Mangosteen is also known in narrow circles as purple mangosteen. This tropical evergreen tree first appeared, as many scholars believe, on the Zondeon Islands and the Moluccas Islands of Indonesia. Now it grows mainly in South-East Asia, as well as in the tropical countries of South America: Colombia, Kerala in India, Puerto Rico and Hawaii, where the tree was imported.
It can reach 25 meters in height, although there are also relatively small trees, for example, 6 meters in height. The unusual exotic fruit mangosteen is very sweet and spicy, its pulp is juicy and slightly fibrous with vesicle fluid (like citrus fruits). The inedible peel of the fruit has a red-purple hue during ripening. The seeds of the fruit are almond-shaped and small.
Purple mangosteen belongs to the same species as the other, but lesser-known mangosteen, such as the mangosteen button or the mangosteen madruno. Growing it at home requires a reverent approach to choosing a growing place and compliance with the rules of care. The article talks about how to eat fruit and in what variations it can be used.
In the meantime, look at the mangosteen fruit in the photo, illustrating the external attractiveness of a powerful plant:
Let's get acquainted with the tropical stranger in the photo
As we said earlier, the mangosteen's birthplace is the Sunda Islands and the islands of Indonesia. Since ancient times, the tree is bred in the Philippines, Java, Sumatra and mainland Southeast Asia. The tree and its fruit is highly valued in the market for its delicate texture and slightly sweet-sour taste. Let's take a closer look at this tropical stranger. Look at the mangosteen on the photo, it allows you to imagine yourself this unusual fruit:
A description of the mangosteen was first included in Linnaeus’s Species Plantarum in 1753. In Russia, for the first time, a tree was grown in a greenhouse in 1855 year. Subsequently, the culture of this tree was introduced in the Western Hemisphere, where it was established in the territory of the West Indies, especially in Jamaica. Later, culture became established on the continents of America, and later in Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Ecuador. The tree never grows far from the tropics.
Due to the long duration of the fruiting period and the long-term result of cycle selection, mangosteen is considered not the best option for research that can improve the productivity of the tree.
Reproduction and cultivation of mangosteen at home
Mangosteen is often propagated by seedlings. The vegetative breeding method is difficult, unlike the first method. Saplings are not only reliable, but they also produce fruit earlier than vegetatively propagated plants.
The plant produces recalcified seeds - these are not seeds in the usual understanding of botany, but as the egg cell of asexual embryo. Seed formation does not imply any fertilization, therefore the seedling is genetically identical to the maternal plant. If the plant dries out, the seeds die very quickly. But if during reproduction the seeds are wetted, then through 2-3 weeks the seeds will begin to germinate. After that, the plant can be kept in a nursery in a pot for 2-3 years.
Growing mangosteen at home requires a lot of experience and tremendous knowledge from the grower. As soon as the tree reaches 25-30 centimeters, they are transplanted into a garden or other open space a distance 20-40 centimeters from each other. Transplantation is always done in the rainy season, as young trees need shade - most effectively coconut and banana trees, rambutan and durian. Another advantage of growing other crops near mangosteen is that they suppress weeds.
Mangosteen fruit initially appears in the form of a pale green or near-white product. Over time, the fruit increases - it takes about 3-4 a month, and the color deepens to dark green. During this period, the fruit grows in size until its size is 6-8 centimeters in diameter from the outside to the final stage of maturation.
Plant-tree growth slows down if the temperature in the room drops below 20 degrees Celsius. The ideal temperature range for it is from 25 to 30 degrees, with air humidity 80% - 38-40 degrees. The lowest possible temperature is 3-5 degrees. both young and adult trees tolerate shade well.
Mangosteen trees have a weak root system and prefer deep, well-drained soil with a high moisture content, which is why in their natural environment they grow near large and not very rivers. The plant is not intended for limestone soils with a low organic content. The tree requires a climate with a good distribution of precipitation throughout the year (<40 mm / month) and 3-5 weeks of the dry season. It is sensitive to water availability and fertilizer use, the amount of which increases with the age of the tree (regardless of the region of residence). In the first five years after germination, mangosteen is very sensitive to drought, so it needs a root stock, including for better development in the early years of growth. The permanent shape of the crown of a tree is a pyramid.
Mangosteen seeds lose their germination very quickly, so at home it is necessary to prepare them for planting after only 4-5 weeks after the fruit was removed from the tree. Slightly increases the term of seed productivity the following way: you need to wrap them in wet moss or fiber. Before planting in a pot, drainage and soil mixture with peat are carefully prepared. Seeds are placed at a depth of two centimeters and slightly moistened, after which the container is closed with a film. Seeds are better planted in special boxes for seedlings, and only then placed in pots. After that, they can already be planted in a permanent container. Be prepared for the fact that the first shoots will appear only after the 1-1,5 month. Mangosteen is a slowly growing tree, so it will reach its height 25-30 centimeters only after 2, not less. The fruits will appear only after 10 years.
The soil should not be wet, but almost always should remain wet, water the plant often - but not abundantly. The plant dies at temperatures below 4 degrees and above 37.
Mangosteen Fruit - How to Eat and Use
Fruit ripening on a tree takes at least 5-6 months, after which they turn purple. The quality of fruits, including their bitter taste, is due to changes in the pulp or near the fruit plant (it can crack as a result of excessive water absorption).
The tree mangosteen bears fruit for the first time during 5-6 years, but it happens only after 8-10 years. Its productivity depends on the climate and the age of the tree. If a young tree is planted for the first time, then the likely productivity is 200-300 fruits, while at the end of the term - 500 fruits per season on average. Mature trees, ranging in age from 35 to 40 years, can produce up to 3 thousands of fruits. Even old trees that are more than a hundred years old still retain their productivity at a high level.
The main amount of mangosteen is produced in Southeast Asia, mainly in Thailand as the country with the largest area of sown fields: 4 thousand hectares in 1965 year and 11 thousand hectares in 2000, which in total gives a yield of 46 thousand tons. Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines are other major manufacturers.
As we have said, the mangosteen peel is inedible, in contrast to the pulp, which is also divided into 4-8 slices. Fruit can be eaten both fresh and canned.
How to eat mangosteen depends on the use of pulp. You need to select only those fruits that are pressed when pressed. Otherwise, you risk consuming an already spoiled product. First of all, the fruit needs to be cleaned - remove the green tip and press the middle, after which the fruit easily opens into two parts. After that, it is very convenient and pleasant.
Mostly fruit is consumed fresh - squeezed juice, used as an ingredient in salads, milkshakes, souffles and fillings for pies and cakes, it is used even in fish sauce. By the way, the refined sweet-sour taste of mangosteen is harmoniously combined with seafood, especially shrimps and squid.
To achieve the original taste of yogurt, ice cream or kefir, you just need to cut the fruit into pieces and add to the product.