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The Vaniglia Sanguigno Blood Orange Tree

What happens when you combine the luscious aroma of vanilla with blood orange? The answer is an amazing aroma, and that’s exactly what you get from the Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange tree. Grown for centuries in Italy, this interesting orange has made its way to the rest of the world. This tree is a citrus tree that can be grown in containers, making it a popular tree with home growers.

Blood Oranges fresh from the tree
Blood Oranges fresh from the tree.

Because of its low acidity, the Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange is surprisingly sweet and the hint of vanilla is a delightful surprise. An early bloomer, you can enjoy this fruit earlier than most citrus varieties. Let’s dive in and learn everything about this fascinating blood-orange tree.

History of the Vaniglia Sanguigno Blood Orange Tree

Citrus experts believe that the Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange tree is native to Italy. In fact, Italians have been growing this tree since ancient times. Because of this, the precise origins of this tree are unknown.

Fruit Tree / Fruit Characteristics

The Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange tree is an evergreen tree with dark green medium-sized foliage and white flowers. This tree is also known by the following names.

  • Vanilla blood orange
  • Strawberry orange
  • Mango orange

Vaniglia Sanguigno blood oranges are between 1.9 to 3 inches in diameter (5-8 centimeters). In shape, these oranges are round or spherical. The rind is medium-thick and smooth, and the ease of peeling is average. Prominent oil glands create a pebbled appearance that has a unique huge of pink-orange.

The pith of the Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange is off-white to pale pink, and it has a cotton-like texture that’s spongy. This orange has large seeds that are cream-colored.

You can expect fruit from this tree between three to four years after planting. The Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange tree blooms in late winter and spring, and the fruit ripens early in fall and winter. 

The Fruit of the Vaniglia Sanguigno Blood Orange Tree

The delicious Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange is sweet with no acidity. It has a one-dimensional flavor that may remind you of a creamsicle because of the vanilla undertones.

The flesh of the fruit is juicy, soft, and orange at the center. The outer edges are lined with dark pin tones, which are also prominent along the orange’s thin dividing membranes. The Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange divides into seven to 10 segments.

The Vaniglia Sanguigno Blood Orange Tree is Not a True Blood Orange

The Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange tree is not a true blood orange because it gets its color from lycopene, a natural pigment, instead of anthocyanin. Because of this, it lacks the vibrant red-purple flesh that is commonly associated with other varieties of blood oranges.

Planting Zones

If you want to grow a Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange tree, you will have the best results if you are growing in USDA Hardiness Zones 9-10 (some experts say it will grow in Zone 11 as well). The tree is hardy to 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Learn more about another Orange tree, like the Washington Navel Orange Tree.

Size and Spacing

When planted in the ground, the Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange tree will grow to heights between eight to 15 feet. This tree has a diameter of about eight feet and a mature spread between 12 and 15 feet. 

The Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange tree can be grown in containers and will be smaller trees.

Pollination

The Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange tree is self-fertile.

Vaniglia Sanguigno Blood Orange Tree
Oranges ripening on a tree in a home garden.

Tree Care

The area where you plant your Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange tree needs to have rich soil that drains well. 

If you want to plant the Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange tree in a container, mix with one part each of the following. 

  • Potting soil
  • Organic compost
  • Vermiculite or per-lite

Be sure to give your tree plenty of spreading room so that it can establish a healthy root system.

Sunlight

The Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange tree needs full sunlight. However, this tree will also grow in partial shade as long as it gets some sunlight every day. Fruit production will be better if the Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange tree gets full sunlight. 

Watering

In the spring and summer, water your Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange tree every one to two weeks, or more often when the weather is hotter.

For the winter months, you only need to water your tree every three weeks. If you allow the soil to dry between waterings, your tree’s root system will be more vigorous. 

Pruning

Doing some light pruning on your Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange tree will help with fruit production and outward growth. To prune your tree, cut off any broken, dead, or diseased branches when they develop. Also, eliminate branches that cross or rub against each other. This will help ensure that sunlight can reach every part of your tree. 

Common Uses for the Vaniglia Sanguigno Blood Orange Tree

The Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange tree makes a beautiful landscape tree and shade tree, but most growers enjoy growing this tree for its delicious non-acidic fruit. These oranges are best-eaten out-of-hand and they also make delicious juice. 

Yogurt with oranges
Yogurt with colorful oranges, blood oranges, beets and walnuts.

What Do Vaniglia Sanguigno Blood Oranges Taste Like?

Vaniglia Sanguigno blood oranges are sweet oranges with just a touch of bitterness. Since they are non-acidic, these oranges lack the tang that is commonly associated with oranges. 

Cooking

Vaniglia Sanguigno blood oranges are perfect for recipes and can be added to baked goods like tarts, cakes, muffins, and bars. 

