The aim of this study was to characterize the phenology of different sweet orange, tangerines and tangerine hybrid varieties growing under the temperate climate conditions of Santa Fe Province, Argentina. Phenological stages were observed weekly during five consecutive years using a BBCH (Biologische Bundesanstalt, Bundessortenamt and Chemical industry) scale adapted for Citrus trees. All varieties showed a winter rest period from June to August. ‘New Hall’ and ‘Navelina’ varieties were the first to reach sprouting stage, whereas ‘Okitsu’ was the last. Inception of flowering occurred from August 13th to September 6th; and full bloom from September 12th to October 2nd. Fruit harvest started with the ‘Okitsu’ cultivar in March, and continued over a 7-month period. Interannual variation for inception of sprouting was high (44 days), and sprouting was correlated with both thermal accumulation (above 13ºC) and the amount of solar radiation measured during July (p<0.0001; r2=0.79). Navel oranges and the ‘Murcott’ hybrid bloomed 5–15 days earlier than other varieties, increasing probability of damage by late frosts.
BBCH scale; flowering; fruit set; harvest; sprouting; thermal accumulation