According to Saunt (1990), there are two possible origins of clementine. One is thought to have originated from an accidental cross-pollination of Mediterranean mandarin (Citrus delicosa Ten.) with an ornamental sour orange known as ‘Granito’ (taxonomic origin unknown) in the garden of an orphanage in Misserghin Algeria, by a Father Clement Rodier (hence the name of clementine). The more accepted origin of clementine is the ‘Canton’ mandarin with which it has been found to be virtually identical. The main clementine cultivars grown are ‘Fina,’ ‘Esbal,’ ‘Guillermina,’ ‘Hernandina,’ ‘Marisol,’ ‘Monreal,’ ‘Berkia,’ ‘Arrufatina,’ ‘Nour,’ ‘Nules,’ ‘Oroval’ and ‘SRA’ selections (Saunt 1990). Although clementine is classified as C. reticulata (a type of mandarin), it also has been given the species recognition of C. clementina Hort. ex Jan. (Ortiz 2002). To keep the differentiation between mandarin and clementine clear, studies on the composition of clementine oil will be classified as originating from C. clementina.
Ruberto et al. (1993) examined the composition of essential oils produced from seven synthetic Citrus hybrids. In this study they characterized the composition of the steam-distilled fresh rind tissue (flavedo) of the clementine used in this cross-pollination exercise.