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Why is Orange a Color and a Fruit?

Updated on September 5, 2014

Ever Wonder Why an Orange is Orange?

I didn't until today. You see, while feeding my son an awesome healthy snack of oranges today, he looked at me and asked "Mom, why is orange a color and a fruit?" I paused for a second to think about this and couldn't think of anything quick witted, so as I often do, I said, "I don't know, why don't you Google it?" Considering my son is only eight, we both came over to find the answer from the seemingly all knowing Google Search Engines. Number one on the search is the Wikipedia Listing for Orange Helpful, full of tons of information, but ultimately, did not know why orange is a color and a fruit.

After about 30 or so minutes of searching, and learning tons of new things about Orange, I decided, that with my sons help, I would build a lens about Orange and my search to learn why orange is a color and a fruit. Hope you find this amusing, as well as informational. Thanks for reading and leave an orange comment for me!

Which came first? The color or the fruit?

Etymology of Orange

According to the Wikipedia Listing for Orange The color is named after the orange fruit, came from the Spanish word naranja, which came from a Sanskrit word. Before being introduced into the english langue the color was referred to in Old English as geoluhread, which means yellow-red. The first recorded use of orange as a color name in English was in 1512, in the court of King Henry VIII.

It can be argued that actually the color of orange came with the first light so it came long before the fruit. The wave lengths of light that form the color we now know as orange came first. Basically the color existed in light before it was ever named. Once the the tree had grown and the fruit had ripened, the color name was formed as a description of the fruit.

rugbymadgirl-Exploring Orange
rugbymadgirl-Exploring Orange

Exploring Orange

Orange: defined

In order to know why orange is a color and fruit we need to explore exactly what is Orange? Well first stop is

According to Orange has nine results as follows:


1. A globose, reddish-yellow, bitter or sweet, edible citrus fruit.

2. Any white-flowered, evergreen citrus trees of the genus Citrus, bearing this fruit, as C. aurantium (bitter orange, Seville orange, or sour orange) and C. sinensis (sweet orange), cultivated in warm countries.

3. Any of several other citrus trees, as the trifoliate orange,.

4. Any of several trees or fruits resembling an orange.

5. A color between yellow and red in the spectrum, an effect of light with a wavelength between 590 and 610 nm; reddish yellow.

6. Art. a secondary color that has been formed by the mixture of red and yellow pigments.


7. Of or pertaining to the orange.

8. Made or prepared with oranges or orange-like flavoring: orange sherbet.

9. Of the color orange; reddish-yellow.

photo credits to Rugby Mad Girl


Orange as a Color

Orange is said to combine the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It can be associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.

To the average person, orange is a very hot color, so it gives the sensation of heat. Nevertheless, orange is not as aggressive as red. Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity. It is highly accepted among young people. As a citrus color, orange is associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite. Orange is the color of fall and harvest. In heraldry, orange is symbolic of strength and endurance.

Orange has very high visibility, so you can use it to catch attention and highlight the most important elements of your design. Orange is very effective for promoting food products and toys.

What is your Favorite Color?

See results
Orange Peel
Orange Peel

Orange as a Fruit

Sweet Orange

Citrus sinenis

Family: Rutaceae

Oranges are oval to sphere-shaped fruits with leathery, porous skin. Their color ranges from orange to red-orange. Oranges may be confused with other citrus fruits, such as grapefruits and tangerines. However, grapefruits are usually much larger and more yellow than oranges, and tangerines have a more flattened sphere shape than oranges.

Oranges are an essential ingredient in a lot of diets across the world, especially the American breakfast. However, its consumption directly as a fruit as well as in the juice form is not restricted to one country or one culture alone. The ease with which oranges grow in a variety of climatic conditions is one reason for the abundant usage of the fruit.

Oranges can be stored at room temperature, in the refrigerator without plastic bags or in the crisper drawer for up to 2 weeks. They do not ripen further after harvest. Fresh-squeezed juice and grated peel or zest may be refrigerated or frozen, but whole citrus fruit should not be frozen.

