This year marks the 100th anniversary for UC Riverside’s Citrus Experiment Station, which began as a tiny outpost at the foot of Mt. Rubidoux in 1907. Over the years, the station has grown in both scope and acclaim:
UC Riverside scientists have developed some best-selling fruits, including the Oroblanco grapefruit-pummelo hybrid, with its surprisingly sweet taste, and the tangy Gold Nugget mandarin.
But many of the university’s contributions have been more utilitarian, such as finding ways to eliminate bothersome bugs without pesticides.
The 400-acre station is now called the Citrus Research Center and Agricultural Experiment Station to reflect its expanded mission, which now includes research on asparagus and other vegetables.
Los Angeles Times
Established by the State of California during the region’s citrus heyday, the research station planted the seeds for present-day UCR, which began accepting students in 1954 and officially became a general campus of the world-renown UC system in 1959.
Even with the transformation into a full-fledged UC campus, the research center today retains its vital role in citrus and plant research. It also houses one of the most diverse citrus collections in the world:
“When you’re there, you feel like you’re taking a trip around the world. She’s got stuff from Morocco in one row, then in another row she’s got Spain and Egypt … stuff that no one else in the United States has.”
Brein Clements, chef-owner of Restaurant Omakase, downtown Riverside
Los Angeles Times
- Los Angeles Times – A juicy business: UC Riverside’s citrus center experiments with designer fruit
- UCR – Campus Web site | Citrus Research Center/AES ‘Centennial Celebration’ | Citrus Variety Collection
- Restaurant Omakase
Sources: UC Riverside, Los Angeles Times