Rooted in Arcadia: Celebrating Growth & The History of Arizona’s Citrus


Arcadia neighborhood citrus tree, girl with pet chicken

We just love this photo of our sweet shop gal Julia at her Acradia home with her chicken Peaches!

You may know Arcadia neighborhood for its sprawling homes and its plethora of restaurants - but did you know that the area’s popularity stemmed almost exclusively from citrus?

The first citrus grove in Arizona was planted in 1899 near 56th Street and Indian School Road, where it thrived thanks to the rich soil at the base of Camelback Mountain and the cool waters from the canal. As the 20th century began, varieties of lemons, limes, grapefruit, and oranges consistently out-performed other crops in the area, and Arcadia became filled with peaceful groves of the colorful fruits. 

Phoenix's Arcadia neighborhood history of citrus

Naval oranges became especially popular, as they had the highest return on investment and were able to be harvested early in November - allowing Phoenix growers to pack their harvest onto trains bound for Chicago and the East Coast before their California competitors, and just in time for Thanksgiving. 

This abundance of growth only spurred more. There’s a reason why citrus is listed as one of the “Five C’s of Arizona” - and Arcadia was the epicenter. Investors, farmers, and prospectors flocked to the area, and by the 1920’s Arcadia had begun to feel like an oasis in the desert, with hundreds of groves filling the air with the scent of orange blossoms and the sound of birdsong. 

Neighborhoods began popping up with affluent estates that had sloping lawns and citrus trees of their own, and the state’s first resorts were built at the base of Camelback amid the shade of the trees. The Cook Mansion, now known as the Royal Palms Inn, the Paradise and Jokake Inn’s, which would go on to become what is now the Phoenician, and Elizabeth Arden’s Phoenix luxury spa outpost, the Maine Chance retreat.  

There may be more houses than orange trees in the neighborhood now, but Arcadia was built entirely on a foundation of growth, and we continue to celebrate these roots by bringing fresh cut flowers and vibrant plants to the neighborhood!  

Phoenix Arcadia florist flower arrangement and fresh citrus


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