|Avg Height X Width:
||15' X 15', according to variety
||Southeast Asia and India
||May to January, according to variety
Mango Tree Ice Cream Variety Dwarf Tree Grafted in a 3 Gallon Container. Ice Cream is a very popular “condo mango” and makes an excellent container plant. The tree can easily be maintained at a height of just six feet making it ideal for container growing. The fruit flavor is sweet, rich, and reminiscent of mango sorbet and is completely fiberless. In the Dominican Republic the skin of the fruit turns a canary yellow color. This is due to the tropical yet arid conditions of their mango growing regions. The fruit ripens from June to July. This is one of our most popular Mango Trees and can be grown pretty much anywhere in the country since it can be kept in a container.
Origin and Distribution
Blooming and Pollination
Keeping Quality and Storage
Pests and Diseases
It is a matter of astonishment to many that the luscious mango, Mangifera indica L., one of the most celebrated of tropical fruits, is a member of the family Anacardiaceae–notorious for embracing a number of highly poisonous plants. The extent to which the mango tree shares some of the characteristics of its relatives will be explained further on. The universality of its renown is attested by the wide usage of the name, mango in English and Spanish and, with only slight variations in French (mangot, mangue, manguier), Portuguese (manga, mangueira), and Dutch (manja). In some parts, of Africa, it is called mangou, or mangoro. There are dissimilar terms only in certain tribal dialects.
The mango tree is erect, 30 to 100 ft (roughly 10-30 m) high, with a broad, rounded canopy which may, with age, attain 100 to 125 ft (30-38 m) in width, or a more upright, oval, relatively slender crown. In deep soil, the taproot descends to a depth of 20 ft (6 in), the profuse, wide-spreading, feeder root system also sends down many anchor roots which penetrate for several feet. The tree is long-lived, some specimens being known to be 300 years old and still fruiting. Nearly evergreen, alternate leaves are borne mainly in rosettes at the tips of the branches and numerous twigs from which they droop like ribbons on slender petioles 1 to 4 in (2.5-10 cm) long. The new leaves, appearing periodically and irregularly on a few branches at a time, are yellowish, pink, deep-rose or wine-red, becoming dark-green and glossy above, lighter beneath. The midrib is pale and conspicuous and the many horizontal veins distinct. Full-grown leaves may be 4 to 12.5 in (10-32 cm) long and 3/4 to 2 1/8 in (2-5.4 cm) wide. Hundreds and even as many as 3,000 to 4,000 small, yellowish or reddish flowers, 25% to 98% male, the rest hermaphroditic, are borne in profuse, showy, erect, pyramidal, branched clusters 2 1/2 to 15 1/2 in (6-40 cm) high. There is great variation in the form, size, color and quality of the fruits. They may be nearly round, oval, ovoid-oblong, or somewhat kidney-shaped, often with a break at the apex, and are usually more or less lop-sided. They range from 2 1/2 to 10 in (6.25-25 cm) in length and from a few ounces to 4 to 5 lbs (1.8-2.26 kg). The skin is leathery, waxy, smooth, fairly thick, aromatic and ranges from light-or dark-green to clear yellow, yellow-orange, yellow and reddish-pink, or more or less blushed with bright-or dark-red or purple-red, with fine yellow, greenish or reddish dots, and thin or thick whitish, gray or purplish bloom, when fully ripe. Some have a "turpentine" odor and flavor, while others are richly and pleasantly fragrant. The flesh ranges from pale-yellow to deep-orange. It is essentially peach-like but much more fibrous (in some seedlings excessively so-actually "stringy"); is extremely juicy, with a flavor range from very sweet to subacid to tart. There is a single, longitudinally ribbed, pale yellowish-white, somewhat woody stone, flattened, oval or kidney-shaped, sometimes rather elongated. It may have along one side a beard of short or long fibers clinging to the flesh cavity, or it may be nearly fiberless and free. Within the stone is the starchy seed, monoembryonic (usually single-sprouting) or polyembryonic (usually producing more than one seedling).
