Mangifera odorata (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Mangifera odorata Griffith

Protologue: Notul. Pl. Asiat. 4: 417 (1854).
Family: Anacardiaceae
Chromosome number: 2n= 40


  • Mangifera foetida Lour. var. bombom Blume, var. kawini Blume and var. mollis Blume (1850),
  • Mangifera oblongifolia Hook.f. (1876),
  • Mangifera foetida Lour. var. odorata (Griffith) Pierre (1897).

Vernacular names

  • Kuwini (En)
  • Kuweni, manguier odorant (Fr)
  • Indonesia: bembem, kaweni (Sundanese, West Java), kuweni or kweni (Malay, Sumatra, Kalimantan; Javanese, central Java)
  • Malaysia: kuini (Malay, East Malaysia), huani or wani (Sabah)
  • Philippines: huani, uani (Cebu, Bisaya), juani (Jolo)
  • Thailand: kinning (Narathiwat Province), mamuang chingrit or mamuang pa (central).

Origin and geographic distribution

M. odorata has never been found in the wild. Its exact origin remains unknown. The species possibly represents hybrid forms between M. indica and M. foetida. It is commonly cultivated in Borneo, Sumatra and Java. In Borneo it is largely confined to the areas near coastal towns or along travel routes, suggesting relatively recent introduction. It is also found in peninsular Thailand, South Sulawesi and in the Philippines on the south coast of Mindanao, in the Sulu Archipelago and neighbouring islands. It seems to be occasionally cultivated in southern Vietnam, and on Christmas and Guam Islands.


The kuwini is a popular fruit, having local economic significance in areas where Mangifera indica L. cannot be grown satisfactorily because the climate is very wet. The fruits, especially those that are less fibrous and smell less strongly, are much appreciated as table fruit. They must be peeled thick because of the presence of an acrid juice in the skin, which can also be reduced by steeping in diluted lime-water before eating. Young fruits are also used for making chutney and for pickles with salt. In Java a kind of flour is made of the seed kernels and used in the preparation of delicacies such as "dodol" (based on glutinous rice) and "jenang pelok" (a thick pappy preparation from Curcuma rhizomes). In folk medicine, the bark is recommended for external application in hystero-epilepsy, in the form of a compound like a cosmetic mixture.

The wood is used locally as machang, but is reportedly of poor quality.


About 70% of the fruit is edible. Per 100 g edible portion the fruit contains: water 80 g, protein 0.9 g, fat 0.1 g, carbohydrates including fibre 18.5 g, ash 0.6 g, β-carotene equivalent 0.36 mg, thiamine 0.04 mg, riboflavin 0.06 mg, niacin 0.7 mg and vitamin C 13 mg. The energy value is 290 kJ/100 g. The wood is similar to that of the mango.


  • Medium-sized tree, 10-15 m, rarely exceeding 20 m height; crown globose or broadly ovoid; straight cylindrical bole up to 80 cm in diameter, bark surface initially smooth, later fissured, grey, bark containing irritant sap.
  • Leaves irregularly scattered on rather thick branchlets, oblong-lanceolate, 12-35 cm × 4-10 cm, coriaceous-chartaceous, edge not wavy, shortly acuminate, with prominent reticulated veins especially on the lower surface, not or hardly odorous when bruised, petiole 3-7 cm, swollen at base.
  • Panicles terminal, pyramidal, 15-50 cm long, rather densely flowered, rachis yellowish-green tinged with reddish-brown.
  • Flowers 5(-6)-merous, ca. 6 mm wide, fragrant; sepals ovate, 3-4 mm long, brown-red or partly green; petals lanceolate, ca. 5-6 mm × 1.2-2 mm, yellowish at the base, pale pinkish towards the apex, reflexed, with 3-5 fingers ("ridges") on ca. 2/3 of the length of the petals, confluent at the base, pale yellow becoming dark red; disk fleshy, stipe-like, stamens 5(-6), only 1 fertile, filament 5 mm long, connate at base, staminodes 1.5-2 mm long; ovary subglobose, yellowish, style excentric, 3-5 mm long, dark red.
  • Fruit an obliquely ellipsoid-oblong, hardly flattened drupe, 10-13 cm × 6-9 cm, green to yellowish-green, sparingly spotted with dark brown lenticels, fragrant; rind rather thick (3-4 mm); flesh orange-yellow, firm, fibrous, sourish-sweet, juicy, with a pungent smell and taste of turpentine.
  • Stone 8-10 cm × 4.5-5 cm × 2.5-3 cm, covered with rather soft fibres; seed frequently polyembryonic.

M. odorata is a polymorphic species. In West Java several forms are distinguished:

  • "bembem", an inferior form: the fruit has a strong smell and taste of turpentine reminiscent of the fruit of M. foetida, the leaves are coriaceous;
  • "kaweni", with less fibrous flesh and a mild taste of turpentine; the best forms are very palatable;
  • "gandarassa" of the Banten area in West Java, a rare and poorly known form which is said to be superior to "kaweni", less sweet but more juicy and with a less strong smell.

In the Philippines "sangay", known from Jolo, is distinguished by its yellow colour at maturity from the greenish "huani" fruit.


M. odorata thrives below 1000 m in tropical areas with a fairly heavy rainfall that is equally distributed throughout the year, although it grows even with a moderate rainfall (1200 mm) provided there are no prolonged dry periods. It is found for instance on the dry islands of the western part of the Sulu Archipelago.


M. odorata is usually propagated by seed, only rarely by grafting; marcotting is possible but difficult. Budding on the mango proved to be successful, but where M. indica was the scion, symptoms of incompatibility developed after two years. Planting distance is 12-14 m.

It is mainly grown mixed with other tree species in homegardens and village orchards. It is a dominant fruit tree in some villages specialized in kuwini production near Solok, West Sumatra, where vegetables or bananas are grown under the relatively light foliage of old trees.

The fruits are commonly damaged by larvae of the mango weevil (Cryptorrhynchus gravis), which feed on the flesh and occasionally on the seed. Caterpillars of Philotroctis eutraphera and Noorda albizonalis also bore into the fruit.

Kuwini can produce two crops a year in areas where two dry seasons prevail. Major fruit season in West Java is from August to November.

Genetic resources and breeding

M. odorata is grown in most fruit tree collections in the region but its range of variability, including all the forms listed above, is not represented in either of them.


The best forms of M. odorata deserve wider recognition and dissemination, not only as substitutes for the mango in wet areas, but also as attractive fruits in their own right. Moreover, because of the flavour and firmness of its fruit, and its ability to grow in moist areas, M. odorata deserves attention in breeding programmes.


  • Bondad, N., 1982. Mango and its relatives in the Philippines. Philippine Geographical Journal 26(2): 88-100.
  • Ding Hou, 1978. Anacardiaceae. In: van Steenis, C.G.G.J. (Editor): Flora Malesiana. Series 1. Vol. 8. pp. 437-438.
  • Ochse, J.J. & Bakhuizen van den Brink, R.C., 1931. Vruchten en vruchtenteelt in Nederlandsch-Indië. [Fruit and fruit cultivation in the Dutch East Indies]. Kolff, Batavia. pp. 15-17.
  • Ochse, J.J., Soule, M.J., Dijkman, M.J. & Wehlburg, C., 1961. Tropical and subtropical agriculture. Macmillan, New York. Vol. 1. pp. 545-548.
  • Wester, P.J., 1920. The mango. Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Bureau of Agriculture. Bulletin 18. Manila. 70 pp.

104, 162, 328, 463, 465, 673, 705. timbers


  • J.M. Bompard