Oranges may exhibit some re-greening of the skin; this does not adversely affect internal fruit quality. Neither does surface scarring, which occurs when wind brushed young fruit against the tree.

Photograph: Spencer Jones/Getty

Orange Flowers
Orange Flowers

Interesting Facts About Orange

Orange Doesn't Rhyme with Anything.

The fruit is technically a hesperidia, a kind of berry.

Dark orange can mean deceit and distrust.

Red-orange corresponds to desire, sexual passion, pleasure, domination, aggression, and thirst for action.

Drink a cool glass of orange juice for breakfast or serve orange halves instead of grapefruit for a change.

Combine the juice with other fruits and yogurt in the blender for a smoothie any time of day.

A couple of tablespoons of orange juice concentrate can be added to a fruit cup for a great flavorful sauce.

Buy a zesting tool or grate orange rind to use in recipes, rice, or stir fry for added flavor.

Carry an orange with you wherever you go, they come in their own covered container so you can just peel and eat orange segments whenever

the snack craze occurs.

Orange juice can be used over fresh fruits to prevent browning.

*photo credit Glenn Gibbs


Cooking with Oranges

Sunkist Orange Caterpillar- For the Kids!

Cooking with kids can be fun but messy, so make sure they are prepared with the cute little apron set!

1 ripe banana, peeled

2 tsp. low fat peanut butter

Optional addition: pretzel sticks and grapes for antennas

1 as needed Sunkist® orange, washed, peeled, chopped and seeded

To make one portion:

Spread peanut butter on banana.

Line up orange segments along top of banana to make the body of the caterpillar. Add antennas if desired.

Slice segments to serve.

Makes 2 servings

Orange Chicken

What you will need:

4 units skinless boneless chicken breasts

4 Sunkist® oranges

1 unit jar orange marmalade

1 pinch of salt & pepper to taste

To make one portion:

Place chicken breasts on a cutting board, and cut a pocket in each breast.

Place 3 orange slices and a tablespoon of marmalade in the pocket of each breast.

Place the 4 chicken breasts in a 9" X 12" baking dish.

Place remaining orange slices and marmalade over the chicken breasts.

Sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until breasts are baked through.

Recipe developed by Edgar Mitch

Makes 4 servings

cranberry orange muffins
cranberry orange muffins

Cranberry Orange Muffins

You will need:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1 Tbsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

½ cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

½ Sunkist® orange -grated peel

1 cup freshly squeezed Sunkist® orange cup of the sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Stir in the cranberries to lightly coat with the flour. Combine the orange peel, orange juice, oil, and egg; add to flour mixture all at once.

Stir quickly until flour mixture is just moistened but has a lumpy appearance. Spoon batter into 12 paper-lined 2-1/2 X 1-1/4-inch muffin cups, filling about three-quarters full.

Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar. Bake at 400o F for 25 to 30 minutes.

Makes 12 servings

Whats your Favorite Orange Anything?

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    • kwj profile image

      kwj 4 years ago

      Its a jam too we call it marmalade!

    • profile image

      jseven lm 5 years ago

      Very informative lens on orange. I like orange purses and flip flops that match!

    • DLeighAlexander profile image

      DLeighAlexander 5 years ago

      Enjoyed reading your lens. Orange equals sunshine, warmth and happiness. Love the color and the fruit. Blessed :)

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 5 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      My living room walls are painted "burnt russet", a brownish, warm shade of orange, because I moved to Florida a few years ago and was missing the Autumn colors I'm used to up north. That color makes my living room so cozy!

    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 5 years ago

      My favorite color and I love the taste of the fruit, either fresh or cooked.

      But, what about William of Orange? Wasn't he Orange enough to be included here? :D

    • LouiseKirkpatrick profile image

      LouiseKirkpatrick 6 years ago from Berkshire, United Kingdom

      Orange is such a lovely warm, happy and comforting favourite orange thing is a lovely open fire to snuggle in front of with a book! Blessed by a passing SquidAngel :)

    • LouiseKirkpatrick profile image

      LouiseKirkpatrick 6 years ago from Berkshire, United Kingdom

      Orange is such a lovely warm, happy and comforting favourite orange thing is a lovely open fire to snuggle in front of with a book! Blessed by a passing SquidAngel :)

    • anaamhussain profile image

      anaamhussain 6 years ago

      Love it absolutely totally!! It's amazing what a kid can find interesting and what we are totally unaware of !