Vaniglia Sanguigno blood oranges pair well with any of the following foods.

  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Coffee
  • Cardamom
  • Nutmeg
  • Goat cheese
  • Poultry
  • Pork
  • Fish
  • Duck

Vaniglia Sanguigno blood oranges are prized in some Middle Eastern recipes. 

Eating Raw

Besides eating Vaniglia Sanguigno blood oranges raw right off of the tree, you can also use the juice for orange juice as well as in juices, candies, or syrups. The juice from this orange is also excellent in cocktails. 

Craving chocolate? Dip these delicious orange slices in some high-quality dark chocolate for a delicious snack that’s high in antioxidants. 

Canning / Freezing / Drying

When canning citrus fruits, it’s helpful to know the acid pH of the fruit. The Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange has a neutral acidity between 5.0 and 7.0. Because of this, be sure to follow directions for non-acidic oranges, especially if you’re canning your oranges. 

Canning

Oranges of all types look beautiful when canned in large glass Mason jars. Whether whole or in slices, canned oranges are great to have around for recipes, including fruit salad. These jars of sunshiney goodness are wonderful holiday gifts as well. 

This recipe for Sunny Southern Preserved Oranges looks amazing, for example. You can make Orange Marmalade for a wonderful breakfast treat. 

Freezing

Did you know that you can freeze whole oranges? Simply put your oranges whole into large freezer bags and then pull them out when you are craving some fresh juice. 

Another way to freeze oranges is to freeze the juice in ice cube trays. When the juice cubes are frozen, pop them into a freezer bag. Then you’ve got freshly squeezed juice for cocktails, recipes, and more. 

Drying

Few things look more beautiful in homemade potpourri than dried orange slices. Besides being lovely, dried orange slices add a wonderful aroma to your potpourri. You can also use dried orange slices to make holiday decorations

Oranges in the sun.
Orange tree soaking up the sunshine.

Homemade Orange Zest

Another way to dry your oranges is to make orange zest out of the peel. When zesting, be sure to avoid getting the white pith into your zest because it will give it a bitter taste. Follow these instructions to make your own orange zest. 

  1. Zest your Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange and place the zest in a thin layer on a baking tray. If desired, line the pan with parchment paper before adding the zest. 
  2. Set your oven to 170° F or lower.
  3. Bake the finely-grated zest for 30 minutes to one hour. 
  4. Store your zest in a cool, dark place in an airtight container.

You can also skip the oven and allow your zest to dry in the air naturally. Your zest should be dry in a couple of days if you don’t use the oven.

Orange zest will stay flavorful for up to a year.

Recipes for Vaniglia Sanguigno Blood Oranges

One of the most promising recipes we found for blood oranges is this spectacular Blood Orange Cheesecake. But what about a Blood Orange and Vanilla Marmalade? Here are some more of the recipes we found online. 

We also found a wonderful recipe online for Vaniglia Sanguigno orange juice made with limequat juice. That would make a great cocktail. 

Health Benefits of the Vaniglia Sanguigno Blood Orange

Like all oranges, the Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange is an excellent source of vitamin C. However, there is much more to the humble orange than just vitamin C.

Specifically, the Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange is rich in lycopene. That’s what gives this orange the beautiful pink hue. Lycopene has antioxidant properties. Here are some other health benefits of oranges. 

Additionally, oranges are rich in folate, potassium, thiamine, fiber, and rich antioxidants. Besides all of the great benefits of this fruit, half an orange only has about 47 calories. 

For more information on the many benefits of this fruit, read “Health Benefits of the Vaniglia Sanguigno Blood Orange.”

Where To Buy the Vaniglia Sanguigno Blood Orange Tree

You can buy the Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange tree at Nature Hills Nursery online. Note that as with most of the orange trees offered at Nature Hills, this orange tree sells out quickly, so be sure to order early.

Agricultural laws prevent online nurseries from shipping to some states in the U.S., and this applies to the Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange trees. If you reside in Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, or Texas, you may have to find your Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange tree at a local nursery. 

Where To Buy Vaniglia Sanguigno Blood Oranges

Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange trees are not grown commercially, so you can’t find the fruit at the grocery store, unfortunately. However, the trees are found across Europe and in some regions of California, so if you’re lucky, you may come across Vaniglia Sanguigno blood oranges at private orchards or farmer’s markets.

Needless to say, if you stumble across someone selling Vaniglia Sanguigno blood oranges, buy them up because it may be a while before you see them again.

Wrapping up the Vaniglia Sanguigno Blood Orange Tree

If you’re looking for a sweet orange that is unique, consider giving the Vaniglia Sanguigno blood orange tree a try. This tree is an easy one to grow inside, and you can have those yummy cocktails and juices whenever you want. Give the Vaniglia orange tree a place in your yard or on your patio. 

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