Mango 'Alphonso' (Mangifera indica)
Alphonso is known as ‘King of the Mangos’ due to its incredibly sweet taste, fragrance, and consistency. It is a disease-resistant, semi-dwarf that grows 10-15 feet high and produces its tantalizing fruit earlier than most mango varieties.
Alphonso was developed on the western coast of India in the 1500s through a grafting process and is highly prized and celebrated all over the country to this day with festivals and parties during its short season. It is named after Alphonso de Albuquerque, who was the viceroy of Portuguese India and was instrumental in its development.
Flowers bloom on the tree in early winter and develop into fruit between March and June. The mango fruit is small and egg-shaped (5-10 oz.), with thin yellow skin that blushes red below the stem when ripe. The creamy, fiberless pulp is deep yellow with an amazingly sweet flavor of peach, apricot, melon, and citrus. It is excellent to eat out of hand and can be used fresh in salads, sorbets, ice creams, smoothies, purees, and desserts of all kinds. To top it off, Alphonso is high in vitamin C and other essential vitamins, potassium, and magnesium, and is known to aid in digestion.
Alphonso grows best in full sun, in rich, moist, well-draining soil. Since it is a small tree, it is perfect for limited spaces in warm climates and can be grown as a container tree in cooler, northern zones. It is hardy in USDA zones 9 to 11 with some frost protection until well-established.