Mango trees (Mangifera indica L.) grow upto 35–40 m (115–130 ft) tall, with a crown radius of 10 m (33 ft). The mango tree is long-lived, as some specimens still fruit after 300 years. In deep soil, the taproot descends to a depth of 6 m (20 ft) and the profuse, wide-spreading feeder roots also send down many anchor roots, which penetrate several feet of soil. The leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple, 15–35 cm (5.9–14 in) long and 6–16 cm (2.4–6.3 in) broad; when the leaves are young they are orange-pink, rapidly changing to a dark glossy red, then dark green as they mature. The flowers are produced in terminal panicles 10–40 cm (3.9–16 in) long; each flower is small and white with five petals 5–10 mm (0.20–0.39 in) long, with a mild sweet odor suggestive of lily of the valley. The fruit takes three to six months to ripen.
The ripe fruit is variable in size and color. Cultivars are variously yellow, orange, red or green, and carry a single flat, oblong pit that can be fibrous or hairy on the surface, and which does not separate easily from the pulp. Ripe, unpeeled fruit gives off a distinctive resinous, sweet smell. Inside the pit 1–2 mm (0.039–0.079 in) thick is a thin lining covering a single seed, 4–7 mm (0.16–0.28 in) long. The seed contains the plant embryo.
The seed of mango can be hairy or fibrous
The "hedgehog" style is a common way of eating mangoes (left). A cross section of a mango can be seen on the right, not quite fully halving the fruit as the stone is not visible Cultivation and uses
Mango orchard in Multan, Pakistan
Unripe mangoes on a mango treeMangoes have been cultivated in the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years and reached East Asia between the 5th and 4th centuries BC. By the 10th century AD, cultivation had begun in East Africa. The 14th century Moroccan traveler, Ibn Battuta, reported it at Mogadishu. Cultivation came later to Brazil, the West Indies and Mexico, where an appropriate...