Mango (Mangifera indica)

Mango fruitThe Mango tree may reach 34-40 meters (115-130 feet) in height with a crown radius of 10 meters (33 feet). It has alternate, simple, shiny, dark green leaves. When the leaves are young they are orange-pink and change to dark, glossy red, then dark green as they mature.  Its white flowers are small and inconspicuous and have five petals each and a mild odor. Its fruits have a large single seed. There are many cultivated varieties of mango. Some have red flesh, others yellow or orange, often with many fibers and a kerosene taste. They carry a single flat, oblong pit that can be fibrous or hairy on the surface (and does not separate easily from the pulp).

Mango treesWhere to Find: This tree grows in warm, moist regions. It is native to northern India, Myanmar, and western Malaysia. It is now grown throughout the tropics.

Edible Parts: The sweet fruits are a nutritious food source. The unripe fruit can be peeled and its flesh eaten by shredding it and eating it like a salad. The ripe fruit can be peeled and eaten raw. Roasted seed kernels are edible.

Mango treeThe peel can be eaten but can potentially cause dermatitis on the lips or tongue on some people.  Under-ripe mangos can be ripened by placing them in a brown paper bag.

Mangos contain vitamins A and C, vitamin B6, and other B vitamins and essential nutrients such as potassium, copper, and amino acids.  The peel contains beta-carotene, lutein, and other antioxidants.

Note: If you are sensitive to poison ivy, avoid eating mangoes, as they cause a severe reaction in sensitive individuals.

Mango tree

Mango tree

Mango tree

Mango tree with hanging fruit

Immature (baby) Mango fruit

Mango fruit just beginning to grow

Mango leaves and fruit seeds

Large Mango fruit hanging from tree

Hundreds of Mango fruit bunches

Mango leaves

Close-up of Mango leaves

Drawing of Mangifera indica (Mango) leaves and fruit

Color drawing of Mango leaves and hanging fruit

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