Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Garcinia mangostana L., Sp. Pl. 443.1753; T. Anderson in Fl. Brit. India 1: 260. 1874.

Beng., Hindi, Mal., Mar. & Tam.: Mangusta, Mangustan; Eng.: Mangosteen.

Evergreen trees with pyramidal or conical crown, 20 - 25 m tall; branchlets many, decussate, stout, cylindric, slightly grooved; wood brick-red, heavy; bark black or dark-brown, yellow, smooth; latex yellow, sticky. Leaves 15 - 25 x 6 - 12 cm, elliptic to elliptic-oblong, acute, obtuse or rotundate at base, acute or shortly acuminate at apex, margins thick, often slightly revolute, thickly coriaceous, at first purpurascent, shiny; lateral veins subhorizontal, numerous, prominent beneath, interarching with a double intermarginal nerve; petioles 2 - 2.5 cm long, stout. Male flowers rare, ca 4 cm in diam., showy, pale green or creamy yellow; pedicels 1.5 - 2 cm long; bracts severt 1; orbicular, concave, scarious. Sepals 4, erect, unequal, coriaceous, orbicular, concave, rotund. Petals 4, larger than sepals, ovate, fleshy, yellowish-red inside, greenish-red outside. Stamens indefinite, inserted on 4 thick, receptacular lobes below rudimentary pistil; filaments short; anthers ovate-oblong, recurved, bilocular, dehiscence longitudinal. Rudimentary pistil discoid, fleshy, red, apex conical, as long as stamens. Bisexual flowers solitary or geminate, pseudoterminal, 4 - 5 cm in diam.; pedicels 1.8 - 2 cm long, stout, woody. Sepals 4, decussate, orbicular, concave, persistent, outer pair shorter than inner, ca 2 cm in diam. Petals 4, purple, 2.5 - 3 cm in diam., orbicular, concave, thick, fleshy. Stamens many, 1 - 2-seriate; anthers as in male flowers; filaments 4 - 5 mm long, slender, connate at base. Ovary globular, 4 - 8-locular, smooth; ovules solitary, ascending; stigmas sessile, punctate, 5 - 8-lobed, lobes cuneiform. Berries up to 7 cm in diam., dark purplish-brown, glossy, smooth, surrounded by enlarged sepals at base and crowned by hard, flat stigma, on short peduncles; pericarp thick, spongy, reddish abounding in yellow latex. Seeds up to 8, oblong, laterally compressed, 1 - 2 cm long, with white, thick, with juicy, pleasant smelling aril.

Fl. & Fr. Throughout the year.

In India, this species prefers wet and humid climate and ca 600 - 700 m. Cultivation attempted in West Bengal, Assam, Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Success-fully established in a small area only, and also very rarely recorded from Arunachal Pradesh and Andamans. Cultivated in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia (Java), Malay Peninsula, Sunda Islands, Panama; semi-wild in Philippines, Singapore, Tropical Australia & other tropical countries.

Notes. Believed to have originated in W. Malesia. Generally considered as a most delicious fruit, highly prized and termed as 'queen of tropical fruits'; used as a dessert and can be made into preserve; available in Calcutta markets imported from Singapore. Rind is astringent, used as a febrifuge, in chronic diarrhoea, cystitis, gonorrhoea, gleet and tropical dysentery; also used in dyeing and tanning. The active principle appears to be a yellow pigment - mangostin. The Pericarp used as a paste for skin infections. Bark, rind and young leaves used as a gargle for a sore mouth. Wood suitable for cabinet work, building purposes, rice pounders and spear handles.

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