Garcinia mangostana or mangosteen is a slow growing tree from Southeast Asia that produces edible fruit, also called mangosteen.
This fruit is available in supermarkets in Europe around Christmas but you can also find it in Asian stores.
In Asia, it is a very popular fruit, also called “Queen of fruits”.
The flesh is edible but the fruit has a very short shelf life and gets moldy quickly. The rind of the fruit and the bark of the tree are rich in tannins and are used for tanning and as medicine against dysentery. The flesh is rich in antioxidants.
The taste of the fruit is tange and sweet, somewhat similar to lychee.
It is a tropical evergreen tree that grows very slow and 25 m high. The bark is dark brown to black and scaly.
The branches grow from the axils of opposite leaves.
The leaves are oval and pointed and measure up to 25 cm long and 13 cm wide. They are olive green and shiny on top, light green and dull below.
The flowers measure 5 cm in diameter and appear single or in pairs at the shoot tips.
Fruits are formed after 15 years, 2 to 3 times per year. The fruit is a berry 3-8 cm in diameter with 4 woody sepals. The skin is purple-brown, tough and leathery, up to 1.5 cm thick. It needs to be cut and torn to eat the flesh. The flesh is white and juicy with 4-8 segments. One to five segments coats contain a seed, but they can also be completely seedless.
Garcinia: in honor of French botanist Laurent Garcin, who first described this plant in 1734.
Mangostana: from the Malay manggisutan
Tropical rainforest with an annual rainfall of at least 1,270 mm and no long periods of drought, between 75 and 1,500 m altitude.
USDA zones 10-11, 4 °C
Does not tolerate calcareous soil, does best in deep, humus rich soil, especially in clay soils or laterite, with good drainage.
Full sun to partial shade
Needs plenty of water.
Fertilize monthly during the growing season with universal, liquid fertilizer or organic fertilizer in spring.
From seed. However, the seed should be sown immediately after harvesting because it loses its ability to germinate quickly (5 days) and must not dry out. If you save it in moist sphagnum moss in a closed box, then it can be kept 3-4 months
- sow 1 seed per pot, in a light mix
- mist the substrate so that it moist but not wet
- cover the pots to limit evaporation
- germination time: 22 days