Health & Medical Eating & Food

History of the Mangosteen

    Origin

    • The mangosteen is believed to have originated in the Sunda Islands of Indonesia, although it can be found throughout Southeast Asia.

    Name

    • The mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) is named after the French explorer and priest Laurentiers Garcin (1673-1751). The fruit often is referred to as the Queen of Fruits.

    Legend

    • Legend has it that Queen Victoria offered a generous reward to anyone who could bring her the much admired fruit. If this is true, however, no one managed to accomplish the feat.

    Early History

    • Explorers in the 1800s attempted to transport the mangosteen, but the delicate plant did not survive the long journey. In the latter half of that century, specimens were brought back to England and raised in a greenhouse at Syon Park under the auspices of gardener John Ivison.

    Modern History

    • Mangosteens must grow in tropical temperatures and, until recently, imports have been banned in North America due to fears of the Asian fruit fly. Although many have attempted to grow the fruit in the United States and beyond, the result has largely been poor.

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