Origin and Distribution
Native to southern Asia, especially eastern India, Burma, and the Andaman Islands, the mango has been cultivated, praised and even revered in its homeland since Ancient times. Buddhist monks are believed to have taken the mango on voyages to Malaya and eastern Asia in the 4th and 5th Centuries B.C. The Persians are said to have carried it to East Africa about the 10th Century A.D. It was commonly grown in the East Indies before the earliest visits of the Portuguese who apparently introduced it to West Africa early in the 16th Century and also into Brazil. After becoming established in Brazil, the mango was carried to the West Indies, being first planted in Barbados about 1742 and later in the Dominican Republic. It reached Jamaica about 1782 and, early in the 19th Century, reached Mexico from the Philippines and the West Indies. In 1833, Dr. Henry Perrine shipped seedling mango plants from Yucatan to Cape Sable at the southern tip of mainland Florida but these died after he was killed by Indians. Seeds were imported into Miami from the West Indies by a Dr. Fletcher in 1862 or 1863. From these, two trees grew to large size and one was still fruiting in 1910 and is believed to have been the parent of the 'No. 11' which was commonly planted for many years thereafter. In 1868 or 1869, seeds were planted south of Coconut Grove and the resultant trees prospered at least until 1909, producing the so-called 'Peach' or 'Turpentine' mango which became fairly common. In 1872, a seedling of 'No. 11' from Cuba was planted in Bradenton. In 1877 and 1879, W.P. Neeld made successful plantings on the west coast but these and most others north of Ft. Myers were killed in the January freeze of 1886. In 1885, seeds of the excellent 'Bombay' mango of India were brought from Key West to Miami and resulted in two trees which flourished until 1909. Plants of grafted varieties were brought in from India by a west coast resident, Rev. D.G. Watt, in 1885 but only two survived the trip and they were soon frozen in a cold spell. Another unsuccessful importation of inarched trees from Calcutta was made in 1888. Of six grafted trees that arrived from Bombay in 1889, through the efforts of the United States Department of Agriculture, only one lived to fruit nine years later. The tree shipped is believed to have been a 'Mulgoa' (erroneously labeled 'Mulgoba', a name unknown in India except as originating in Florida). However, the fruit produced did not correspond to 'Mulgoa' descriptions. It was beautiful, crimson-blushed, just under 1 lb (454 g) with golden-yellow flesh. No Indian visitor has recognized it as matching any Indian variety. Some suggest that it was the fruit of the rootstock if the scion had been frozen in the freeze of 1894-95. At any rate, it continued to be known as 'Mulgoba', and it fostered many off-spring along the southeastern coast of the State and in Cuba and Puerto Rico, though it proved to be very susceptible to the disease, anthracnose, in this climate. Seeds from this tree were obtained and planted by a Captain Haden in Miami. The trees fruited some years after his death and his widow gave the name 'Haden' to the tree that bore the best fruit. This variety was regarded as the standard of excellence locally for many decades thereafter and was popular for shipping because of its tough skin. George B. Cellon started extensive vegetative propagation (patch-budding) of the 'Haden' in 1900 and shipped the fruits to northern markets. P.J. Wester conducted many experiments in budding, grafting and inarching from 1904 to 1908 with less success. Shield-budding on a commercial scale was achieved by Mr. Orange Pound of Coconut Grove in 1909 and this was a pioneer breakthrough which gave strong impetus to mango growing, breeding, and dissemination. Enthusiastic introduction of other varieties by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Plant Industry, by nurserymen, and other individuals followed, and the mango grew steadily in popularity and importance. The Reasoner Brothers Nursery, on the west coast, imported many mango varieties and was largely responsible for the ultimate establishment of the mango in that area, together