Orange varieties for Western Australia

Page last updated: Friday, 13 November 2020 - 8:12am


Early season navels

Navelina and Newhall are the current industry standard early varieties. Both tend to produce elongated fruit which is not considered an issue for the local market but is not desirable for fruit being exported. A newer variety called M7 has also been planted in recent years however inconsistent tree performance and sometimes smaller fruit size have impacted its uptake by industry. Early season varieties may compete with citrus from the USA and other overseas sources that could still be in the market place. Some new early season navels are under evaluation around Australia including FJ navel and Rayno navel, however little information is available yet on their performance in WA growing regions.

Fisher or Fischer

Available through Auscitrus and local nurseries.

Originally from California, this variety matures around three to four weeks before Washington. Rind colour is achieved at a similar time to Washington and therefore degreening is required if the fruit is to be harvested early. Fruit quality may be slightly inferior to Washington.


Available through Auscitrus and local nurseries.

This variety matures two to three weeks ahead of Washington, depending on location. In recent years it has been superseded by other varieties with improved fruit characteristics. The fruits have yellow/orange skin and are small to medium in size. They can be difficult to peel and may have high acidity early in the season. In some seasons, fruit splitting can be a significant problem.


Available through Chislett Nurseries in Kenley, Victoria and selected local nurseries.

M7 is an early colouring sport of Navelina found by Chislett Developments Pty Ltd in Victoria and is subject to PBR in Australia. It has the advantage of colouring earlier and holding its acid longer than standard Navelina which gives the variety a longer harvest window. It is rounder than Navelina making it more acceptable for export and has good sugar and acid levels. 

Trees have a tendency to overcrop in the early development years and careful crop management, including thinning, is required to prevent this. There has also been reported instances of inconsistent tree growth within plantings.

As M7 is a limb sport of Navelina there is the possibility of incompatibility with Swingle Citrumelo rootstocks although this is unclear at the present time. Plantings of this variety have been made in WA.


Industry standard, available through Auscitrus and local nurseries.

This originated in California and two strains are available in Australia.

Navelina 7.5 was introduced from Spain and released from quarantine in 1988. Navelina 315 was imported from Italy and released in 1996. Navelina 315 is a low acid selection with a tendency to produce small fruit and is of minor importance in Australia.

Trees of Navelina 7.5 are compact and suited to high density planting. The fruits mature three to four weeks before Washington, are medium size, have excellent colour and good eating qualities. They are inclined to be more oval-shaped than Washington and are known to be susceptible to albedo breakdown in some seasons.

Navelina should not be grown on Swingle Citrumelo rootstock as incompatibility results in tree decline and death between 10 and 15 years after planting. There is also some work suggesting that there may be an incompatibility with C35 rootstock.


Available through Auscitrus and local nurseries.

Also from California, this variety has a distinctive oval shape which can vary, especially if trees are growing vigorously. Fruits are large with good colour and eating qualities and mature about the same time as Navelina. The trees are medium in size and crop well. This variety is less susceptible to albedo breakdown than Navelina in eastern Australia.

Newhall Navel


Available through Auscitrus and local nurseries.

This small to medium-sized early variety matures around four weeks before Washington. The trees have a dwarfing growth habit and can be difficult to grow. This variety may suffer from early overcropping, resulting in large yields of small fruit. Pasin has not been grown extensively in WA.


Available through Auscitrus and local nurseries.

This variety is around 10 days earlier than Navelina at Dareton Research Station in NSW. It has low acid and is easier to peel than some. It is highly susceptible to albedo breakdown and gibberellic acid application is necessary if holding the fruit on the tree for an extended period. This variety has not been grown in great numbers in WA.


Available through Auscitrus and local nurseries.

Another Californian, this selection matures around two to three weeks before Washington. It is still widely grown in southern Australia, although being replaced with newer varieties. The fruit can be dry, with pale internal colour early in the season.

Contact information

Kevin Lacey
+61 (0)8 9368 3546