We have recently published ‘Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions’: i.e. tropical and sub-tropical regions. We rely on regular donations to keep our free database going and help fund development of this and another book we are planning on food forest plants for Mediterranean climates. Please give what you can to keep PFAF properly funded. More >>>

Follow Us:


Garcinia mangostana - L.

Common Name Mangosteen, Manggis
Family Clusiaceae
USDA hardiness 11-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats The tree is mostly known from cultivation, but is also probably wild on hillsides and ridges in undisturbed mixed dipterocarp forests at elevations up to 200 metres[653 ].
Range E. Asia - Malaysia.
Edibility Rating    (5 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Garcinia mangostana Mangosteen, Manggis

Garcinia mangostana Mangosteen, Manggis


Translate this page:


Mangosteen or Garcinia mangostana is a small evergreen fruit tree that has a pyramidal crown. It is slow-growing, reaching up to 25 m in height and up to 37cm bole diameter. It is commonly found in East Asia. It is not tolerant to drought and strong winds. The fruits of mangosteen are edible and known to be one of the tastiest fruits in the market. It is juicy and aromatic with a sweet, delicate flavor. The seeds can also be eaten after boiling or roasting. Though widely recognized for its fruits, mangosteen also has medicinal properties. The rind of the fruit can be used internally for dysentery, diarrhea, cystitis, and gonorrhea. Externally, it can be used for eczema and other skin conditions. Leaf and bark decoction can also be used for such purposes. Leaf infusion can be used on circumcision wound. The fruit rind is a source of tannins which can be used as a black dye. The twigs are used as chew sticks. The wood is used in construction and cabinet work. Mangosteen is usually propagated by seedlings.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Garcinia mangostana is an evergreen Tree growing to 12 m (39ft) by 10 m (32ft) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10 and is frost tender. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant is not wind tolerant.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


No synonyms are recorded for this name.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Seed
Edible Uses: Condiment

Fruit - raw. The white fruit is delicious[296 ]. The fruit is aromatic, juicy, with a texture so soft it almost melts in the mouth and a sweet, delicate flavour[301 ]. About the size of an apple, the skin can be removed to reveal about 6 kernels of white pulp with a flavour that is tart and sweet, like a cross between grapes and strawberries. The fruit is a globose berry 34 - 75mm in diameter[303 ]. The best table fruits are those with the highest number of stigma lobes at the apex, for these have the highest number of fleshy segments and the fewest seeds[303 ]. Seed - occasionally eaten after boiling or roasting[301 ]. They add a delicious nutty flavour to preserves when cooked with the pulp[301 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antidermatosic  Antidiarrhoeal  Antifungal  Astringent  Dysentery  Eczema  Febrifuge  Skin  

The rind is astringent and has been used internally to treat dysentery, diarrhoea, cystitis and gonorrhoea. It is applied externally to treat eczema and other skin disorders[303 ]. The rind of partially ripe fruits yields a polyhydroxy-xanthone derivative termed mangostin. That of fully ripe fruits contains the xanthones, gartanin, 8-disoxygartanin, and normangostin. A derivative of mangostin, mangostin-e, 6-di-O-glucoside, is a central nervous system depressant and causes a rise in blood pressure[303 ] A decoction of the leaves and bark is used as an astringent, febrifuge and to treat thrush, diarrhoea, dysentery and urinary disorders[303 , 345 ]. A bark extract called 'amibiasine', has been marketed for the treatment of amoebic dysentery[303 ] An infusion of the leaves, combined with unripe banana and a little benzoin, is applied to the circumcision wound[303 ]. A root decoction is taken to regulate menstruation[303 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

Our Latest books on Perennial Plants For Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens in paperback or digital formats.

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Tropical Plants

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Temperate Plants

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital media.
More Books

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital formats. Browse the shop for more information.

Shop Now

Other Uses

Dye  Furniture  Tannin  Teeth  Wood

Small fruit tree, Humid shade garden, Bonsai, Botanic collection. Other Uses The fruit rind is a source of tannins[418 ]. It contains 7 - 14% catechin tannin and rosin[303 ]. The tannins can be used as a black dye[303 , 418 ]. The twigs are used as chewsticks[303 ]. The fruit hulls show anti-fungal and anti-protozoal activity[303 ]. The dark-brown wood is strong; heavy to the point that it almost sinks in water; and is moderately durable[303 , 418 ]. Usually only available in small sizes, it has been used in construction and cabinetwork, to make handles for spears and rice pounders[303 ].