with a Mr. J.W. Barney of Palma Sola who had a large collection of varieties and had worked out a feasible technique of propagation which he called "slot grafting". Dr. Wilson Popenoe, one of the early Plant Explorers of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, became Director of the Escuela Agricola Panamericana, Tegucigalpa, Honduras. For more than a quarter of a century, he was a leader in the introduction and propagation of outstanding mangos from India and the East Indies, had them planted at the school and at the Lancetilla Experiment Station at Tela, Honduras, and distributed around tropical America. In time, the mango became one of the most familiar domesticated trees in dooryards or in small or large commercial plantings throughout the humid and semi-arid lowlands of the tropical world and in certain areas of the near-tropics such as the Mediterranean area (Madeira and the Canary Islands), Egypt, southern Africa, and southern Florida. Local markets throughout its range are heaped high with the fragrant fruits in season and large quantities are exported to non-producing countries. Altogether, the U.S. Department of Agriculture made 528 introductions from India, the Philippines, the West Indies and other sources from 1899 to 1937. Selection, naming and propagation of new varieties by government agencies and individual growers has been going on ever since. The Mango Form was created in 1938 through the joint efforts of the Broward County Home Demonstration Office of the University of Florida's Cooperative Extension Service and the Fort Lauderdale Garden Club, with encouragement and direction from the University of Florida's Subtropical Experiment Station (now the Agricultural Research and Education Center) in Homestead, and Mrs. William J. Krome, a pioneer tropical fruit grower. Meetings were held annually, whenever possible, for the exhibiting and judging of promising seedlings, and exchanging and publication of descriptions and cultural information. Meanwhile, a reverse flow of varieties was going on. Improved mangos developed in Florida have been of great value in upgrading the mango industry in tropical America and elsewhere. With such intense interest in this crop, mango acreage advanced in Florida despite occasional setbacks from cold spells and hurricanes. But with the expanding population, increased land values and cost and shortage of agricultural labor after World War II, a number of large groves were subdivided into real estate developments given names such as "Mango Heights" and "Mango Terrace". There were estimated to be 7,000 acres (2,917 ha) in 27 Florida counties in 1954, over half in commercial groves. There were 4,000 acres (1,619 ha) in 1961. Today, mango production in Florida, on approximately 1,700 acres (688 ha), is about 8,818 tons (8,000 MT) annually in "good" years, and valued at $3 million. Fruits are shipped not only to northern markets but also to the United Kingdom, Netherlands, France and Saudi Arabia. In advance of the local season, quantities are imported into the USA from Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and, throughout the summer, Mexican sources supply mangos to the Pacific Coast consumer. Supplies also come in from India and Taiwan. A mango seed from Guatemala was planted in California about 1880 and a few trees have borne fruit in the warmest locations of that state, with careful protection when extremely low temperatures occur. Mangos have been grown in Puerto Rico since about 1750 but mostly of indifferent quality. A program of mango improvement began in 1948 with the introduction and testing of over 150 superior cultivars by the University of Puerto Rico. The south coast of the island, having a dry atmosphere, is best suited for mango culture and substantial quantities of mangos are produced there without the need to spray for anthracnose control. The fruits are plentiful on local markets and shipments are made to New York City where there are many Puerto Rican residents. A study of 16 cultivars was undertaken in 1960 to determine those best suited to more intense commercial production. Productivity evaluations started in 1965 and continued to 1972. The earliest record