Oldest cultivated fruit tree in the world. The lovely mango was cultivated in India 4,000 years ago, and the plant itself is impressive, with leafy green foliage. The fruit, delicious for breakfast or dessert, is yellow and red with black specks, and generally kidney-shaped. This tasty and nutritious fruit is becoming increasingly popular in the States. It grows in the tropics and warm subtropics. It will grow in poor soils and does not need a lot of water. Good production starts in 2 to 3 years with grafted trees, although grafted trees will flower and fruit the first year even when small. Wet or cool weather during bloom in the spring limits fruit set. Temperatures of 40F will damage mango blossoms. Mature trees may tolerate 25F for a few hours with leaf and small branch damage, but young trees may be killed at 29-30F. Trees in the tropics become large and stately like oaks. Warning: Some people react to the skin of mango fruit like they do to poison ivy. Varieties: Over 400 varieties. According to variety, tree can be large or small, producing early, mid or late season fruit. Much variation in color, flavor, and fiber content according to variety.
See Mango varieties.