    • Psycho-Gamer profile image

      MasterPsycho 6 years ago from Earth

      at first i answered that the fruit came first and then the people thought of it as a color...but then...u said that thing about the light....which i didn't think of that....a very nice lens...informative...well done

    • profile image

      TravelingRae 6 years ago

      Great lens about my favourite colour and one of my favourite fruits!

    • smithlights profile image

      smithlights 6 years ago

      Stinkin' great idea for a lens! I love it!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      So it's the fruit before the color. Now, that should my confusion. This lens just made my day.

      ficus ginseng bonsai

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love the Sunkist orange caterpiller! My favorite orange thing of late is an orange tea that my sister sent me...wish I had some now, I'm in the mood for orange! I remember wondering about the "orange" fruit and color issue and finally just came to peace that it just is.

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      Orange sherbet is pretty good. Nice lens... what a great idea you had!

    • Wendy Leanne profile image

      Wendy Leanne 6 years ago from Texas

      Blessed by a squid angel. I really enjoyed reading this lens.

    • missbat profile image

      missbat 7 years ago

      Orange is one of my favorites, in both color and flavor. I never knew about its history though. What a great lens!

    • profile image

      seegreen 7 years ago

      I really love this lens. I may even change to having orange as my favourite colour. Blessed by an Angel

    • myneverboredhands profile image

      myneverboredhands 7 years ago

      Great lens! I like it. Somehow this lens remind me about the famous phrase about the chicken and egg, "which came first?"... Also, I think that 'orange' is the name of the color AND the fruit, in English only, as far as I'm aware of...

    • FreshSquids profile image

      FreshSquids 7 years ago

      You are one of Fresh Squid May 2010 graduates! Come by and answer few questions to show the way to those who will follow! Wish you many, many more great lenses!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      world best fruitjuice monavie

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I love this Orange Lens and am lensrolling to my Who Is Roy G Biv lens.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain? Is that the colour or the fruit? I eat enough of them (and mandarins) every day to feed an army, but maybe I should try wearing something orange in hue. I definitely need more stimulation in the mental department. Super lens - blessed y an angel today

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Well done. I know some kids who would love the orange caterpillar! :) I am one of them.... LOL :)

    • profile image

      aishu19 7 years ago

      Congrats Mandy!

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 7 years ago

      Wow, you did great in both contests this month! You must be doing something right. Congratulations.

    • FreshSquids profile image

      FreshSquids 7 years ago

      This lens won the 1st place on Fresh Squid Contest for May 2010! Congratulations!

      PS: You'll get a badge through a mail! ;)

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 7 years ago

      Great fun lens! Blessed!

    • profile image

      Joan4 7 years ago

      Definitely agree with Heather - those mandarin oranges are my very favorite. This lens is a delight!

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 7 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Mandarin Oranges in a salad....yum. love this orange lens!

    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 7 years ago

      My favorite orange thing would be the fruit, cut into wedges or squeezed as juice.

    • profile image

      GrowWear 7 years ago

      I guess my favorite orange would have to be an orange. :) Love orange juice! The color of it, the taste, and the way it looks in the glass. So refreshing. :)

    • almawad profile image

      almawad 7 years ago

      I had some wonderful chocolate crescent the other day filled with the zest of orange . It was a real gourmet treat . I love dark chocolate with orange flavour !

      The origin of this word is exciting question In Arabic for example it is called bortuqal the same word for the country Portugal .

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      I love oranges actually, although orange is not my favorite color. Wonderful lens, so much great information!