of the mango in Hawaii is the introduction of several small plants from Manila in 1824. Three plants were brought from Chile in 1825. In 1899, grafted trees of a number of Indian varieties, including 'Pairi', were imported. Seedlings became widely distributed over the six major islands. In 1930, the 'Haden' was introduced from Florida and became established in commercial plantations. The local industry began to develop seriously after the importation of a series of monoembryonic cultivars from Florida. But Hawaiian mangos are prohibited from entry into mainland USA, Australia, Japan and some other countries, because of the prevalence of the mango seed weevil in the islands. In Brazil, most mangos are produced in the state of Minas, Gerais where the crop amounts to 243,018 tons (22,000 MT) annually on 24,710 acres (10,000 ha). These are mainly seedlings, as are those of the other states with major mango crops–Ceará, Paraibá, Goias, Pernambuco, and Maranhao. Sao Paulo raises about 63,382 tons (57,500 MT) per year on 9,884 acres (4,000 ha). The bulk of the crop is for domestic consumption. In 1973, Brazil exported 47.4 tons (43 MT) of mangos to Europe. Mango growing began with the earliest settlers in North Queensland, Australia, with seeds brought casually from India, Ceylon, the East Indies and the Philippines. In 1875, 40 varieties from India were set out in a single plantation. Over the years, selections have been made for commercial production and culture has extended to subtropical Western Australia. There is no record of the introduction of the mango into South Africa but a plantation was set out in Durban about 1860. Production today probably has reached about 16,535 tons (15,000 MT) annually, and South Africa exports fresh mangos by air to Europe. Kenya exports mature mangos to France and Germany and both mature and immature to the United Kingdom, the latter for chutney-making. Egypt produces 110,230 tons (100,000 MT) of mangos annually and exports moderate amounts to 20 countries in the Near East and Europe. Mango culture in the Sudan occupies about 24,710 acres (10,000 ha) producing a total of 66,138 tons (60,000 MT) per year. India, with 2,471,000 acres (1,000,000 ha) of mangos (70% of its fruit-growing area) produces 65% of the world's mango crop–9,920,700 tons (9,000,000 MT). In 1985, mango growers around Hyderabad sought government protection against terrorists who cut down mango orchards unless the owners paid ransom (50,000 rupees in one case). India far outranks all other countries as an exporter of processed mangos, shipping 2/3 of the total 22,046 tons (20,000 MT). Mango preserves go to the same countries receiving the fresh fruit and also to Hong Kong, Iraq, Canada and the United States. Following India in volume of exports are Thailand, 774,365 tons (702,500 MT), Pakistan and Bangladesh, followed by Brazil. Mexico ranks 5th with about 100,800 acres (42,000 ha) and an annual yield of approximately 640,000 tons (580,000 MT). The Philippines have risen to 6th place. Tanzania is 7th, the Dominican Republic, 8th and Colombia, 9th. Leading exporters of fresh mangos are: the Philippines, shipping to Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan; Thailand, shipping to Singapore and Malaysia; Mexico, shipping mostly 'Haden' to the United States, 2,204 tons (2,000 MT), annually, also to Japan and Paris; India, shipping mainly 'Alphonso' and 'Bombay' to Europe, Malaya, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait; Indonesia, shipping to Hong Kong and Singapore; and South Africa shipping (60% 'Haden' and 'Kent') by air to Europe and London in mid-winter. Chief importers are England and France, absorbing 82% of all mango shipments. Mango consumers in England are mostly residents of Indian origin, or English people who formerly lived in India. The first International Symposium on Mango and Mango Culture, of the International Society for Horticultural Science, was held in New Delhi, India, in 1969 with a view to assembling a collection of germplasm from around the world and encouraging cooperative research on rootstocks and bearing behavior, hybridization, disease, storage and transport problems, and other areas of study.
