Manjul Dutt recently discussed his research on the Parson Brown sweet orange, a fruit that shows some characteristics that could make it more attractive than the Hamlin. The latter is Florida’s leading early-season orange. Dutt is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences horticultural sciences researcher at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred.
Dutt’s research, funded by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), is aimed at explaining whether Parson Brown’s HLB tolerance is rootstock independent. The research also aims to identify select PB clones with improved horticultural qualities.
The Parson Brown was identified in 1875. By the mid-1920s, it had become a popular early-season orange in Florida. It eventually fell out of favor due to its seediness, peel oil content, poor fruit quality and because it had lower yield than Hamlin.