    • LoKackl profile image

      LoKackl 7 years ago

      Fun and creative. Something from nothing - my favorite kind of Squidoo lens!! SquidAngel Blessed.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      Orange juice, the orange of the setting sun, orange cats, orange flowers... it's such a happy colour. Love that caterpillar! I can't see any votes for orange as people's top colour, but I for one wouldn't be without it.

    • profile image

      nelabai 7 years ago

      Great lens. I guess I'm orange fan! Walls of my room are orange and oranges are my favorite fruits.

    • profile image

      merilyn 7 years ago

      Isn't it great where our kids questions lead us? Finding the answers is time well spent - and fun too. Thanks for being the kind of Mum you must be.

    • joanhall profile image

      Joan Hall 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      Beautiful and fun lens!

    • profile image

      Pete Schultz 7 years ago

      what great fun learning more than I need to know about Oranges and orange. It's fun.

    • camdensdaddy profile image

      camdensdaddy 7 years ago

      Cool lens. I love the background story especially.

    • profile image

      poutine 7 years ago

      Well,my favorite orange thing has to be an "orange".

      Fun lens!


    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Cool Lens About Orange and Very Creative. I'm glad your son asked the question!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Orange is a great color that I love to wear, it's a great fruit too.

      This is an awesome lens about orange! 5 Stars!

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 7 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      ¨¨¨°º©©º° This lens has been blessed! °º©©º°¨¨¨

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 7 years ago

      This is such a happy lens. And the way it came about is a great story and a great example for your son. I do like orange a lot but it's funny that orange is not usually a favorite. Well done!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      And another blessing from me. Well done and lets have more of the same


    • profile image

      myraggededge 7 years ago

      Interesting, amusing and informative. Love the recipes you included too. Blessings abound :)

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 7 years ago

      Nicely done. Blessed by a Squid Angel :)

    • profile image

      aishu19 7 years ago

      wow!! this is why they say kids are the simplest yet most creative people around..I mean who would have actually voiced out that question? thumbs up to ur son! Great lens!

    • sciencefictionn profile image

      sciencefictionn 7 years ago

      Informative and lively lens. A very nice start. My best wishes

    • Shades-of-truth profile image

      Emily Tack 7 years ago from USA

      Ah, my favorite orange - that would have to be the inside of sweet potatoes! Nice lens!Love it!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      What a lovely lens. Lots of thought and very well structured content. Very deserving of high praise. Top marks and lens rolled to Why are there Trees.


    • WaterMom profile image

      WaterMom 7 years ago

      Wow, great site! AND I learned something for the day! I placed this site as a favorite and gave you a 5 rating. Keep more lens' coming!

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 7 years ago

      What a great lens. I love the story about you and your son. I also learned something new about orange. Thanks for the info.

    • luvmyludwig lm profile image

      luvmyludwig lm 7 years ago

      orange you a clever one :) this lens reminds me of my favorite knock knock joke.

      knock knock

      who's there


      orange who?

      orange you glad I didn't say banana


    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 7 years ago from California

      I love that you and your son took this on after a casual question. Not only that, but you have given us so much information and interesting things for the color and fruit:Orange. *Blessed* by an Angel :)

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Very interesting story. I'd never wondered about why orange is both a color and a fruit! Takes a child's wonder to ask. We can really learn the wonders of the world from children!

      I live 4 miles from Clemson University in SC and EVERYTHING around here is Clemson Orange! Love all your orange ideas here.

    • profile image

      Kapalbility 7 years ago

      Awesome! Very entertaining. I thought the color came first, though. I was wrong. Welcome to fresh wonders.

    • callinsky lm profile image

      callinsky lm 7 years ago

      Oh... I really love orange sherbet. Wonderful lens. 5*. Very interesting.

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 7 years ago from Iowa

      Very cool lens and way more than I ever thought I'd need to know on the subject of orange. As an artist I was too intrigued to pass it up. :) 5*

    • Rachel Field profile image

      Rachel Field 7 years ago

      Awesome lens! This was really interesting and I loved finding out more about oranges and the word orange! I love that the original English was yellow-red!

      Is there a little bit of text missing at the end of interesting facts about orange?

      5* and a favourite!