The original wild mangos were small fruits with scant, fibrous flesh, and it is believed that natural hybridization has taken place between M. indica and M. sylvatica Roxb. in Southeast Asia. Selection for higher quality has been carried on for 4,000 to 6,000 years and vegetative propagation for 400 years. Over 500 named varieties (some say 1,000) have evolved and have been described in India. Perhaps some are duplicates by different names, but at least 350 are propagated in commercial nurseries. In 1949, K.C. Naik described 82 varieties grown in South India. L.B. and R.N. Singh presented and illustrated 150 in their monograph on the mangos of Uttar Pradesh (1956). In 1958, 24 were described as among the important commercial types in India as a whole, though in the various climatic zones other cultivars may be prominent locally. Of the 24, the majority are classed as early or mid-season:
Blooming and Pollination
Mango trees less than 10 years old may flower and fruit regularly every year. Thereafter, most mangos tend toward alternate, or biennial, bearing. A great deal of research has been done on this problem which may involve the entire tree or only a portion of the branches. Branches that fruit one year may rest the next, while branches on the other side of the tree will bear. Blooming is strongly affected by weather, dryness stimulating flowering and rainy weather discouraging it. In most of India, flowering occurs in December and January; in northern India, in January and February or as late as March. There are some varieties called "Baramasi" that flower and fruit irregularly throughout the year. The cultivar 'Sam Ru Du' of Thailand bears 3 crops a year–in January, June and October. In the drier islands of the Lesser Antilles, there are mango trees that flower and fruit more or less continuously all year around but never heavily at any time. Some of these are cultivars introduced from Florida where they flower and fruit only once a year. In southern Florida, mango trees begin to bloom in late November and continue until February or March, inasmuch as there are early, medium, and late varieties. During exceptionally warm winters, mango trees have been known to bloom 3 times in succession, each time setting and maturing fruit. In the Philippines, various methods are employed to promote flowering: smudging (smoking), exposing the roots, pruning, girdling, withholding nitrogen and irrigation, and even applying salt. In the West Indies, there is a common folk practice of slashing the trunk with a machete to make the tree bloom and bear in "off" years. Deblos-soming (removing half the flower clusters) in an "on" year will induce at least a small crop in the next "off" year. Almost any treatment or condition that retards vegetative growth will have this effect. Spraying with growth-retardant chemicals has been tried, with inconsistent results. Potassium nitrate has been effective in the Philippines. In India, the cultivar 'Dasheri', which is self incompatible, tends to begin blooming very early (December and January) when no other cultivars are in flower. And the early particles show a low percentage of hermaphrodite flowers and a high incidence of floral malformation. Furthermore, early blooms are often damaged by frost. It has been found that a single mechanical deblossoming in the first bud-burst stage, induces subsequent development of particles with less malformation, more hermaphrodite flowers, and, as a result, a much higher yield of fruits. There is one cultivar, 'Neelum', in South India that bears heavily every year, apparently because of its high rate (16%) of hermaphrodite flowers. (The average for 'Alphonso' is 10%.) However, Indian horticulturists report great tree-to-tree variation in seedlings of this cultivar; in some surveys as much as 84% of the trees were rated as poor bearers. Over 92% of 'Bangalora' seedlings have been found bearing light crops. Mango flowers are visited by fruit bats, flies, wasps, wild bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, ants and various bugs seeking the nectar and some transfer the pollen but a certain amount of self-pollination also occurs. Honeybees do not especially favor mango flowers and it has been found that effective pollination by honeybees would require 3 to 6 colonies per acre (6-12 per ha). Many of the unpollinated flowers are shed or fail to set fruit, or the fruit is set but is shed when very young. Heavy rains wash off pollen and thus prevent fruit setting. Some cultivars tend to produce a high percentage of small fruits without a fully developed seed because of unfavorable weather during the fruit-setting period. Shy-bearing cultivars of otherwise desirable characteristics are hybridized with heavy bearers in order to obtain better crops. For example: shy-bearing 'Himayuddin' ´ heavy-bearing 'Neelum'. Breeders usually hand-pollinate all the flowers that are open in a cluster, remove the rest, and cover the inflorescence with a plastic bag. But researchers in India have found that there is very little chance of contamination and that omitting the covering gives as much as 3.85% fruit set in place of 0.23% to 1.57% when bagged. Thus large populations of hybrids may be raised for study. One of the latest techniques involves grafting the male and female parents onto a chosen tree, then covering the panicles with a polyethylene bag, and introducing house flies as pollinators. Indian scientists have found that pollen for crossbreeding can be stored at 32° F (0° C) for 10 hours. If not separated from the flowers, it remains viable for 50 hours in a humid atmosphere at 65° to 75° F (18.33° -23.09° C). The stigma is receptive 18 hours before full flower opening and, some say, for 72 hours after.
