Monday, 28 January 2013

Mango (Mangifera indica)

Commonly known as Mango, this fruit tree is native to Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, and Malaysia. 

The Mango Tree is a large, evergreen tree that can grow up to 35m tall. It has an umbrella-shaped crown of dark green foliage. The bark is brown and smooth with many thin fissures. It becomes thicker, rougher, and darker with age. A whitish latex exudes from cut twigs while a resin exudes from cuts in the trunk. The leaves are alternate and simple with a oblong-lanceolate shape. They are leathery and dark green in colour, growing up to 30cm long. When young, the leaves are an orange-pink colour.

Flowers are greenish-white or pinkish in colour and produced in terminal panicles about 10 to 40cm long. Each flower is only about 5 to 10mm long with five petals. The flowers have a mild, sweet fragrance. 

The fruit is an irregularly-shaped drupe about 8 to 15cm long. It is attached to the stalk at the broadest end. The skin of the mango is smooth and greenish-yellow or reddish when red. The flesh is a yellow-orange colour and is soft, sweet, and juicy. It may sometimes have a sour tinge when eaten before it is fully ripe. Mangoes also produce a strong sweet smell when ripe. It contains a single seed that is fibrous on the surface. It is hard to separate the seed from the pulp.

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