Citrus County was created in 1887, formerly part of Hernando County. It was named for the county’s citrus trees. Citrus production declined dramatically after the "Big Freeze" of 1894–1895. Today, citrus is grown on one large grove, Bellamy Grove. Additionally, some people have trees on their personal property.
The county was first occupied about 2,500 years ago by mound-building Native Americans who built the complex that now forms the Crystal River archeological site. The site was occupied for about 3,000 years. Why the complex was abandoned is not known.
Phosphate mining also played a major part in the County’s history until the end of World War II, after which it was largely moved overseas. In the 1960s, Citrus County began to develop and residential areas such as Beverly Hills started to dominate the county.
On the seal, the West Indian Manatee symbolizes the county’ status as the only place in the U.S. where people can legally interact and swim with the manatees. The oranges symbolize the name of the county, Citrus. The wetland bird represents the wetlands in the county, and the county courthouse is featured in the upper right corner.