Mandarin is another variation of the orange that has its origins in China and South East Asia. Here at Indigo Herbs we have a pure Mandarin Essential Oil made from this relation to the wild orange. Thought of as being a completely different species the mandarin tree is usually a little smaller than the common orange depending on species. Mandarin essential oil is a refreshing, light and zestful botanical that has many uses. It is traditionally known for its skin healing properties. It is an anti-spasmodic and has a light fruity top note that relaxes body, mind and spirit.
Thought to have descended from Northern India more than 3,000 years ago the Mandarin travelled throughout India and China before they were imported to England from Canton in 1805. The name of this easy peel orange came from the colour of the robes that Chinese officials wore during this period. Being a deep orange colour and speaking Mandarin these officials were likened to the new fruit from China. The mandarin then spread from England to Australia in the 1820’s and then on to America in the 1840’s from Italy. The ‘Willow Leaf’ variety then moved from New Orleans to Florida and California. Later mandarins with red skin were shipped from Tangier in Morocco and became known as Tangerines.
With age and depending on variety mandarin trees can reach heights of 7 meters. The tree is quite drought resistant although does not bare up well to cold. Branches are usually thin and quite tender producing thorns and single broad ovate leaves. The flowers are usually single or appear in pairs with fruit appearing later.