by Alfredo Chiri

MANGO ­ Mangifera indica var. Manila ­ Anacardiceae

Donated by: Fullerton Arboretum and planted in 1997 (r.f.- 07)

Common names: Mango, mangot, manga, manja, mangoro, and mangue

The common mango is native to Eastern India, Burma and Malay. The mango belongs to the family Anacardiaceae, a family related to the poison oak and poison ivy. So it is not surprising that mangoes will cause a rash and reaction for some who consume them or touch the milky juice. Mangoes are of
mainly tropical species with few in the temperate species. There are over 1000 varieties, but only 350 are propagated for commercial nurseries. Perhaps some are duplicates by different names.

The tree is an erect tree with a broad canopy. In the tropics the tree grows much larger than it does here, up to 100 feet. The tree is long lived, with some specimens known to be 300 years old. The tree is nearly evergreen, and the new leaves are rosy, bronze in color, turning dark green as they age.
Seedling trees live more than 100 years, whereas grafted ones live only 80 years or less. 

Magnifera species are grown below an altitude of 1000 feet, but there are some varieties that will grow at up to 2000 feet in altitude. The shape of the tree canopy depends on its ecogeographical location and on the space available for its development. On shallow soils the growth is stunted, and
some cultivars have been trained to be creepers.

The mango bark is usually dark grey-brown to black, rather smooth, peeling off in irregular thick pieces. The bark contains resin (78%), gum (15%) and some tannic acid. 

Temperatures down to 26º F are damaging and often killing for the plant.

The flowers, produced by the hundreds, are small, reddish-yellow, borne in a showy pyramidal branched cluster at the tips of the branches.

The fruits may be round, oval or kidney shaped, often with a beak at the apex. The skin is leathery, fairly thick, aromatic, and ranges in color from green to yellow to orange-yellow to dark red to purple. The mango fruit sizes range from 2 to 10 inches in length and they weigh from 4 ounces to 5 lbs. Some have a "turpentine" odor and flavor, while others are pleasant in flavor. The flesh ranges from pale-yellow to deep-orange and essentially peach-like texture.

The fruit has a single stone, pale yellowish-white, somewhat woody, flattened, and either oval or kidney-shaped. Within the stone is the starchy seed that could be monoembryonic (single sprouting) or polyembryonic (more than one sprout). 

The root system consists of a long unbranched long tap, 18 to 20 feet long, plus a dense mass of superficial feeder roots. Feeder roots develop at the base of the trunk; these produce anchor roots, and sometimes a group of feeder roots develops above the water table. The fibrous root system extends away from the drip line.