This installment concludes our survey of mango cultivars available at Richard Lyons’ Nursery. This year’s mango crop in southern Florida continues to show great potential. There has been no cold outbreak serious enough to damage either flowers or pollinators, and we are well beyond the statistical ‘dead of winter.’ March winds have started a little early, but the fruit on most trees is still too small to be blown off. Growers shouldn’t be surprised when strong winds do cause fruit drop, but this year the trees have flowered so prolifically that those inevitable losses will not diminish the yield on most trees in any meaningful way.
Rapoza This Hawaiian cultivar produces a vigorous midsize to large tree with a rounded canopy, and it holds up well in humid climates. Not only is the fruit fairly large, 14-28 oz., but the seed is small, so the fiberless, juicy flesh takes up over 85% of the capacity of the fruit. The mango is also anthracnose-resistant. Fruit ripens in July.
Rosigold Originating in Southeast Asia, Rosigold is among the earliest cultivars to ripen — from mid-March to June — and possesses fiberless, aromatic and sweet fruit that averages about 11 oz. Moreover, the tree is small, maturing at 15 ft. and capable of being maintained at 8 ft. without jeopardizing productivity.
S.T. Maui Here is another desirable Hawaiian cultivar which, like Rapoza, is well-suited to humid climates. The tree is a medium to large grower. Its roundish, attractively-colored, fiberless fruit is juicy and sweet-tasting. An admirer in southern Florida has referred to it as a ‘top tier mango’ of ‘superb’ eating quality. Ripening occurs in early summer.
San Felipe If you’re looking for a mango that grows vigorously and produces consistently, then San Felipe may be the one for you. Originating in western Cuba, this Haden-like cultivar reaches medium to large size and yields a good-looking, spicy, sweet fruit that matures in the 14-32 oz. range. Because ripening occurs early in the rainy season, this mango’s disease resistance is enhanced.
Tommy Atkins This Florida-bred cultivar, descended from Haden seeds planted in Broward County in the early 1920s, is known for its long shelf life, and it is the most widely-grown commercial mango in the New World. The tree grows to a large size and produces a very attractive, disease-resistant fruit that weighs in at just over 16 oz. on average. Ripening time is June and July.
Valencia Pride This is another in the long line of Florida cultivars developed from the Haden mango, and is one of the best-tasting of the late-season varieties. The vigorous tree can reach 50 ft., with a spreading, open canopy. It produces a strikingly-colored, S-shaped fruit noted for its aroma, smoothness and sweet taste. Mature weight is in the 21-32 oz. range, and ripening occurs from July to August.