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Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) is a tropical fruit native to Southeast Asia, widely cultivated and revered for its unique flavor, nutritional value, and medicinal properties. This purple fruit has been a staple in many cultures for centuries, earning the nickname “The Queen of Fruits.”


The name “mangosteen” is derived from the Malay word “manggis,” which refers to the fruit. In Thai, it’s called “mangkhut,” while in Filipino, it’s “mangosteen” or “mangis.”


Mangosteen is a small, round fruit with a soft, white interior and a sweet-and-sour taste. The exterior is a deep purple color, with a soft, fleshy rind that’s easily removable. The fruit has 4-8 segments, each containing a single seed.

Taxonomy and Cultivars

Mangosteen belongs to the family Clusiaceae and is classified as Garcinia mangostana. There are several cultivars, including:

KanchanaburiSweet and soft, popular in Thailand
Nam Doc MaiSweet and slightly sour, popular in Malaysia
OkrongSour and crunchy, popular in Cambodia

Distribution and Habitat

Mangosteen is native to Southeast Asia, specifically in countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. It thrives in tropical climates with high humidity and temperatures between 20-30°C (68-86°F).


Mangosteen trees are typically grown from seedlings and require well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. They’re relatively low-maintenance and can tolerate some drought.

Production and Uses

Mangosteen is widely cultivated for its fruit, which is eaten fresh, used in juices, smoothies, and desserts. The rind and leaves are also used in traditional medicine and as a natural dye.


Mangosteen contains various bioactive compounds, including:

XanthonesAntioxidant, anti-inflammatory
Phenolic acidsAntimicrobial, antifungal
FlavonoidsAntioxidant, anti-inflammatory


Mangosteen’s flavor is often described as a combination of strawberry, kiwi, and pineapple, with a hint of sweetness and sourness.


Mangosteen is generally safe to consume, but excessive consumption may cause allergic reactions or interact with certain medications.


Mangosteen is rich in:

NutrientAmount (per 100g)
Vitamin C2.9mg


Mangosteen has significant cultural and symbolic meanings in Southeast Asia, representing good fortune, prosperity, and love. In Thai culture, it’s believed to bring good luck and is often given as a gift.

“In the tropics, the mangosteen is a symbol of love, and its fruit is the fruit of love.” – David Fairchild, American botanist

In conclusion, mangosteen is a unique and fascinating fruit, cherished for its flavor, nutritional value, and cultural significance. Its rich history, diverse uses, and potential health benefits make it a fruit worth exploring and appreciating.