Mangoes are one of the most loved fruits in the world, known for their sweet and juicy flesh, tropical aroma, and versatility in cooking and baking. But did you know that mangoes have a scientific name that reflects their taxonomic classification and evolutionary history? In this article, we will delve into the scientific name of mango, its origin, and what it tells us about this delicious fruit.
The Taxonomy of Mango
The scientific name of mango is Mangifera indica, and it belongs to the family Anacardiaceae, which also includes cashews, sumacs, and pistachios. Mangoes are native to South Asia, where they have been cultivated for thousands of years, and are now grown in many tropical and subtropical regions around the world.
Mangoes are flowering plants that produce large, fleshy fruit, known for their sweet and juicy flesh, bright yellow or green color, and distinctive pit in the center. Mangoes are members of the genus Mangifera, which contains about 35 species of tropical trees found in Southeast Asia, India, and the Philippines.
The Origin of the Scientific Name of Mango
The scientific name of mango, Mangifera indica, was first used by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in his landmark work, “Systema Naturae,” published in 1735. Linnaeus is considered the father of modern taxonomy, and his system of naming plants and animals is still in use today.
The name Mangifera is derived from the Latin words “mangifera,” meaning “bearing mangoes,” and indica refers to the species’ native range in India. This scientific name accurately reflects the origin and characteristics of mangoes, and provides a universal system for identifying and classifying this fruit.
The Classification of Mango
The classification of mango follows the rules of the Linnaean system of taxonomy, which is based on the observation of physical and morphological characteristics of the plant, such as its leaves, flowers, fruit, and seeds. This system is hierarchical, with each level representing a more specific aspect of the plant’s biology.
The highest level of classification is the Kingdom, which is Plantae in the case of mangoes. The next level is Division, which is Magnoliophyta (flowering plants). Then comes Class, which is Magnoliopsida (dicotyledons). The Order is Sapindales, and the Family is Anacardiaceae. The Genus is Mangifera, and the Species is indica.
The Characteristics of Mangifera Indica
Mangifera indica is a large, evergreen tree that can grow up to 100 feet tall. Its leaves are dark green, oblong, and glossy, and its fragrant flowers are small, yellow-white, and arranged in panicles. The fruit of Mangifera indica is large and oblong, ranging from 5-12 cm in length and 3-7 cm in width, and is typically yellow, orange, or red in color. The flesh is juicy, sweet, and flavorful, and is often used in cooking, baking, and making drinks and sauces.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the scientific name of a mango?
The scientific name of mango is Mangifera indica.
Q: What family does mango belong to?
Mango belongs to the family Anacardiaceae.
Q: Where are mangoes native to?
Mangoes are native to South Asia.
Q: Who named mango Mangifera indica?
The Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus named mango Mangifera indica.
Q: What is the Linnaean system of taxonomy?
The Linnaean system of taxonomy is a hierarchical system of naming and classifying plants and animals based on their physical and morphological characteristics.
In conclusion, the scientific name of mango, Mangifera indica, reflects its classification and evolutionary history as a tropical fruit. The Linnaean system of taxonomy provides a universal system for identifying and classifying mangoes and helps us understand the characteristics and biology of this delicious fruit. Whether you are a botanist, a cook, or simply a mango lover, understanding the scientific name of mango can deepen your appreciation for this king of fruits.