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Mango Growing in Kenya by Juergen Griesbach Training Materials Coordinator

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This cultivar originates from Miami, Florida, and was released in 1941.

The oval/oblique, medium-sized fruit is deep yellow with a prominent dark-red to purple blush that covers most of its surface. The rounded apex shows only a slight beak formation. The average fruit measurements are: length 10.8 cm by 7.8 cm in width and an average of 307 g in weight. Lenticels are numerous and pale yellow in colour; the skin is medium-thick, tough and separates easily from the flesh. The deep-yellow flesh is fibreless, firm and juicy. It is sweet, of a distinctive mild flavour and of good quality. The mono-embryonic seed is covered in a thick woody stone (5.8% of fruit weight). Due to its severely alternate bearing, susceptibility to anthracnose and uneven ripening, Sensation has lost much of its former popularity.

The trees are moderately vigorous and develop into a broad-rounded, symmetrical canopy. It is a late cultivar and, depending on location, will mature from February until the beginning of April.


  • beautifully coloured late cultivar

  • none to scanty fibres

  • heavy yielder


  • susceptibility to anthracnose

  • alternate bearing

  • frequent severe internal breakdown (jelly seed)


This open pollinated seedling of Haden was found growing on the J.T. Smith farm in Honolulu, Hawaii, and was introduced to Florida around 1946.

The elongated large fruits are of an orange-yellow base colour combined with a deep crimson blush. The apex is broadly rounded and there is no beak. The thick tough skin is covered with large white lenticels. The average fruit size is 13.9 cm long and 7.5 cm wide, with an average weight of 550 g. The orange-yellow flesh is juicy, spicy, of a firm texture and almost fibreless. The fruit quality is rated as good and yields are moderate to heavy and regular. The seed is fairly large (7% of fruit weight), long, flat and mono-embryonic.

The trees grow upright and vigorously and are harvested at mid-season. Fruits must be left on the tree to maturity if they are to develop their full colour and flavour.


  • highly productive

  • nearly fibreless

  • good coloration


  • quite susceptible to anthracnose

  • tendency to only fair fruit quality

Tommy Atkins

This cultivar originated from a seed planted in the 1920s at Fort Lauderdale in Florida. Parentage is unknown (Haden seedling?); it was released in 1948.

Tommy Atkins has become an important commercial variety. The fruits are medium to large, oval to oblong, orange/yellow with a heavy red blush, numerous white lenticels and a broadly rounded base. They measure an average length of 12.6 cm, are 9.9 cm wide and have an average weight of 522 g. The smooth skin is tough and thick. The flesh is firm and medium juicy with a moderate amount of fibre, yellow to deep yellow in colour, mild and sweet with a strong pleasant aroma. The eating quality is fairly good; the seed is mono-embryonic and covered in a thick, woody stone (6.6% of total fruit weight).

The tree is vigorous/large with a rounded canopy and it produces consistently heavy and good crops. It is an early to mid-season cultivar and is highly resistant to diseases.


  • very attractive fruits

  • excellent shipping and shelf-life qualities

  • consistent producer

  • good resistance to anthracnose and powdery mildew


  • danger of internal breakdown (jelly seed)

  • fibre content is slightly higher than average

Van Dyke

This cultivar originated from Homestead (Florida) and belongs to a selected group of seedlings distinguished by a greater resistance to anthracnose, very attractive colour, and good shelf life and shipping qualities. These seedlings appeared in the 1950s and 1960s.

The ovate, small- to medium-sized fruit (average weight 280 g) is very attractive showing a bright yellow ground colour with a heavy crimson blush and prominent beak. The average fruit dimensions are: 10.5 cm length by 7.9 cm width. The skin is thick, though easily separating and covered with numerous white/yellow lenticels. The flesh is quite firm, melting and juicy with little fibre, orange-yellow, rich, spicy and sweet with a strong pleasant aroma. It is of good to excellent quality. The seed is mono-embryonic and covered by a medium-sized woody stone (7.1% of fruit weight).

The trees are medium-sized with a large open canopy and are regular producers but yield only moderately.


  • attractive colour

  • good resistance to anthracnose and powdery mildew

  • regular bearer


  • poor to moderate yields

  • fruit size


As a Haden seedling it originated in Lake Worth, Florida, in 1930.

The small to medium, ovate fruit is yellow with an intense red or crimson blush. The apex is rounded with a small beak. The fruit shape resembles that of van Dyke, and the average dimensions are: length 10.6 cm by 8.2 cm width, average weight 285 g (range: 225–345 g). Lenticels are yellow/brown and the flesh is deep yellow, juicy, soft and without fibre. The flavour is rich and sweet and of good to excellent eating quality. The seed is mono-embryonic and covered by a thick woody stone (8% of fruit weight).

