Mango trees are grown over a wide area in South Africa, with the main production regions being the Northern Province and Mpumalanga. Tolerant of a wide range of climatic conditions, the mango tree flourishes in humid warm conditions where enough water is available during the fruit development stage. This evergreen, medium to large (9 – 35 m) tree has a long tap-root, up to 6 m in depth and a dense mass of feeding roots just beneath the soil surface. The simple leaves are leathery and pointed and will emit a distinct turpentine odour when crushed in many cultivars. New leaves are formed two to three times a year and in mature trees, the first flush is usually transformed into a flower flush.
Mango cultivars are characterised by various factors including the time of ripening, fruit size, external appearance and quality of fruit.
The Tommy Atkins cultivar is one of the earliest to mature and bears large fruit of 450 to 700g. The skin has an attractive red colour and the fruit has a good shelf life. The flavour of the flesh is mild and sweet with a certain amount of fibre. Ripe fruit can be distinguished by the softer texture and a mild aroma of mango.
Rich in vitamins A and C with mineral salts, mangoes are not only delicious, but also good for you!