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Mango, photo courtesy of Inga Spence/Alamy
Mango, photo courtesy of Inga Spence/Alamy

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Zone
Zones 23, 24, H1, H2
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate
Toxicity
Sap and juice from fruit cause skin rash in some people

Mango

Anacardiaceae
Evergreen, Edible fruit, Trees

Tropical Asian native, known botanically as Mangifera indica.In Hawaii, mango trees reachupwards of 50 ft. tall and spread to 30 ft. or more. Thesetrees are very long-lived andproduce heavy crops of fruit. Inmildest parts of Southern California, however, plants often remain shrubby (8–10 ft. tall and nearly as wide) and arelikely to fruit only in the mostfavorable frost-free locations.Large leaves are often copperyred or purple when new; theylater turn dark green.

Trees are self-fruitful. Long clusters of yellow to reddish flowers appear at branch ends from spring into summer; these are followed by oval fruits up to 9 in. long, weighing up to 2 lbs. in good growing conditions. Fruithas green to reddish or yellowish skin, a large seed, and very juicy pale yellow to deep orange flesh that tastes somewhat like that of a peach with flowery overtones. Poorer-quality fruit may be stringy and/or have a flavor reminiscent of varnish. InSouthern California, skin maynot color well, but fruit qualitycan still be excellent.

Mangoes are most flavorful if allowed to ripen on the tree; they are usually ready to harvest 4 to 5 months after bloom. Reliable varieties include the standard-size ‘Ah Ping’ and ‘Pope’, and the compact ‘Carrie’, ‘Fairchild’, ‘Keitt’, and ‘Rapoza’. ‘Manila’ is a compact grower widely sold in California. Trees tend to bear more heavily in alternate years. They tolerate fairly poor, shallow soil as long as it is well drained. Fertilize as recommended for citrus. Anthracnose, scale, and powdery mildew can be serious problems. Little pruning is needed. Wear gloves when harvesting or pruning: sap can cause a rash.

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