2019 Mango & Tropical Fruit Festival Curator's Choice Trees:

 Dr. Noris Ledesma, Curator of Tropical Fruit, has carefully selected mango cultivars well-suited to contemporary South Florida conditions. These cultivars represent a new generation of mangos with superior horticultural traits. We have featured mangos from the far reaches of the world; each location with its own unique genetic mix, particular look, flavor and texture. 

Our twenty-seven-year tour of the mango world has been full of adventure, lore and, of course, taste. We have been taken to Asia and Africa, North and South America, and now we have come back to South Florida and to our members and visitors. We are ready to speak of the Fairchild “brand” that celebrates the diversity of the fruit, as well as a future for the mango, limited only by our imagination and genetic diversity. We have well over 600 mango varieties thriving in the Redland at The Fairchild Farm. Each variety is unique and worthy of appreciation on its own merits. The Living Mango Collection holds the secrets of a world of mangos as well as the very future of this fruit.

There is much to discover and to share with the home gardener of South Florida, as seen in this opening passage taken from the field notes of our Borneo expeditions from the past 2 decades for the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Back at home in South Florida we have a unique opportunity to grow what others cannot. A handful of wild mangos have been successfully collected, studied and domesticated for South Florida. We specially select two wild mangos than are adaptable and have good and unique flavor.

For the Mango Festival, we have hand-picked the best that we have to offer from our Living Genetic Collection. Our selections of mango trees are full of potential and ready to produce top-quality fruit. Trees are approximately 3 ft. in height, growing in a 2-gallon plastic pot. For your convenience, a tree holding area is available both days of the Festival. (Unfortunately, we cannot pre-sell or ship trees.)

'Kastooree' : The Blue Mango (Mangifera casturi

M. casturi, or kastooree, is a vigorous tree that forms a tight, upright canopy with shiny, dark green leaves contrasted with bright red new growth. Although inconsistent in flowering, the tree is well adapted to our climate and the leaves, blooms and fruit are tolerant of anthracnose, but susceptible to powdery mildew. The fruit are purpura with a natural wax than make them almost blue. They are sweet and provocative, often with a bit of fiber in the flesh, with a juicy, sweet flavor than resemble passion fruit and lychee. The new growth and inflorescences are a bright red color and highly ornamental.

 

 

‘Mango Madu' (Indonesia) 

The name “madu” means “honey” and they appear in great quantities in local markets of central Java. Unlike the mango, their blooms are often pleasantly fragrant, heavy with jasmine that entices the honeybee to visit and spread their pollen.    Tree is small with leathery leafs. The fruit is 9 ounces with green skin. Flesh can be pale to deep yellow with particular brown honey pockets in the flesh. Fruit are very sweet and aromatic with a distinguish honey flavor. It is medium size tree, and productive. Flowers are fragrant, with pyramidal panicles with a frarant aroma to jazmin. Honey bees often visit flowers. 

 


'Angie' (Florida) 

'Angie' was selected for home garden and estate agriculture in South Florida due to its compact growth habit, disease tolerance and overall fruit quality. The fruit are 14 ounces, oblong and saffron yellow with Indian orange blush on the sun-exposed shoulders. The skin is smooth and without visible lenticels. The flesh is tangerine orange and without fiber. The flavor is classified in the 'Alphonso' class of mangos with a deep sweetness and sophisticated profile rich in apricot. The disease tolerance is excellent and given its early season it often can be harvested before the rainy season in South Florida. The tree is semi-dwarf and highly manageable with annual pruning. Size can be maintained at or below 10 feet with consistent production. The tree is easy to grow if nitrogen is kept low and the tree is not over-watered or grown in soils prone to flooding or with a high watertable. 


'Fairchild' (Panama) 

'Fairchild' was selected by Dr. David Fairchild and his family in the early 1900s in the Panama Canal Zone. The small, oblong fruit average 10 ounces and have lemon yellow skin at maturity in June and July. The juicy, fiber free flesh is deep orange and aromatic, with a rich, spicy flavor. 'Fairchild' always ranks among the top cultivars in public evaluations at Fairchild's Mango Festival. The tree and fruit are highly tolerant of disease and fruit well under humid conditions, making it a natural for South Florida. The tree is among the most ornamental of mangos, with its compact shape and deep green color. It can be maintained at a height and spread of 8 feet or less, perfect for those with a modest-sized home garden. 


'Mallika' (India) 

Mallika is a hybrid between Neelum and Dasheri, and is considered among the best of the new generation of Indian dessert mangos. The tree is semi-dwarf, making it attractive to mango growers outside of India, who are always looking for new niche markets around the world. The bright yellow fruit are a flattened oblong shape, with a rounded base and an irregular, non-waxy skin. The fruit weigh from 10 to 18 ounces. When properly ripened, the pasty, but completely fiber-free flesh is a deep orange, with an intensely sweet, rich and highly aromatic flavor. Mallika fruit are harvested mature-green, before they break color on the tree and should be stored at a temperature of not less than 70 degrees F for 2 to 3 weeks for proper ripening. In this manner their ultimate eating quality will be achieved. The fruit can be refrigerated after complete ripening, but not before.  


'Nam Doc Mai' (Thailand) 

'Nam Doc Mai' is among the best dessert mangos of Thailand, with an exceptional appearance and eating quality. The fruit are long, slender and sigmoid, weighing from 12 to 16 ounces. The ripe fruit range from a greenish- to canary-yellow, rarely with a reddish blush on the sun-exposed shoulder. The flesh is soft and juicy, with a sweet and aromatic flavor. 'Nam Doc Mai' has no fiber. In Thailand and throughout much of Asia, it encompasses what is most desired in terms of versatility and quality. It is used while mature green for dipping in sauces and for making sweet preserves and pickles. When ripe, they have a smooth, silky texture and extreme sweetness and bouquet. It has found a home in the Caribbean, where it grows and fruits well. 


'Rosigold' (Florida) 

'Rosigold' is a local selection of Southeast Asian heritage. It is the answer to those who just cannot wait for the mango season to arrive, because the fruit ripen from middle to late March. The fruit are cylindrical, weighing 11 ounces and are a bright yellow, with crimson and red highlights on the sun-exposed shoulders. The skin is thick, tender and adhesive to the soft, melting and juicy deep-orange flesh. The flavor is rich, aromatic and sweet, with a hint of the Asian Tropics. There is no fiber in the silky flesh. The tree is small, manageable and highly productive and can be kept at 8 feet, while maintaining proper health and fruiting. Blooming often occurs in successive waves throughout the winter, resulting in a multi-harvest fruiting season. There is a need to thin fruit in most years to improve fruit size and quality. 


'Cogshall' (Florida) 

Cogshall was selected on Pine Island, Florida in the 1940s for its small tree size, good production, eating quality and beauty. It remained a local favorite for many years, but due to the softness of its flesh, it never became a commercial success.  The fruit weigh from 10 to 18 ounces. The color is an eye-catching yellowish-orange, overlaid with a brilliant crimson blush. The soft, completely fibreless flesh has an excellent rich, spicy and aromatic flavor, which is sure to please even the most finicky of mango connoisseurs. The fruit and trees have good tolerance to fungal diseases. Fruit should be handled with care, as they are easily damaged due to the thin skin and soft flesh. The Cogshall tree remains small and compact and with minimal pruning can be maintained at a height and spread of 6 feet or less. Such a tree will easily produce 30 to 40 pounds (3 to 4 boxes) of fruit while retaining health and vigor. The fruit is not available commercially outside of South Florida, and even within this region it is extremely difficult to find.