Mangifera indica: Mango tree

Family: Anacardiaceae
Common name: Mango Tree

One of the most common fruit trees in India, it’s a favorite fruit in this continent. Mango trees are said to have been around for more than 4000 years in the Indian sub-continent, and grows to a height of 20-30 meters. There are many popular varieties such as Alphonso, Neelum, Dasheri, Mallika, Mulgoa, Banganapalli, Totapuri in addition to hundreds of other varieties. Raw mangoes are used in curries, salads, juices and pickles; and ripe ones are used to make jams, jellies and juices. The timber from mango tree is used for making furniture.

Mango is the national fruit of India, Pakistan and the Philippines. And mango tree is the national tree of Bangladesh.

In olden days, the leaves of mango trees were used as spoons to eat rice gruel, where you made a cone with the leaf and fixed the edge using a small stick. The leaves were also used to clean teeth, since mangiferin, a compound present in the leaves have anti-bacterial properties.

Propagation is from seeds or through grafts from an existing tree.

Photo Courtesy: Brigitte Tohm, Suraj R