Special Uses

Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

The mangosteen is an ultra-tropical plant, usually only grown in areas without a dry season and within 10 degrees of the equator. It is usually grown from sea level up to 1,000 metres elevation, but the growth rate is higher in lowland areas[303 , 418 ]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 20 - 30°c, but can tolerate 15 - 40°c[418 ]. It cannot tolerate temperatures below 4°c, nor above 38°c[303 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,600 - 2,000mm, but tolerates 1,100 - 2,800mm[418 ]. Succeeds in full sun and in light shade[418 ]. Requires a good, deep, rich organic soil that retains moisture but is also well-drained[296 ]. Grows best in a fertile clay with good drainage[200 ]. Prefers an acid soil[307 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6, tolerating 4.3 - 7.5[418 ]. Plants are intolerant of drought[296 ]. The mangosteen must be sheltered from strong winds and salt spray[303 ]. It takes at least 8 years before a tree commences bearing fruit, but yields of 200 - 1,500 fruits per tree have been recorded from mature specimens[200 ]. In cooler climates it can take 15 - 20 years for plants to produce their first fruit from seed[296 ]. Trees produce an economical yield of fruit for about 50 years[418 ]. Stress should be avoided; a tree which is visibly suffering seldom recovers[303 ]. Plants resent root disturbance[200 ]. Only female forms of this plant are known, but they are able to produce fruit without fertilization[200 ]. There are some named forms[301 ]. The plants grow very well when banana plants are grown around them to provide wind shelter and plenty of mulch material[296 ]. Some of the most fruitful mangosteen trees grow on the banks of streams, lakes, ponds or canals where the roots are almost constantly wet. However, dry weather just before blooming time and during flowering induces a good fruit-set[303 ]. Spacing: 20-30 ft. (6-9 m).

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

Shop Now

Plant Propagation

Seed. - it has a very short viability and should be sown as soon as it is ripe[303 ]. Technically, the so-called 'seeds' are not true seeds but adventitious embryos, or hypocotyl tubercles; there has been no sexual fertilization[303 ]. When growth begins, a shoot emerges from one end of the seed and a root from the other end. But this root is short-lived and is replaced by roots which develop at the base of the shoot. The process of reproduction being vegetative, there is naturally little variation in the resulting trees and their fruits[303 ]. Some of the seeds are polyembryonic, producing more than one shoot. The individual nucellar embryos can be separated, if desired, before planting[303 ]. The percentage of germination is directly related to the weight of the seed, only plump, fully developed seeds should be chosen for planting[303 ]. Because of the long, delicate taproot and poor lateral root development, transplanting is notoriously difficult. It must not be attempted after the plants reach 60cm[303 ]. At that time the depth of the taproot may exceed the height of the plant[303 ]. There is greater seedling survival if seeds are planted directly in the nursery row than if first grown in containers and then transplanted to the nursery[303 ]. The nursery soil should be 1 metre deep, at least. The young plants take 2 years or more to reach a height of 30cm, when they can be taken up with a deep ball of earth and set out[303 ]. Seeds are recalcitrant and should be stored in their fruit at room temperature, or in moist peat moss, even these will lose viability in 5 days after removal from the fruit, though they are viable for 3 - 5 weeks in the fruit. Viability can be maintained for 1 - 2 months in moist storage at 20°c, storage temperature of 10°c is damaging[303 ]. Cuttings of greenwood. Budding on to seedlings[200 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Cay mang-cut, Gamus, Manggis, Mangkhud, Mangkhut, Mangkut, Mangostane, Mangostanier, Mangostano, Mangostao, Mangosuchin, Mangus kai, Mangus, Mangusta, Mangustan, Mangut, Masta, Mingut thi, Mongkhut, Ple semeta, king's-fruit, mang ji shi, manggis, mangostan, mangostanbaum, mangostane, mangosteen, mangostán, mangostão, mangoustan, mangoustanier.

Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Africa, Andamans, Asia, Australia, Brazil, Burma, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central Africa, Central America, China, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, East Africa, East Timor, Fiji, Ghana, Haiti, Hawaii, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, North America, Pacific, Papua New Guinea, PNG, Philippines, Puerto Rico, SE Asia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South America, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, USA, Vietnam, West Africa, West Indies, Zambia,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Garcinia brasiliensisBacupariTree6.0 10-12 SLMHSNM422
Garcinia gardnerianaBacupari, achachaTree8.0 10-12 SLMHSNM402
Garcinia hanburyiSiam gamboge. Hanbury's garciniaTree15.0 10-12 MLMHSNM012
Garcinia kolaBitter KolaTree12.0 10-12 MLMHSNMWe343
Garcinia madrunoMadruno, Charichuela, MadronoTree10.0 10-12 MLMSNM422
Garcinia xanthochymusMysore Gamboge. Gamboge, Himalayan garciniaTree12.0 11-12 SLMHSNM202

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment



Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

Readers comment

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Garcinia mangostana  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567.