Mangifera indica!! Marked as invasive by:CABI Invasive Species Compendium,Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species

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Albizia gummifera
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Artocarpus integer
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Artocarpus mariannensis
Asimina triloba
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Aucomea klaineana
Averrhoa bilimbi
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Azadirachta indica
Azanza garckeana
Related Links
The mango tree, Mangifera indica, at the end of the dry season in Burkina Faso. While everything else is dry at this time of the year, this tree is dark green and full of juicy fruits.
© Robert Zwahlen
M. indica fruits.
© Chris Gardiner
Grafted mango from Kodiaga Prison farm grown on farmers field in western Kenya
© Anthony Simons
Mangifera indica
© Paul Latham
Mangifera indica fruits (Ribe variety)
© Paul Latham
Habit at Makawao, Maui, Hawaii
© Forest and Kim Starr
Ripening mango on a 4ft high tree.
© Trade winds fruit
In commercial fruit production, regular pruning is often critical to stimulate fruit production and facilitate harvesting. Here Dr. Richard Chambers demonstrates mango pruning.
© Craig Elevitch
A typical Samoa home garden contains numerous fruit trees as well as some ornamentals.
© Craig Elevitch

Local names:
Amharic (mango), Arabic (manga), Bengali (am), Burmese (thayet thayt-hypu,thar-yetthi,mempalam), Creole (mango), Creole Patois (margot), Dutch (bobbie manja,manja,manggaboom,kanjanna manja,maggo), English (mango), Filipino (paho,mangga,mango), French (ma

Mangifera indica is a large evergreen tree to 20 m tall with a dark green, umbrella-shaped crown. Trunk stout, 90 cm in diameter; bark brown, smoothish, with many thin fissures; thick, becoming darker, rough and scaly or furrowed; branchlets rather stout, pale green and hairless. Inner bark light brown and bitter. A whitish latex exudes from cut twigs and a resin from cuts in the trunk.

Leaves alternate, simple, leathery, oblong-lanceolate, 16-30 x 3-7 cm, on flowering branches, up to 50 cm on sterile branches, curved upward from the midrib and sometimes with edges a little wavy. Young leaves red, aging to shiny dark green above, lighter below, with yellow or white venation; petioles 4.5 cm long, striate and swollen at the base.

Inflorescence 16 cm or more in length, a much-branched panicle bearing many very small (4 mm) greenish-white or pinkish flowers. Flowers radially symmetrical, usually have 5 spreading petals, 3-5 mm long, 1-1.5 mm broad, streaked with red, imbricate, with the median petal prolonged like a crest at the base, finely hairy and fragrant, partly male and partly bisexual; stalk short; 5 stamens, 1 fertile, the other 4 shorter and sterile, borne in a disc. The flower has a conspicuous 5-lobed disc between the petals and stamens. Calyx yellow-green, very short, deeply 5-lobed; 5 sepals, each 2-2.5 mm long x 1-1.5 mm broad, green with whitish margin, or yellowish-green, hairy outside.

Fruit an irregularly egg-shaped and slightly compressed fleshy drupe, 8-12 (max. 30) cm long, attached at the broadest end on a pendulous stalk. The skin smooth, greenish-yellow, sometimes tinged with red. The underlying yellow-orange flesh varies in quality from soft, sweet, juicy and fibre-free in high-quality selected (clonal) varieties to turpentine flavoured and fibrous in wild seedlings. The single, compressed-ovoid seed is encased in the white fibrous inner layer of the fruit.

The generic name is derived from ‘mango’, the Indian name for the fruit, and the Latin ‘fero’ (‘I bear’).

Ecology

The mango thrives in both the subtropics and the tropics. In the subtropics, the cold months ensure excellent floral induction, but late frosts are a major risk; tender parts of the tree are killed by frost. In the tropics, the mango grows anywhere up to 1200 m elevation, but for fruit production a prominent dry season lasting more than 3 months is necessary. A flowering flush is produced during the dry season, but—contrary to the subtropics—flowering is erratic and a yield-limiting factor. At elevations above 600 m in the tropics, the climate becomes too cool for the commercial cultivars, the optimum temperature being about 24-27 deg. C. 

The trees are drought tolerant but do not seem to suffer from occasional flooding. Frequently found in coastal areas. Trees shade out grasses because of their thick crowns.

Native range
Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Myanmar

Tree management

Irrigation in the 1st years after planting promotes flushing (and suppresses flowering), so that tree size increases quickly. Irrigation also widens the scope for intercropping, for example, with papaya, banana, pineapple or vegetables, during the establishment phase. When the trees are big enough to produce a substantial crop, irrigation is stopped, or at least interrupted long enough to impose quiescence leading to flower initiation. Trees of most cultivars have a dense canopy, and with a little weeding the orchard floor can be kept clean.

