Mango, the native name of an East Indian fruit, of species of mangifera, of which 14 are known; some of them have been cultivated and become completely naturalized in the West Indies and other tropical countries. The genus belongs to the anacarcliaceas or cashew family, of which our native representatives are the sumachs. The most important species is If. Indica, of which there are numerous varieties; it is a large spreading tree, with simple, entire, leathery, lanceolate leaves, and large terminal panicles of flowers; the calyx is four- or five-parted, petals six; the stamens four or five, only one or two of which are fertile; ovary one-celled, with a curved style; the fruit is large, 3 in or more long, ovate, and very variable in shape and color; it is at first green and then becomes partly or wholly orane-colored; beneath the skin there is in the better varieties a rich delicious pulp, in the centre of which is a large stone, to which the inner portion of the pulp is attached by coarse fibres something after the manner of a clingstone peach. The largest varieties weigh two pounds, but the fruit is usually not larger than a goose egg.
In its fresh state the fruit is much prized by the inhabitants of tropical countries, and it is sometimes offered in a very poor condition in our seaport cities. It is sent from the West Indies in the form of a sweetmeat, but in that state it is simply sweet and flavorless. The green fruit, pickled and highly spiced, is imported into England from the East Indies; an imitation of this pickle, called mangoes, is made of green melons stuffed with aro-matics. Some of the varieties are not edible on account of their strong flavor of turpentine, and being very stringy also, one writer compares them to "a mixture of tow and turpentine." The tree is sometimes cultivated under glass as a curiosity. ' The wood is used together with sandalwood by the Hindoos in burning their dead; the bark possesses astringent properties, and the tree when wounded exudes a gum resin which is also astringent. The natives of India are said to make use of the astringent leaves and leaf stalks of the mango to harden the gums, and they also employ them as remedial agents in other ways.
The seeds are said to possess anthelmintic properties, and when boiled are eaten in times of scarcity.
Mango (Mangifera Indica).