Mangifera indica – Mango
Other Common Names: Manako
Mangifera indica is a flowering plant and fruit-bearing tree that belongs to Anacardiaceae family. It is commonly known as Manako or Mango, and is cultivated widely all over the world for the commercial production of fruits and to serve as a garden tree and a shade tree.
It can grow so big, reaching a height of up to 130 feet or 40 meters tall, and a trunk circumference of more than 12 feet. Young mango trees have short trunks and wide, rounded crown, while older mango trees have taller trunks and slimmer, oval crown. The bark is distinctly brown with numerous cracks and crevices.
The leaves of the mango tree grow in flushes up to three times a year. They are arranged spirally and live on the tree for up to 5 years before they get shed off. When young, the leaves are colored copper, and as they mature, they turn light green, and then eventually dark green. They have a shiny surface and have petioles that are 1 to 12.5 centimeters long.
Numerous small flowers grow in inflorescences that can be up to 30 centimeters long. Then, they are followed by fruits that usually grow 2 to 6 inches or 5 to 15 centimeters long, dangling irregularly from the tips. The fruits are completely edible, with the flavor varying from sour to sweet, depending on the ripeness. In fact, the mango fruit is considered to be the national fruit of Pakistan, India, and the Philippines.
Aside from the delicious fruits, another use of the mango tree is for lumber. The wood taken from the mango tree can be used to make low-cost furniture, plywood, and musical instruments. However, it should not be used as firewood because it may contain poison ivy and may cause eye and respiratory irritation.