Aam or Mango, Mangifera indica

Aam or Mango (Mangifera indica, family: Anacardiaceae) is a medium or large-sized evergreen tree with spreading branches, attaining a height of 40 m. The trunk is grey or blackish and rough. The leafy tree is found everywhere in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, it is planted as a homestead tree. 

Mango is called the king of all fruits in the country. The Size, color, smell, juicy pulp, taste, nutritional value--overall it is the best fruit. It is the national tree of Bangladesh. Southeast Asia is the original home of the plant. 

Leaves are dark green with firm veins and midrib, much-smelled, glabrous, oblong-lanceolate, 12-20 cm long and 5-7 cm wide, alternate; edge undulated; petiole 2.5-4 cm long. 

New leaves are gorgeous-looking, reddish or copper-colored. Leaves emit a kind of milky latex. 

Flowers are very small, borne on terminal raceme in large panicle, reddish-yellow, highly-scented. Male and bisexual flowers are found together in the panicle. Flowering begins at the end of winter. 

Fruit is a drupe, big, round or oblong, green, yellow or red. Pulp is very sweet and juicy, yellow or reddish, delicious. The fruits become mature in the end of summer. Single fruit may weigh 100-700 grams. It is propagated by seeds and cuttings. 

The leafy and wide-rooted tree is a long-lived tree indeed. In suitable condition it can survive for 300 years. It is so much popular that it has around two and a half thousand different cultivars all over the world. About 1000 cultivars of mango are cultivated in this subcontinent. 

In 15-16th century, this delicious fruit spread throughout the world through the Spanish and Portuguese and Muslim missionaries. The tree is well mentioned in Buddhist literature `Jataka tales` (4th century BC) and in different ancient Sanskrit literature. The Mughal emperors have cultivated many native and foreign cultivars in their garden.

Some of the best cultivars of Mango that are produced in Bangladesh are Fozli, Lyangra, Gopalbhog, Amropali, Khirshapat, Shurjopori, Bombai, Himshagor, Kishanbhog, Asshina,, Baromashi, Kaachamittha, Brindaboni, Kuapahari, Raajbhog, Mohonbhog, Kohitor, Misribhog, Sridhon, Dudhia, Gopalkhash etc.

Different kinds of tasty food are made from both green and ripe fruits, like Morobba, Jelly, Chatni, Aamshi, Amshotto and varities of pickles. Although its wood is not high quality, yet it is used to make furniture and wooden boat. As firewood, it is excellent.

In the Indian subcontinent, it has been recognized as a medicinal plant since ancient times. Fruit contains a lot of Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin A. Leaves, fruits, milky latex and bark are used in bleeding, diabetes, hair fall, eye and dental diseases. 


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