Mangos

Mangifera indica or Mango Tree bears a fruit called mango that is round or oval and weighs from 300 g to 2 kg.

Originally from southern Asia, it is currently grown all over the world in tropic regions. It is one of the oldest cultivated fruit trees with the date palm.

There are about 300 cultivars.

The mango tree can grow for several hundreds of years.

Juice from the stem, branches, stems and skin of unripe fruit contains substances that may cause skin irritation. Sensitive people can not even peel or eat mango fruit.

Description:

Mangifera indica is a large evergreen tree, 15-30 m high. It is a fast grower with a narrow to wide, round crown.

The tree is anchored by a long unbranched taproot that grows to 6-8 m deep, on which a mass of feeder roots grow.

The leaves are alternate, simple, leathery, oblong-lanceolate, 29-30 cm long and 3-5 cm wide on flowering branches, to 50 cm on sterile branches. Young Leaves are red and fade to shiny dark green top, lighter underneath, with yellow or white veins.

The inflorescence is a highly branched panicle with many small greenish white or pink flowers of 4 mm. Both male and bisexual flowers appear on the same tree. Its flowers are radially symmetrical and usually have five petals, red stripes. There is usually only one fertile stamen per flower; the 4 other stamens are sterile. The flower has a striking five-lobed disc between the petals and stamens.

The fruit is a fleshy drupe, irregular oval and slightly compressed of 8-12 (30) cm long. Skin is green-yellow, sometimes tinged with red. The flesh is yellow-orange and varies in quality from soft, sweet, juicy and fiber-free in selected breeds to turpentine-like flavored and stringy in wild plants. The fruit contains one flat seed.

Use:

  • food: the fruit is eaten fresh or prepared
  • fodder: leaves, fruits, seeds
  • medicinally: rheumatism, diphtheria, skin, fever, diarrhea…
  • seeds: making soap
  • wood: window frames, boxes, canoes…

Nomenclature:

Common name:

Mango tree, am, mang guo

Synonyms:

Mangifera austroyunnanensis, Rhus laurina

Etymology:

Mangifera: from the Tamil māṅkāy (unripe mango) and Latin -fera (bearing)
Indica: from the Greek indikós (Indian)

Origin:

Southern Asia

Habitat:

Wet valleys, river banks, coastal forests and natural grasslands, 0-1200 m altitude

Hardiness:

USDA zone 10-11

Care:

Soil:

well drained sandy, loam or clay soil

Light:

Sun, light

Water:

Keep the substrate moist

Feed:

Young plants need nitrogenous fertilizer to promote growth and flower production. Organic fertilizers perform best because mango, and especially young trees, are sensitive to fertilizer burn. Do not fertilize after midsummer.

Mangifera indica tree

Propagation:

Sowing, grafting, layering.

Sowing instructions:

  • when you have removed all the pulp, you are left with a white embryo in a very hard brown shell
  • you can try to remove this shell but it’s quite difficult since this shell is so hard and it’s irritating if you don’t wear gloves
  • be careful: a knife might slip and you might cut your fingers. You should fix the pit in a vice before attacking it with a knife
  • it’s better to try to pierce the shell and leave it but you can also sow with the shell though germination might take longer
  • if you managed to remove the shell, you can either place the white embryo in a glass of water as for avocados or in soil in a pot
  • if you didn’t remove the shell, plant in soil
  • the young mango tree looks a lot like a young avocado tree
  • germination time: 1 week to a couple of months
  • repot when the seedling is big enough to be handled or the pot has become too small

Recommended: