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   Where Does Mangosteen Grow?

The mangosteen tree is found predominantly in Southeast Asia in countries like China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan and Philippines.  There has been attempts to grow them in the US but it has not been successful.   In Hawaii, the tree has not acclimatized and is rare in those islands. Neither has it been successful in California. The soil and climate in Florida is very unfavorable. Some plants have been grown for a time in containers in greenhouses. One tree, protected and grown in special soil lived to produce a single fruit before succumbing to winter cold.

The mangosteen is ultra-tropical and cannot tolerate temperatures below 40 F (4.44 C), nor above 100 F (37.78 C). Seedlings are killed at 45 F (7.22 C).

It is limited in Malaya to elevations below 1,500 ft (450 m);  In Madras it grows from 250 to 5,000 ft (76-1,500 m) above sea-level; and attempts to establish it north of 200 latitude have failed.

Mangosteen ordinarily requires high atmospheric humidity and an annual rainfall of 50 inches (127 cm) and no long periods of drought. In Dominica, mangosteens growing in an area having 80 inches (200 cm) of rain yearly required special care, but another locality with 105 inches (255 cm) and better moisture- holding soil capacity, flourished.

Mangosteen is not adapted to limestone and requires deep, rich organic soil, especially sandy loam or laterite. In India, the most productive specimens are on clay containing coarse material and a little silt. Sandy alluvial soils are not suitable for the mangosteen tree and sand low in humus contributes to the tree's low yields. Mangosteen needs good drainage and the water table ought to be about 6 ft (1.8 m) below ground level. The mangosteen must be sheltered from strong winds and salt spray.

Technically, the so-called "seeds" are not true seeds but adventitious embryos, or hypocotyl tubercles, inasmuch as there has been no sexual fertilization.  Some of the seeds are polyembryonic, producing more than one shoot. The individual nucellar embryos can be separated, if desired, before planting.

Inasmuch as the percentage of germination is directly related to the weight of the seed, only plump, fully developed seeds should be chosen for planting. Even these will lose viability in 5 days after removal from the fruit, though they are viable for 3 to 5 weeks in the fruit. Soaking in water for 24 hours expedites and enhances the rate of germination. Generally, sprouting occurs in 20 to 22 days and is complete in 43 days.

The young plants take 2 years or more to reach a height of 12 in (30 cm).  Fruiting may take place in 7 to 9 years from planting but usually not for 10 or even 20 years.

Conventional vegetative propagation of the mangosteen is difficult.

-Morton, J. 1987. Mangosteen. p. 301304. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL.


    Harvest Season In The Philippines

Mangosteen is among the exotic fruits found at outdoor markets during harvest season in the Philippines.  Pictured is a vendor at the Kidapawan City's Fruit Festival on August, 2007.



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  Disclaimer: Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.

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