The tree becomes fairly large with an open, spreading canopy. This early to mid-season cultivar produces well and fairly consistently. Zill has a moderate resistance to anthracnose and powdery mildew, but does not withstand storage and shipping stress well.


  • early season cultivar

  • regular producer

  • outstanding quality


  • not a good shipper

  • danger of internal breakdown (jelly seed)

  • low/moderate resistance to diseases


Not much is known about the origin of this cultivar but it is assumed that the seedling was developed in Florida.

The medium-sized oblong fruit is of a yellow ground-colour and has an intensive red blush. There are numerous small white lenticels covering the thick, tough skin. The rounded apex carries an almost non-existent underdeveloped beak. The average fruit dimensions are: length 12.5 cm by 7.1 cm width, with a weight of 291 g (range: 260–350 g). The firm, juicy, yellow flesh is relatively free from fibre, aromatic and of good eating quality. The fairly large flat seed (7.8% of total fruit weight) is mono-embryonic.

The tree is moderately vigorous, forming an upright tight canopy. The rather late-season cultivar yields quite well and regularly. It shows moderate resistance to powdery mildew but is affected by anthracnose.



  • needs more publicity

Further Reading

  1. Fintrac Consulting. 1989. Report for COLEACP. http:// en/welcome.html.

  2. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). 2001. FAOSTAT 2001 database. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

  3. Griesbach J. 1981. What you should know about mango growing. Kenya Farmer. Nairobi, Kenya: Agricultural Society of Kenya.

  4. Griesbach J. 1985. New mango types currently grown in Kenya. Kenya Farmer. Nairobi, Kenya: Agricultural Society of Kenya.

  5. Griesbach J. May 1989. Anthracnose: Pre-harvest treatment trial in mango. Unpublished trial results.

  6. Griesbach J. April 1991. Preventive control of powdery mildew on mango. Unpublished trial results.

  7. Griesbach J. July 1991. Mango seed weevil. Unpublished trial results.

  8. Griesbach J. September 1991. Control measures against mango anthracnose. Unpublished trial results.

  9. Griesbach J. 1992. A guide to propagation and cultivation of fruit trees in Kenya. Schriftenreihe der GTZ no. 230. Eschborn, Germany. 180 pp.

  10. Hill DS. 1983. Agricultural insect pests of the tropics and their control. Cambridge University Press.

  11. Jaetzold R. and Schmidt H. 1983. Farm management handbook of Kenya. Volumes A, B, and C. Nairobi, Kenya: Ministry of Agriculture, Nairobi, Kenya/Germany: German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ)

  12. Knight RJ (Jr.). 1997. Important mango cultivars and their descriptors. Homestead, Florida, USA: Tropical Research and Education Center, University of Florida.

  13. Mabberly DJ. 1997. The plant book. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

  14. Mervyn von L. 2000. Thorsons’ complete guide to vitamins and minerals for your health. Harper Collins

  15. Ministry of Agriculture. 2001. Annual report 2000. Nairobi, Kenya: Ministry of Agriculture.

  16. Ministry of Agriculture. 2002. Horticulture annual report 2001. Nairobi, Kenya: Ministry of Agriculture.

  17. Page PE. 1984. Tropical tree fruits for Australia. . Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Queensland Department of Primary Industries.

  18. Platt BS. 1962. The composition of selected fruits. MRC Special Report no. 302. London, UK: HMSO.

  19. Salim AS, Simons AJ, Orwa C, Chege J, Owuor B and Mutua A. 2002. Agroforestree database: a tree species reference and selection guide. Version 2.0 CD-ROM. Nairobi, Kenya: International Centre for Research in Agroforestry.

