Ready for Mangos?, Part V

Below are descriptions of even more of the mango cultivars available at Richard Lyons’ Nursery:

Mallika Great news: This cultivar, which should be picked green before breaking color, is an aro-matic, delicious, productive, disease-resistant mango that can be grown in small spaces, even on an apartment balcony. Terrible news: It is traditionally ripened in camel dung. Better news: If you hap-pen to run short of camel dung, you can ripen the fruit in a cardboard box at room temperature for 14-21 days. Weighing in at 10-18 oz., Mallika fruit matures in late June and July.

Nam Doc Mai This highly-sought Thai cultivar has been in Florida since 1973; it is considered the best of the Asian mangos. Fiberless, aromatic and very sweet, it can be grown in small yards and pruned to 10 ft. without damaging productivity. Nam Doc Mai fruit ripens in June and July and ranges in weight between 12 and 16 oz. The fruit can also be picked at a mature green state to dip in sauces or to make sweet preserves and pickles.

Naomi This was the first cultivar to be selected in the Israeli mango breeding program. Because of its origin, it should do well in hot climates, but also tolerate cooler winter conditions than normally experienced in southern Florida. Naomi grows into a medium-sized tree and produces a mildly sweet and nearly fiberless flesh. Weighing in at about 16 oz., the fruit ripens in mid-summer.

Okrung Like Nam Doc Mai, this cultivar was introduced in 1973 from Thailand, where it is com-monly consumed in combination with sticky rice. It rates very high on flavor and productivity. Mature trees are medium-sized and dense-growing. The juicy, somewhat-fibrous fruits reach about 8 oz. and ripen from June to August. The fruit can also be eaten green.

Palmer This cultivar dates back to a seed planted about 80 years ago in Miami, though it was not named until 1949. It produces a medium to large tree with an upright habit. The robust fruit, matur-ing to 20-30 oz. or more, possesses a mild, aromatic flavor with little fiber. Ripening occurs from July until early September. Because the skin of this mango often takes on a red-purple cast — or blush — far ahead of ripeness, it is very attractive, but that look sometimes leads to fruit being harvested before it’s mature.

Philippine Would you like a little uncertainty in your mango? Despite its name, this cultivar came to the US by way of Cuba. And in its homeland, it may be called Carabao instead of Philippine. This much is certain, however; the tree is a large, vigorous grower, well-adapted to the climate of south-ern Florida. The fruit — aromatic, rich, fiberless, and mildly sweet — matures in the 8-12 oz. range. Typically it ripens in the June-July time frame.

Pim Seng Mun (Phimsen Mun) A native of southeast Asia, this cultivar is particularly popular among fans of green mangos, because it features apple-like qualities — crisp, crunchy texture and pleasantly tart taste. Some aficianados add salt and Cayenne pepper to the green flesh. Allowed to ripen, the fruit is aromatic, smooth and sweet. Trees grow to a medium size, and the 8-oz. fruit ripens in June and July.

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