Once Upon a Grapefruit

Florida grapefruit has a rich history, dating back to 1823, when Count Odet Phillippe planted the state’s first grapefruit grove near Tampa. Before that, the first documented grapefruit tree was found in Barbados in the 1700’s.

If you’ve ever wondered why citrus fruits grow in groves, while other fruits grow in orchards or plantations, the answer is simple! Groves are used to describe areas that grow and cultivate tropical fruits. Citrus fruits thrive in Florida’s subtropical climate.

The fruit earned its unusual name because of the way it grows on citrus trees. Take a walk down a grapefruit grove and you’ll see the fruit grows in a cluster like a bunch of oversized grapes.

Today, there are more than 10,000 citrus growers in Florida, many of whom are multi-generational.



Eat Locally-Grown Florida Grapefruit

Florida grapefruit growers take pride in producing the highest-quality fruit from seed to shelf. Aside from the health and wellness impacts of a regimen rich in all-natural fruits and vegetables, this practice helps the local and national economy. Visit your local farm stand or grocery store for sweet and juicy fresh Florida grapefruit. One hundred percent Florida grapefruit juice is available year round in your store’s refrigerated or shelved juice aisles.

Nearly 76,000 people work directly or indirectly in
Florida's citrus
industry, helping to
bring the taste of Florida
sunshine directly to you.

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Florida's more than 74 million orange and grapefruit trees are cultivated on nearly 569,000 acres in 30 counties and grow a variety of citrus fruits. The largest production of grapefruit includes white Marsh, Ruby Red and Pink grapefruit.
Typically, October marks the beginning of the harvest season, which involves picking, loading and packing citrus fruit for transport to grocery stores and juice plants.
At the fruit packing house, the fruit is inspected for quality. Next, grapefruit are graded by hand and placed into boxes or bags by machine or by hand. They are then ready for shipping.
Once grapefruit juice is squeezed it can be placed in cartons and bottles, or concentrated and then frozen. Conveyer belts carry the fruit to the juicing machines where hundreds of grapefruit are squeezed every second.
Once the fresh fruit and juice are packaged and shipped, their great Florida taste awaits you. Look for signs showcasing Florida grapefruit in the produce section and on juice labels for products made with Florida grapefruit.

No person shall, on the basis of race, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program, activity or employment of the Florida Department of Citrus.