Mango is one of the popular fruits in the world due to its attractive color, delicious taste and excellent nutritional properties. Known for its sweet fragrance and flavor, the mango has delighted the senses for more than 4000 years. A celebrated fruit, mango, now produced in most of the tropical parts of the globe.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

History of Mangifera indica (Mango)

History of Mangifera indica (Mango)

M. indica was evidently domesticated in the northern India-Burma region, where it still grows wild in the hills of Assam and adjacent areas.

The wild trees, like their cultivated derivates, can grow to over 40 m in height and live for over a century.

The mango was probably being planted in India by 2000 B.C and is prominently recorded in ancient Sanskrit writings.

Human selection has been concentrated on the fruit and has produced cultivars with much larger, better flavored fruits with less resin and fiber and smaller pits.

During the 17th century, the Portuguese planted mangoes in coastal areas of both East and West Africa; but acceptance by the Africans was slow and spread into the interior was erratic.

Mango trees were present in a few interior market towns in West Africa, e.g., Fouta Djallon, when European explorers arrived in the late 19th century, but most of the spread came later.

The earliest known successful introduction of M. indica to the New World was to Bahia in Brazil about 1700 with plantings elsewhere along the Brazilian coast soon after.

In 1742, the mango was successfully introduced to Barbados from Rio de Janeiro. Soon other direct introductions to the West Indies were made from the Indian Ocean.

In latter half of the 18th century, British and French colonial botanical gardens played a leading role in mango introduction.

Mango trees, along with East Indian spice trees, were planted in the St. Vincent botanical garden when it was started in 1766.

Meanwhile, a quite spate introduction had taken place across the Pacific from the Philippine to Mexico.

Mangoes were not grown around Manila until over a century after the trade with Mexico began, nor were they grown in Mexico until late in the 18th century when Mexico acquired, under the name of mango of Manila, the unusual apomictic variety grown in the Philippine and Guam.

The great expansion of mango growing over tropical Central and South America took place between 1800 and 1850 mainly by casualty planted and volunteer seedling trees often yielding poor quality fruit.

Geographic spread of Mangifera was essentially completed in the last half of the 19th century with its introduction to such far flung places as Florida, Hawaii, Fiji, Queensland and Natal.
History of Mangifera indica (Mango)
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