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Plants in our sales nursery – Mangifera caloneura

June 20, 2010

A mango which is native to Lanna (northern Thailand) is Mangifera caloneura. At Dokmai Garden it is the sole remnant of the old forest that was clearcut 60 years ago. Our specimen has an estimated age of 160-220 years. Some say it must be over 300 years old, but the proximity to our quarry which never dries out, may have contributed to a speedy growth. Normally it forms fruits every second year. Our tree hosts many other living beings, from squirrels to vibrant blue Indian rollers. It is also the home of ‘Saeng Mok’, the spirit that guards Dokmai Garden. After Lord Buddha, Saeng Mok is the most important deity to the Seehamongkol family who owns Dokmai Garden. In fact, the reason why this single tree was spared, while everything else were clear cut, was the respect and fear of Saeng Mok. Via the Seehamongkol family, he is slowly restoring what people destroyed. 

At our sales nursery, we have daughters of our majestic mango for sale. If you plant such a tree, you plan for generations ahead. The downtown arboretum which was founded 80 years ago, has smaller M. caloneura than Saeng Mok’s. The fruits are smaller and more sour than those of Mangifera indica. Cut in strips and served with nam phrik and a cold beer on a hot day, they are a rare jungle treat!

It can survive without any particular management, although it appreciates your efforts to remove Dendrophthoe parasites every three years or so.

Most welcome to see Saeng Mok’s tree, and feel his energy and power.

Ketsanee Seehamongkol

 

Mangifera caloneura in blossom at Dokmai Garden in the dry season.

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