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History: Mangoes first originated in South Asia, found in the foothills of the Himalayas in Northeastern India, it had been cultivated for thousands of years before it got to East Asia in the 4th and 5th BC. It later got introduced to Africa and most other tropical regions around 10AD, cultivation later came to Mexico, Brazil, West Indies and Bermuda around the late 1700s.
Trees: Mango trees are deep rooted, symmetrical evergreens that grow up to around 40 metres high and has a tree cover of between 5-10 m wide.
Flowers: Mature terminal branches bear pyramidal flower panicles that have several hundred white flowers that are about a 1/4 inch wide when open. Each flower is small and white with five petals, most of the flowers function as males by providing pollen, some are bisexual and set fruit. Pollination is by flies, wasps, and bees.
Leaves: Same as its tree, the leaves are evergreen, simple lanceloate and grow up to about 15-30cm long and 6-16cm wide.
Fruits: Mangoes weigh between 0.11-1.3 kg and are round or oval, egg shaped or kidney shaped, the unripe fruits are green in colour and gradually changes to red, yellow, orange or a combination of all as it ripens.
Varieties: There are over 400 varieties of mango fruits, ‘Ah Ping’, ‘Fairchild’, ‘Gouveia’, ‘Harders’, ‘Keitt’, ‘Momi K’, ‘Pope’, and ‘Rapoza’ are some mango varieties from Hawaii.These are also some cultivars from India: Alphonso, Zill, Julie, Palmer, Keitt, Lippens, Saigon, Edward, Haden and Early gold and according to Kitchenbutterfly some of the local names she knows are Sherry (Cheri, Sheri, Cherry?), Kerosene, Peter, German, Jane, Enugu and Ogbomosho mangoes.
Mango fun facts:
A basket of mangoes is considered a gesture of friendship in India.