The mango is the edible fruit of the mango tree, which is native to southern Asia. The fruit has a smooth outer rind, sweet juicy flesh that is somewhat fibrous, and a single seed in the middle of the fruit. Mango trees can grow 30 to 100 feet tall and are best grown in a warm climate, as they do not tolerate cold, and require warm, dry weather to bear fruit.
The original wild mangos were small fruits with scant, fibrous flesh, but through many centuries of commercial propagation and cultivation there are now over 500 different varieties of mango. Domestication of the mango appears to have emerged in Southeast Asia in about 200 BC.
There are two distinct varieties of mango, the original variety which is native to India; and a second type that is grown in Southeast Asia and the Philippines. The trees have differing requirements: The Indian mango tree is intolerant of humidity, and is susceptible to mildew, while the mango tree grown in the Philippines withstands excess moisture, and resists mildew.
India produces 65% of the world's mango crop, and is one of the main exporters of the fruit. Other large explorters include the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico, and South Africa. Mangos were introduced to California around 1880, and are today grown in the Western United States, particularly California and Hawaii, and are also grown in South America.