To ensure good, balanced and productive growth, the mango seedlings should be pruned. The main stem of the hardy trees is allowed to grow to 1 m before being topped to give well-distributed branches. In fruiting trees, pruning is confined to the removal of dead wood and branches broken or weakened by pests and diseases.

Seed storage behaviour is recalcitrant; there is complete loss in viability within 7 days in open storage at 30 deg. C. Viability can be maintained for 120 days with subimbibed seeds stored at 15 deg. C; no loss in viability of excised embryonic axes on fast desiccation to 11.8% mc. Seeds are damaged by chilling to temperatures below 3-6 deg. C. They require no pretreatment, but nicking enhances germination. Fresh seeds germinate at temperatures between 5 and 40 deg. C, with germination being most rapid between 25 and 40 deg. C. The germination rate of fresh stones is generally over 80%, with the normal rate ranging from 60 to 90%. Sowing complete fruit or stones with the pulp attached delays germination by up to 7 weeks, and germination rate is only 30-50%. Mature mango seeds have a high mc and cannot withstand desiccation; desiccation below 30% mc will kill them. Wet storage of stones at 15 deg. C is possible, but germinating seeds develop roots about 5 cm long and shoots about 8 cm long after 6 months. There are up to 50 seeds/kg.

The mango thrives in both the subtropics and the tropics. In the subtropics, the cold months ensure excellent floral induction, but late frosts are a major risk; tender parts of the tree are killed by frost. In the tropics, the mango grows anywhere up to 1200 m elevation, but for fruit production a prominent dry season lasting more than 3 months is necessary. A flowering flush is produced during the dry season, but—contrary to the subtropics—flowering is erratic and a yield-limiting factor. At elevations above 600 m in the tropics, the climate becomes too cool for the commercial cultivars, the optimum temperature being about 24-27 deg. C. 

The trees are drought tolerant but do not seem to suffer from occasional flooding. Frequently found in coastal areas. Trees shade out grasses because of their thick crowns.

Worldwide, most mangos are propagated from seed. Preferably, large and fully developed stones should be sown. Careful removal of the endocarp, releasing the seed, results in earlier and more uniform germination, producing seedlings with a straight stem and roots. However, this method is not feasible for commercial production of planting stock. Stones should be sown under shade, and seedlings also require a certain amount of shade. Those that are raised in nursery beds can be transplanted without much difficulty before the taproot has developed to any great extent. However, seedlings raised in baskets or containers are preferable. Selected varieties may also be propagated vegetatively by grafting the rootstock of the same or other Mangifera species and by budding.

Poison: In sensitive individuals, ingestion of the fruit or skin contact with the juice may cause a rash like that of poison ivy.

 Mango is cultivated for the fruit, which can be eaten in 3 distinct ways, depending largely on the cultivar: unripe (mature green, very popular in Thailand and the Philippines), ripe (the common way to enjoy mango throughout the world), and processed (at various stages of maturity, in the form of pickles or chutneys, dried slices, canned slices in syrup, juice and puree or paste). The fruit is surrounded by golden, juicy flesh, rich in vitamins A and C. The green fruit is also used to flavour fish and meat dishes in the same way as tamarind and other sour fruits. In India, the kernels are important as a famine food, but the astringency has to be removed by boiling, roasting and soaking them for a long time. Young leaves are cooked as a vegetable.

Fodder: Mango leaves are occasionally fed to cattle, but large quantities can cause death. Seed kernels are a byproduct of processing; they can be used as feed for cattle and poultry.

Apiculture: M. indica is an important honey plant, secreting large quantities of nectar.

With a calorific value of 4200 kcal/kg, the wood makes excellent charcoal and firewood.

Timber: Heartwood is pale yellowish-brown to reddish-brown, darkening on exposure, not clearly demarcated from the pale yellowish-brown sapwood. Grain somewhat wavy, texture moderately coarse; freshly cut wood is scentless. The wood is used for many purposes, including indoor construction, meat-chopping blocks, furniture, carpentry, flooring, boxes, crates and boat building (canoes and dugouts).

Shade or shelter: Its umbrella-shaped crown makes the mango tree a suitable shade for people and their livestock; it also acts as a firebreak.

Tannin or dyestuff: Bark is the source of a yellowish-brown dye used for silk.

Medicine: Charred and pulverized leaves make a plaster to remove warts and also act as a styptic. Seeds are used to treat stubborn colds and coughs, obstinate diarrhoea and bleeding piles. The bark is astringent, homeostatic and antirheumatic.

Soil improver: Mango leaves improve soil fertility when used as mulch for crops.

Intercropping: Young mango is often interplanted with other fruits and vegetables, and the tree is a valued component of the traditional homegarden agroforestry system.