Garcinia mangostana

BOTANICAL NAME:- Garcinia mangostana


SINHALA : Mangus, Mangosteen
TAMIL : Sulambali, Mangus-kai
ENGLISH : Mangosteen 


A slow-growing compact tree, 6-9 m tall with a smooth bark but a yellow latex;

LEAVES:- Simple,opposite, 15-25 cm long, 6.3 -10.5 cm broad, elliptic-oblong, acute, base cuneate, thickly corioaceous, deep, shining green with numerous nerves curving and fusing with a double, extra marginal nerve; Petioles 20-25 mm long ;

FLOWERS:- Axillary or terminal, solitary, paired or fascicled; Staminate flowers not seen and probably male flower is extinct; Female flowers solitary or paired, 5 cm diameter, terminal on stout pedicels 1.3 cm long, yellowish;

FRUITS:- Globular, 7.5 cm across, reddish purple, the large leathery sepals persistent,rind thick and tough enclosing 5-7 white segments, seeds 6-8 formed apomictically enclosed in a white juicy ail.


Indigenous to Malaysia (Purseglove, 1968; Bose and Mitra, 1990; Querol, 1992 and cultivated in the west coast of the India and Sri Lanka. It is a common fruit tree in most of the village gardens in Sri Lanka, both in mid and wet low-country (Department of Agriculture, 1993). Introduced to Sri Lanka in 19th century (Dassanayake and Fosberg, 1980).

EDIBLE PARTS: The fruit.
FOOD USE: The tender portion is eaten and considered as a one of most delicious fruits


Moisture - 84.9 g, 
Energy - 60 Kcal, 
Proteins - 0.5 g, 
Fats - 0.1 g, 
Carbohydrates - 14.3 g, 
Minerals - Calcium - 10 mg, 
Phosphorus - 20 mg, 
Iron - 0,2 mg (Perera et al., 1979).

The rind of the fruit contains tannin, a resin and a bitter principle called mangostin (Department of Agriculture, 1993). The edible oil contains saccharose, dextrose, and kerrelose. The rind of the fruit which contains resin is used in diarrhoea and dysentery. The bark and young leaves are also used for the same purpose and for ailments of the genitourinary tracts and as a wash for aphthae of the mouth. A decoction of the roots is drunk for dysmenorrhoea. In Cambodia the bark and the rind of the fruit are used for diarrhoea and dysentery as astringents. (Jayaweera, 1980).


Well drained 1-15 m deep soils are ideal. Well distributed rainfall of 1500-2000 mm is required for mangosteen. Optimal range of tempartature in 27 - 32°C. High relative humidity of 75-80% is important for normal growth.


Areas for cultivation:- Wet zone lowlands of Sri Lanka, specially Kalutara, Colombo, Galle, Gampaha, Ratnapura and some areas of Kandy districts.

Mangosteen is propagated by seeds. Since seeds have short and low viability they must be planted within few days after removal from the fruit . In a nursery: At the age of 4-6 months plants are transfered to a secondary nursary. Plants are transplanted in the field at the age of two years about six metres apart. Plants bear fruits when they are 10-15 years old. The average yeild is around 200-500 fruits per tree but in some occasions it may go up to 1000-1500 fruits per plant.


It is possible to store up to two weeks in thin layers in room temperature.