- Specie: Mango tree (mangifera indica)
- Location: Garden Road sports ground, between the public Basketball court and Children’s playground below MacDonnell Road.
Imagine my shock and surprise when I spotted green mango-like fruits hanging down from a tree next to a children’s playground, about 20 minutes up the hill from a poisonous tree with the same sort of fruit hanging down.
If you have been following this blog, there are at least two Sea Mango (cerberas) trees at the beginning of Garden Road, which contained toxic chemicals in their leaves and, of course, their fruit. They get their name from the fact that they resemble closely the Mango tree, but also from the multi-headed hellhound that guards the gates of the underworld in Greek mythology. Just imagine poisonous fruits hanging above a children’s playground!
Luckily, this particular ‘mango’ tree is actually a real MANGO tree. If I was asked to differentiate between the two species, I would point to the texture of the trunk, which is smooth with only shallow ridges for the real Mango tree, compared to the rough, rugged surface of the Cerberas.
If you look a bit closer, you’d notice that the leaves are just a little broader and wider than its nefarious doppelganger.
The best way to tell the difference between the real Mango tree and the poisonous Sea Mango tree is its flowers. With the Mango tree, the flowers are yellow and grouped along stems in small clusters, as opposed to the Sea Mango, which have bright white five-petaled blooms.
That said, unless you are absolutely sure, and you are getting the fruits directly from the tree and the tree is labelled, I would not partake on wild mangoes. Otherwise, you might tempt fate and risk coming face to face with the guardian of the underworld.