  20. Samson JA. 1980. Tropical fruits. Tropical Agriculture Series. Longman Group Limited.

  21. Yee W. 1958. The mango in Hawaii. Hawaii, USA: College of Tropical Agriculture, University of Hawaii.

  22. Young TW and Sauls JW. 1979. The mango industry in Florida. Florida, USA.


Author - Juergen Griesbach, ICRAF

RoboHelp Development for the Internet, CD-ROM, and Print - Albert Dean Atkinson, IRRI



acaracide: material toxic to mites

acid soil: pH less than 7.0

active ingredient: toxic component of a formulated pesticide

adhesive = sticker: material added to increase pesticide retention

alkaline soil: pH greater than 7.0

anther: the pollen-bearing part of a stamen

apex: tip of shoot

attractant: material with an odour that attracts certain insects


bait: foodstuff used for attracting pests, usually mixed with a poison

beak: a pointed projection at the tip of a fruit

biological control: control of pests by disease-producing organisms, preditors, or parasites

bloom: the delicate waxy or powdery substance on the surface of berries


calyx: the external part of a flowers consisting of sepals

canopy: crown of a plant

carrier: material serving as diluent for the active ingredients

clone: identical individuals propagated vegetatively from a single plant

compatibility: ability of the scion and stock to unite in grafting and form a strong union

contact poison: material killing pests by contact action

control: untreated subjects used for comparison with those given a particular treatment

cotyledons: the primary leaves of germinating plants

culling: discarding of plants that do not meet requirements

cultivar: variety, type


discard: active during daytime

dormant: alive but not growing; a resting stage


elongated: longer than it is broad

embryo: part of a seed which will grow into a plant

eradicate: destroy, extirpate


fertilization: pollination

fungicide: chemical to control plant diseases


gall: abnormal growth of plant tissues

genus: a group of plants comprising a number of closely related species

germplasm: any plant part used for regeneration

grafting: joining parts of plants together such that they will unite and continue their growth as one plant


herbicide: any chemical used to kill plants

husk: a stringy shell of a seed


immature: unripe, not ready

indigenous: a plant native to the region

inflorescence: the flowering part of a plant

insecticide: chemical to control crop pests

intercropping: the growing of two crops simultaneously in the same field


latent: dormant

latex: milky plant juice

lenticel: a pore like, slightly raised spot on a fruit skin


maggot: a vermiform, legless larva (Diptera)

maturity: stage of final fruit development (ripeness)

mono-embryonic: mode of reproduction: contains only one embryo


nocturnal: active at night


oblong: longer than broad

oviparous: reproduction by laying eggs


panicle: a loosely branched inflorescence

pedical: the stalk of one flower in a cluster

perfect flower: a flower having both stamens and pistil

persistence: chemicals that remain active for a long period of time after application

pest: an animal or plant causing damage to crops

pesticide: a chemical which by virtue of its toxicity is used to kill pest organisms

pH value: refers to degree of acidity or alkalinity as a scale of numbers from 1 (very acid) to 14 (very alkaline)

phytotoxic: a chemical liable to damage or kill plants

pistel: the female part of the flower

pollination: the transfer of pollen from the anther to the stigma

polyembryonic: mode for reproduction: contains more than one embryo; produces true-to-type progeny

progeny: a plant’s ‘offspring’

propagate: multiplication of more plants

provenance: germplasm from a single place of origin


quarantine: the prevention of importation or exportation of unwanted organisms into a territory


repellant: a chemical which has the property of inducing avoidance by a particular pest

residue: amount of pesticide remaining in or on plant tissues after a given time

rootstock: plants propagated for further grafting/budding


scion: the plant part grafted onto the stock

self-fertile: fertilization without cross pollination

stalk: also called peduncle

stamen: the pollen-producing organ of a flower

sterile: flowers not capable of producing viable seed

sticker: material added to a spray to increase retention on plant foliage

surfactant: a chemical which modifies the surface tension of spray droplets

susceptible: not resistant

systemic: an insecticide absorbed by plants and translocated throughout


terminal: borne at the end of a stem

tissue: plant cells

tolerance: maximum amount of toxicant allowed in foodstuffs for human consumption

top-working: converting a grown tree by grafting

trunk: the main stem of a tree


variety: a group of closely related plants of common origin



Maturity 7

Mwea 15, 22, 25


Ngowe 16


Oval/oblique 13


Philippines 8

Pink/red 36

Polyembryonic 17, 18, 20



Apple cultivar 35

RoboHelp Development

Internet 49

Ruiru 22



Brooks 29

Lippens 26

Smith 41

South Africa 36, 38

Sternochetus 5


Texture—with 15

Tommy Atkins 9

Trans Nzoia District 37

Trichlorphon 10



during 11

Unfavourable 10

Uses 3


Vigorous/large 42

Vigorous/spreading 28

Vigour 5, 6


West Africa 31

White/yellow lenticels 43


Year’s growth—in 4

Yellow/apricot 30


changing 32

Yellow/orange 14

Yellow/red lenticels 27

Yellowish-orange 24

Yielder 39


25 t/ha 6

Young TW 47


Zanzibar 32

Zill 44

Zillate 45

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