Spontaneous mutation of the Washington Navel, discovered by Neil and Joyce Powell in Australia in 1982. Patented in the USA, in Australia by Irwing&Richards and in the EU by AVASA (Sol. No. 98/1359).
The tree is similar to that of the Lane Late variety, with its long main branches. Long, concave leaves, non-winged petioles that are rudimentary or small. Thorns may be found on the more vigorous branches. Simple and clustered flowers. Flowers with pale yellow anthers, complete styles, inviable pollen production.
Fruit is flat and oval, orange in colour without an aureole but always with a naval. The fruit is seedless and is of high quality. Juice is low in acidity, has a high sugar content and is yellow to orange in colour. As it does not contain limonin, it does not develop the bitter taste characteristic of other Navel varieties. Fine skin with glands with visible essential oils and moderate pulp adherence.
A fundamental difference with the Lane Late variety is that the Powell Summer Navel® is more firm with less re-greening in the summer, maintaining its high quality even after reaching ripeness, meaning it may be harvested one to two months later than the Lane Late, as its texture stays very firm.
Recent tests held in Australia after reaching maturity show that the Powell Summer Navel® does not go grainy, unlike the Lane Late and other late Navel varieties which are sometimes very vulnerable to becoming grainy.
The best quality fruit for fresh consumption, most of our production is obtained from different varieties of Navel group oranges.
Our current varietal structure allows us to extend the harvest period from October, with Navelina and W. Navel to April with Navelate and Lane Late. The latter two varieties produce around 350,000 tonnes of fruit per year in Spain, representing only 13% of the total amount of oranges produced. The commercial period is therefore to be extended to May or June with the Powell Summer Navel®, which will undoubtedly partially replace the Valencia Late variety due to its superior quality.
Although Australia has a less developed citriculture than in Spain, Powell Summer Navel® is the most cultivated of the “summer Navels”, and has been successfully exported to the USA. Despite paying royalties of $1.50 per plant, producers have sold over 500,000 seedlings, making it the most popular summer Navel for cultivation, with this figure expected to reach 1,000,000 in coming years.
There is currently a high demand for certified seedlings of this variety in Spain.