organization funded by the Florida Citrus Commission to help juice up citrus research in the state. Royalties will come back to UF’s Florida Foundation Seed Producers and the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station. Despite strong ties to the citrus industry, UF has never before released a citrus cultivar developed solely by its scientists.