This post was a hit in Spanish. It was uploaded one year ago and today I want to write about it in English. It was very polemic in its moment because I wrote about a funny dialogue involving a girl from my class. Let me explain to you before, that here in Spain, for example in Valencia, streets are decorated with orange trees. This was the dialogue:

A boy was eating an orange (well, a tangerine) and the girl asked:

“Is that orange from the tree?”

“No”, the boy replied.

“Huh, why don’t people eat them?”, she insisted.

So another girl intervened:

“Cause you can’t, they are for decoration”.

“So poor people who have no money can eat ‘em, they are free”, the girl answered.

Some people replied at the same time the title of this post:


Now it’s time to catch the joke. Welcome to the Botanics’ world.

If Soler (the name under which I wrote) heeded her classmates, she would be grossed out after pulling up any orange of a tree of those. They aren’t for eating because of a simple reason: they are bitter. Or, as the farmers say, “churl trees” (árboles bordes, in Spanish).

Oranges are descendants of tangerines (and not the contrary to the thought). But the first variety brought to Europe was the bitter ones (Citrus aurantium), coming from Asia. The ones that we eat are sweet (Citrus sinensis), coming from Brazil. These oranges in Europe, overall in Valencia, where it is chock-full of orange trees, they grow from grafts in bitter orange trees. Grafting is an artificial technique in which two stems are joined from two different plants so that they develop as one. This has been a custom since time immemorial. Furthermore, this is awesome because it permits spread a variety that can’t grow in a habitat. The good thing about grafting is that it always leads: they all will be sweet.


Non-text tutorial on how to do grafting in fruit trees. Source: “”.

They must accomplish some rules for the grafting be satisfactory:

  • Rootstock and cion must be compatibles and have to be healthy and virus-free.
  • Generatrix zones (under the crust of a plant) must be 100% in contact.

But street trees are NOT modified. They are beautiful and they spread citric smell, but their taste is disgusting and it’s neohesperidin’s fault. That chemical compound is a flavanone (a type of flavonoid. And this is a secondary metabolite) glycoside (a molecule composed of a sugar and another compound).


The half-developed formula of neohesperidin, yum yum. Source: “”.

So that’s all. I hope you cracked up as much as me when I was told this anecdote and then I wrote about it. Unfortunately, there aren’t more posts involving this girl, but there are some with which you can laugh too (in Spanish, unfortunately). But I promise I will make the English version. Give a like to this post and follow my blog if you want more English posts.

Read now the Spanish version.