Benefits of Mangosteen
The mangosteen is ultra tropical. It cannot tolerate temperatures below 40
The tree is not adapted to limestone and does best in deep, rich organic soil, especially sandy loam or laterite. In India, the most productive specimens are on clay containing much coarse material and a little silt. Sandy alluvial soils are unsuitable and sand low in humus contributes to low yields. The tree needs good drainage and the water table ought to be about 6 ft (1.8 m) below ground level. However, in the Canal Zone, productive mangosteen groves have been established where it is too wet for other fruit trees
The fruit from seedling trees is fairly uniform; only one distinct variation is known and that is in the Sulu Islands. The fruit is larger, the rind thicker than normal, and the flesh more acid; the flavor more pronounced. In North Borneo, a seemingly wild form has only 4 carpels, each containing a fully developed seed, and this is probably not unique.
Technically, the so called seeds are not true seeds but adventitious embryos, or hypocotyl tubercles, inasmuch as there has been no sexual fertilization. When growth begins, a shoot emerges from one end of the seed and a root from the other end. But this root is short lived and is replaced by roots which develop at the base of the shoot. The process of reproduction being vegetative, there is naturally little variation in the resulting trees and their fruits. Some of the seeds are polyembryonic, producing more than one shoot. The individual nucellar embryos can be separated, if desired, before planting.
A spacing of 35 to 40 ft (10.7 12 m) is recommended. Planting is preferably done at the beginning of the rainy season. Pits 4 x 4 x 4 1/2 ft (1.2 x l.2 x l.3 m) are prepared at least 30 days in advance, enriched with organic matter and topsoil and left to weather. The young tree is put in place very carefully so as not to injure the root and given a heavy watering. Partial shading with palm fronds or by other means should be maintained for 3 to 5 years. Indian growers give each tree regular feeding with well rotted manure
76. Season and Harvesting
Cropping is irregular and the yield varies from tree to tree and from season to season. The first crop may be 200 to 300 fruits. Average yield of a full grown tree is about 500 fruits. The yield steadily increases up to the 30th year of bearing when crops of 1,000 to 2,000 fruits may be obtained. In Madras, individual trees between the ages of 20 and 45 years have borne 2,000 to 3,000 fruits. Productivity gradually declines thereafter, though the tree will still be fruiting at 100 years of age.
77. Keeping Quality
Ripe mangosteens keep well for 3 to 4 weeks in storage at 40
78. Pests and Diseases
Few pests have been reported. A leaf eating caterpillar in India may perhaps be the same as that which attacks new shoots in the Philippines and which has been identified as Orgyra sp. of the tussock moth family, Lymantridae. A small ant, Myrnelachista ramulorum, in Puerto Rico, colonizes the tree, tunnels into the trunk and branches, and damages the new growth. Mites sometimes deface the fruits with small bites and scratches. Fully ripe fruits are attacked by monkeys, bats and rats in Asia.
79. Food Uses
To select the best table fruits, choose those with the highest number of stigma lobes at the apex, for these have the highest number of fleshy segments and accordingly the fewest seeds. The numbers always correspond. Mangosteens are usually eaten fresh as dessert. One need only hold the fruit with the stem end downward, take a sharp knife and cut around the middle completely through the rind, and lift off the top half, which leaves the fleshy segments exposed in the colorful cup
80. Medicinal Uses
Dried fruits are shipped from Singapore to Calcutta and to China for medicinal use. The sliced and dried rind is powdered and administered to overcome dysentery. Made into an ointment, it is applied on eczema and other skin disorders. The rind decoction is taken to relieve diarrhea and cystitis, gonorrhea and gleet and is applied externally as an astringent lotion. A portion of the rind is steeped in water overnight and the infusion given as a remedy for chronic diarrhea in adults and children. Filipinos employ a decoction of the leaves and bark as a febrifuge and to treat thrush, diarrhea, dysentery and urinary disorders. In Malaya, an infusion of the leaves, combined with unripe banana and a little benzoin is applied to the wound of circumcision. A root decoction is taken to regulate menstruation. A bark extract called amibiasine , has been marketed for the treatment of amoebic dysentery.
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