Two citrus tasting events will be held at the University of California Lindcove Research and Extension Center east of Visalia, with commercial growers invited from 9 a.m. to 12 noon Thursday, Dec. 9, and the public from 9 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday, Dec. 11.

At both events, participants can taste and evaluate dozens of varieties of navel oranges, lemons, kumquats, mandarins, citrons, grapefruits and pummelos. Visitors may sample blood oranges, green-fleshed pummelos, red grapefruits, acid-free oranges, sweet lemons and mandarin varieties imported from around the world. They will find varieties that peel easily, have few or no seeds, and balance tang and sweetness just right for every taste. Buddha's hand citrons, an inedible but fragrant fruit with rind that grows like outstretched fingers, will also be on display.

Participants will also have the opportunity to see the 175-acre UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center. Situated where the valley floor begins its ascent to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lindcove is considered one of the most beautiful research and Extension centers in a statewide network that includes 12 stations.

The center's location provides the ideal environment for citrus research. Founded in 1959, Lindcove has played a major role in generating and extending to California citrus growers the latest scientific information on disease prevention, insect management, irrigation, nutrition and freeze protection.

Citrus viewing and tasting events are free and registration is not required. The center is off Highway 198 east of Visalia.