Online Encyclopedia

MANGO

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 572 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MANGO. The mango-tree (Mangifera indica, natural order Anacardiaceae) is a native of tropical Asia, but is now extensively cultivated in the tropical and subtropical regions of the New as well as the Old World. It is indigenous in India at the base of the Himalayas, and in Further India and the Andaman Islands (see A. de Candolle, Origin of Cultivated Plants). The cultivation of the fruit must have spread at an early age over the Indian Peninsula, and it now grows 'everywhere in the plains. It grows rapidly to a height of 30 to 40 ft., and its dense, spreading and glossy foliage would secure its cultivation for the sake of its shade and beauty alone. Its fruit, a drupe, though in the wild variety (not to be confused with that of Spondias mangifera, belonging to the same order, also called wild mango in India) stringy and sour, from its containing much gallic acid, and with a disagreeable flavour of turpentine, has become sweet and luscious through culture and selection, to which we owe many varieties, differing not only in flavour but also in size, from that of a plum to that of an apple. When unripe, they are used to make pickles, tarts and preserves; ripe, they form a wholesome and very agreeable dessert. In times of scarcity the kernels also are eaten. The timber, although soft and liable to decay, serves for common purposes, and, mixed with sandal-wood, is employed in cremation by the Hindus. It is usually propagated by grafts, or by layering or inarching, rather than by seed. See G. Watt, Dictionary of the Economic Products of India (1891).
End of Article: MANGO
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