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Mangoes in Hawaii

Mangoes in Hawaii

While there are over 90 varieties of Mango that have been grown at one time or another in Hawaii, most people are familiar with Haden or Pirie due to the popularity they received back in the second half of the 20th Century.  (Does anyone else remember Chinese and Cigar mangoes?  Many of those “wild” trees growing in the middle of some cow pasture were of these varieties.)

Many of these other varieties had neither the taste or texture of the popular Haden and Pirie and each has their supporters.  I still remember when people I knew were switching their preferences from Haden to Pirie as being “da best”!  At any rate, I feel safe in saying that if you were to ask those who have a mango tree in their yards, odds are good that they are one of these two popular varieties.

Better Mangoes?

According to a report written by R.A. Hamilton, Dept. of Horticulture at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, there are more recent and better quality mangoes that would do well in Hawaii.  The problem is that Haden and Pirie mangoes are so well established that it will take a while before people will discover them.

The better of these new varieties of mangoes are:

  • Gouveia:  July-Aug bearing, 12-16 oz fruit with reported Excellent eating quality and a medium bearing tree
  • Rapoza:  Aug-Oct bearing, larger 20-25 oz fruit with Excellent eating quality and a heavy yielding tree
  • Ah Ping:  June-July bearing, 16-32 oz fruit with Good eating quality and a medium yielding tree
  • Harders:  June-August bearing, smaller 10-12 oz fruit with Good eating quality and a regular bearing tree
  • Momi K:  June-July bearing, 10-12 oz fruit with Good eating quality and a moderate bearing tree
  • Pope:  July-Sept bearing, 10-16 oz fruit with Good eating quality and a high yielding tree

If I had to pick my choice for replacing a Haden or Pirie mango, I would go as most would do with the Gouveia and Rapoza.  Planting a pair of these mangoes should provide some great eating fruit from July to October!  And, if I had to pick just one, it would have to be the Rapoza with its larger fruit and heavier yields, of course.  These trees were selected with Hawaii growing conditions in mind, so they should do quite well in a typical backyard environment.

It was noted in Mr. Hamilton’s report that most nurseries carried the more popular Haden and Pirie mangoes, but that availability of these other varieties should improve as people catch on that there are better alternatives.  Maybe you’d like to be ahead of the curve and have the room to plant a mango tree in your yard!



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