The mango is naturally adapted to tropical lowlands between 25°N and 25°S of the Equator and up to elevations of 3,000 ft (915 m). It is grown as a dooryard tree at slightly cooler altitudes but is apt to suffer cold damage. The amount of rainfall is not as critical as when it occurs. The best climate for mango has rainfall of 30 to 100 in (75-250 cm) in the four summer months (June to September) followed by 8 months of dry season. This crop is well suited to irrigated regions bordering the desert frontier in Egypt. Nevertheless, the tree flourishes in southern Florida's approximately 5 months of intermittent, scattered rains (October to February), 3 months of drought (usually March to May) and 4 months of frequently heavy rains (June to September). Rain, heavy dews or fog during the blooming season (November to March in Florida) are deleterious, stimulating tree growth but interfering with flower production and encouraging fungus diseases of the inflorescence and fruit. In Queensland, dry areas with rainfall of 40 in (100 cm), 75% of which occurs from January to March, are favored for mango growing because vegetative growth is inhibited and the fruits are well exposed to the sun from August to December, become well colored, and are relatively free of disease. Strong winds during the fruiting season cause many fruits to fall prematurely.
The mango tree is not too particular as to soil type, providing it has good drainage. Rich, deep loam certainly contributes to maximum growth, but if the soil is too rich and moist and too well fertilized, the tree will respond vegetatively but will be deficient in flowering and fruiting. The mango performs very well in sand, gravel, and even oolitic limestone (as in southern Florida and the Bahamas) A polyembryonic seedling, 'No. 13-1', introduced into Israel from Egypt in 1931, has been tested since the early 1960's in various regions of the country for tolerance of calcareous soils and saline conditions. It has done so well in sand with a medium (15%) lime content and highly saline irrigation water (over 600 ppm) that it has been adopted as the standard rootstock in commercial plantings in salty, limestone districts of Israel. Where the lime content is above 30%, iron chelates are added.
Mango trees grow readily from seed. Germination rate and vigor of seedlings are highest when seeds are taken from fruits that are fully ripe, not still firm. Also, the seed should be fresh, not dried. If the seed cannot be planted within a few days after its removal from the fruit, it can be covered with moist earth, sand, or sawdust in a container until it can be planted, or kept in charcoal dust in a dessicator with 50% relative humidity. Seeds stored in the latter manner have shown 80% viability even after 70 days. High rates of germination are obtained if seeds are stored in polyethylene bags but the seedling behavior may be poor. Inclusion of sphagnum moss in the sack has no benefit and shows inferior rates of germination over 2- to 4-week periods, and none at all at 6 weeks. The flesh should be completely removed. Then the husk is opened by carefully paring around the convex edge with a sharp knife and taking care not to cut the kernel, which will readily slide out. Husk removal speeds germination and avoids cramping of roots, and also permits discovery and removal of the larva of the seed weevil in areas where this pest is prevalent. Finally, the husked kernels are treated with fungicide and planted without delay. The beds must have solid bottoms to prevent excessive taproot growth, otherwise the taproot will become 18 to 24 in (45-60 cm) long while the top will be only one third to a half as high, and the seedling will be difficult to transplant with any assurance of survival. The seed is placed on its ventral (concave) edge with 1/4 protruding above the sand. Sprouting occurs in 8 to 14 days in a warm, tropical climate; 3 weeks in cooler climates. Seedlings generally take 6 years to fruit and 15 years to attain optimum yield for evaluation. However, the fruits of seedlings may not resemble those of the parent tree. Most Indian mangos are monoembryonic; that is, the embryo usually produces a single sprout, a natural hybrid from accidental crossing, and the resulting fruit may be inferior, superior, or equal to that of the tree from which the seed came. Mangos of Southeast Asia are mostly polyembryonic. In these, generally, one of the embryos in the seed is a hybrid; the others (up to 4) are vegetative growths which faithfully reproduce the characteristics of the parent. The distinction is not absolute, and occasionally a seed supposedly of one class may behave like the other. Seeds of polyembryonic mangos are most convenient for local and international distribution of desirable varieties. However, in order to reproduce and share the superior monoembryonic selections, vegetative propagation is necessary. Inarching and approach-grafting are traditional in India. Tongue-, saddle-, and root-grafting (stooling) are also common Indian practices. Shield- and patch-grafting have given up to 70% success but the For