The mango tree (Mangifera indica L.) is primarily cultivated for its edible fruit, which is one of the most important fruit crop (FAO, 2011). While not usually considered as a forage tree, the mango tree also provides forage for animal feeding.
The mango tree is an evergreen tree of varying size and shape. It has a deep taproot and profuse surface roots (Litz, 2009), a stout trunk (90 cm in diameter) and an umbrella-shaped crown that may reach 20-40 m high (Orwa et al., 2009; Litz, 2009). The leaves are simple, alternate, borne on 1-12.5 cm long petioles. Leaves are 16-30 cm long x 3-7 cm broad on flowering branches and up to 50 cm long on sterile branches. Young leaves are orange-red and turn shiny dark green on the upper surface when they mature. The edges of the leaves are somewhat wavy. Mango tree flowers are fragrant, pentameric, greenish-white or pinkish, very small (3-5 mm long x 1-1.5 mm broad) and densely borne on 30 cm long, pyramidal panicles (Litz, 2009; Orwa et al., 2009). The fruit is a large fleshy drupe of very variable size, shape, colour and taste, with a woody endocarp (the pit), a resinous edible mesocarp and a thick exocarp, the peel. The fruits bear a characteristic beak at the proximal end of the fruit (Litz, 2009). Green when unripe, the fruit turns orange-reddish as it ripens. The fruit takes between 3 and 6 months to ripen. The seed can be found within the pit.
Mango tree foliage is available year-round. It can be used as fodder, either as cut-and-carry or browsed (Ajayi et al., 2005). The leaves of some varieties may smell like turpentine when crushed (Göhl, 1982). Mango leaves are also used as mulch (Orwa et al., 2009). This datasheet is about mango foliage: for the fruit, see the Mango fruits and by-products datasheet.