Are the mangosteen and mango related or are they part of different families? Do they taste the same or is mangosteen used as the synonym of a mango? If all these questions are rising in your mind and if you’re curious to know if they’re different or just the same, then you need to be here.
In this article, we are going to clear your mind of all these confusions. By the end, you will surely be able to figure out whether the mangosteen and mango are the same or not.
Mangosteen VS mango
Mango and mangosteen are not the same fruit, and are not related. Where the mango belongs to the genus Mangifera, the mangosteen belongs to the Garcinia genus.
Mangoes are reddish-green on the outside, with yellow-orange pulp on the inside and a very large pit in the middle.
Mangosteens are smaller, dark purple with a green cap, and have a white flesh inside, sort of like citrus.
There is no connection between the fruits, other than they both are grown in Asia, albeit in very different areas. Mangoes are native to India, while mangosteens are grown in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. So, the only thing that makes us think they are related is the name.
All these differences and more are discussed in this article. Yes, there’s more to mangosteens vs mangoes, those were only the most important points.
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1. Mangoes and mangosteens come from different countries
Mango and Mangosteen both have different scientific names. The scientific name of Mango is Mangifera Indica, whereas the scientific name given to Mangosteen is Garcinia Mangostana.
If we talk about the origin, then mangosteen is derived from Southeast Asia. The exact country of origin is unknown, because it’s been propagated and established in so many countries in that region, no one remembers where it started.
You may find mangosteen grown in Florida, California, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. The only problem is the yield isn’t high, because mangosteens are notoriously slow to grow and very sensitive when young.
On the other hand, mangoes are native to India and that is their main exporter. Of course, mangoes are easier to grow so they’ve been propagated across all the tropical regions.
2. Mangosteens are purple, mangoes are reddish-green
Coming to the color of fruits, is it the same or is it different? Of course, it is different! That’s the easiest way to tell them apart.
Now, what colors do they have? Actually, the mangosteen is purple in color, and its pulp is white in color and it contains a lot of seeds. Mangosteens also have a green cap on the top, with little leaves.
The Mangosteen is round in shape and may look live a very small eggplant.
A ripe mango is green in color, and it may have a red blush here and there. Its flesh is yellow-orange and the seed is about half the fruit. Yes, it’s probably the biggest seed possible, oval shaped and white.
3. Mango and mangosteen have different flavors
Both mango and mangosteen have a very sweet tropical taste, don’t get us wrong. But a mango is more of a fruity, citrusy kind of flavor. It may remind you of peaches crossed with pineapples.
A very ripe and delicious mango may also have a hint of musk, something you find in most men’s perfume.
A mangosteen is much more complicated. It’s sort of a cross between pears, bananas, lychees and peaches, all topped with a strong citrus note.
In a way, the mangosteen can be descried as amazingly delicious and simply better than the mango. In the sense that it reaches different notes and still tastes great.
Kind of like comparing apples with pineapples. Pineapples are definitely more impressive and often sweeter, but apples are nothing to sneeze at either.
4. Mangosteen tree vs mango tree
Mangosteen trees grow slowly and their height can range from 20 feet to 80 feet. The leaves of the tree are oval-shaped and greenish-yellow in color. Also, the flowers of the tree are about one to two inches wide.
Mangosteen trees are very difficult to grow, in that you can’t transplant them – very delicate root system. They need elevation, well draining soil that’s is always moist, plenty of sunshine and warmth and some shade as well. Not many regions offer that.
On the contrary, mango trees are much taller than mangosteens, they can reach up to a height of 130 feet. The leaves of the tree are evergreen and its flowers are of pine shape. The color of the leaves is faded yellow.
When do they bear fruit? The mangosteen trees offer fruits after 10-20 years. That is even slower than asparagus crops !
Mangoes can bear fruit in 3-5 years after planting, with enough care given. And they yield more fruits per tree than mangosteens.
Overall, mangoes are a more successful, easier crop to manage than mangosteens. This is also reflected in the price of mangosteen.
Mango and mangosteen FAQ
Alright, those were the most important points that differentiate a mango from a mangosteen. As you’ve seen they’re very different.
In case you have more questions about both fruits, we’ve covered a FAQ section here, and we hope you’ll find your answers.
Why are mangosteens and mango names similar ?
We have no idea who named these fruits, and who gave them their Latin, scientific names.
We do know that the mangosteen derives its name from the ‘mangostana’ part of its name. It has nothing to do with mango, but it does sound very familiar.
Where do I find mango or mangosteen ?
A mango is easier to find than mangosteen. This is because mangoes are much easier to transport, since they don’t spoil as easy.
Mangosteens are more fragile, like avocados, and they need special care during transport.
Also, since mangoes are easier to grow they can be grown closer to importing countries, or even grown domestically. Mangosteens are more difficult, and this makes them harder to come by.
As to exactly where you’ll find them, you’ll find manoges in most big supermarkets, you don’t have to look too hard.
Mangosteens will be at the Asian markets, though they may not always be available.
Why is mangosteen so expensive ?
Do you know mangosteen is one of the toughest fruits to grow on this earth? Yes, it is and that is the reason behind its high price. The mangosteen trees grow in moist soil that needs to drain very well, high elevations, and plenty of sunshine.
It doesn’t grow fast nor does it produce fruit fast. As delicious as it is, it’s a very slow crop and needs constant care.
Are the seeds of mangosteen toxic ?
Mangosteen seeds are not toxic, but they are very bitter. You may try to eat them, but we advise you to find something else to eat. Not only are they bitter, but they may cause a bit of indigestion.
If anytime you accidentally swallow the seed then do not worry, the plant will not grow in your stomach! The seed will pass through along with the rest of the food, but you might feel a bit sick.
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All in all, mango and mangosteen are different and people enjoy eating each one of them all around the globe. Both are delicious in their own way, and if you ever get your hands on mangosteen definitely cherish it.