Cac Mango Grow Guide

Unripe Cac Mango (Xoi Cát Chu Mango) Hanging On a Tree
Image Credit: Mama Mango

Cac Mango is a textbook example of why we should never judge a mango cultivar solely based off its name.

Cac is often overlooked because it doesn’t have the funnest/most inviting name out there. However, if we were to judge a book by its cover, we would be missing out on an absolute flavor bomb.

With that being said, this grow guide will cover everything that you need to know about Cac Mango:

Table of Contents

Cac Mango Tree Growth Habit & Fruit Production

The Cac Mango is considered a medium to large-sized mango tree.

Cac Mangos have a very vigorous & spreading growth habit that produces an open canopy. As a result, Cac can realistically be kept between 15 – 20 feet tall with annual pruning. Cac’s naturally open and leggy growth habit means that they would not do well long-term in containers and would not be considered a “condo” mango.

Cluster of Unripe Cac Mangos (Xoi Cát Chu Mangos) Hanging On a Tree
Image Credit: Mama Mango

Cac would not be an ideal mango cultivar for those who do not plan to routinely prune. That is because Cac requires a very aggressive pruning regimen (shaping/tipping) to keep the tree under control over the long term.

Despite not being particularly precocious, Cac’s fruit production consistently ranges from good to heavy. The mangos themselves are medium-sized fruits that typically weigh between 1 – 1.5 lbs.

Cac Mango Bark Graft
Cac Mango Bark Graft

Cac Mango Flavor Profile

Cac Mangos are considered an Indochinese Flavored Mango.

When perfectly ripe and mature, the fruit’s skin—uncommonly smooth for a mango and similar to that of a nectarine—will give off a phenomenal mango aroma with notes of citrus and papaya. Slicing into the fruit will reveal a yellowish-orange fiberless flesh that has an incredibly smooth and creamy texture with just the right amount of firmness.

Ripe & Mature Cac Mango (Xoi Cát Chu Mango) Cut In Half
Image Credit: Mama Mango

From a flavor perspective, Cac Mango has a deliciously complex indochinese flavor that is hard not to enjoy. The fruit is incredibly rich with a floral sweetness in addition to a well-balanced level of acidity that brings out notes of citrus, peach & melon. By the same token, there is a perfect amount of resin, tartness and “syrupy” flavor elements that make Cac Mango the poster-child for everything that an amazing indochinese mango should have.

To be honest, Cac Mango is hands-down the best indochinese mango cultivar that I have personally ever had. Relative to other cultivars that I have sampled, Cac has the floral sweetness of Nam Doc Mai but with the complexity and resinous flavors that are often found in Zill Indochinese and Sweet Tart that will make your mouth water.

Ripe & Mature Cac Mango (Xoi Cát Chu Mango) Cut In Half
Image Credit: Mama Mango

And the cherry on top is that I have never had a bad Cac Mango. While I’m sure there are folks out there who may not have had the same experiences as myself, even when accounting for different fruit stands/farms, Cac has been consistently great for me over the years.

Overall, Cac’s flavor will be mostly appreciated by those who are looking for an amazing indochinese mango that has a floral sweetness with just the right amount of complexity and resinous flavors.

Ripe & Mature Cac Mango (Xoi Cát Chu Mango) Cut Into Wedges
Image Credit: Mama Mango

Finally, it’s worth noting that Cac Mangos produce polyembryonic seeds, which means that planting a seed from a Cac Mango can yield another Cac Mango Tree.

Cac Mango Season (And When To Pick)

Cac Mangos are considered a mid-season mango (June – July).

The best time to pick Cac Mangos are when they are mature and beginning to ripen on the tree. From a color perspective, this is when the fruit is beginning to show signs of yellow color break. Cac is perfectly ripe when the majority of the fruit turns a pale greenish-yellow color

Ripe & Mature Cac Mango (Xoi Cát Chu Mango) Cut In Half
Image Credit: Mama Mango

With that being said, the best tasting Cac Mangos are the ones that have been allowed to tree-ripen 😃

Aside from color, here are some additional tips to knowing when Cac Mango is ready to pick:

  • Have the black lenticels (dots) become more prominent on the top of the fruit?
  • How does the stem look? It’s it drying up near where it connects to the fruit?
  • Is the fruit’s skin beginning to stretch?
  • Are there beads of sap present?
  • Has the skin texture become more smooth?
  • Poke Test (see below)

When Cac Mangos reach their full mature size, they tend to quickly drop to the ground. As a result, if slightly poking/moving the fruit at this stage results in the fruit dropping onto the ground, that means they are ready!

Cac Mango Disease Resistance

Cac Mango is highly resistant to most mango diseases including Bacterial Black Spot & Anthracnose. With that being said, Cac’s flowers are known to be susceptible to Powdery Mildew.

Cac Mango History

Cac Mango was introduced from Vietnam to Florida at the turn of the 21st century.

In Vietnam, this cultivar also goes by the name “Xoi Cát Chu.”

From what I understand, “cát” in Vietnamese translates to the word “sand” which supposedly refers to the black lenticels that commonly develop on the fruit (that look like specs of sand). This makes sense given that most Xoi Cát Chu Mangos are grown near the Mekong Delta that is known for its fertile river sand and silt.

A Cac Mango that is not mature or ripe
Image Credit: Mama Mango

In my opinion, Cac is to Vietnam as Alphonso is to India. In other words, I believe that Cac is one of the best tasting mangos to come out of Vietnam.

Cac Mango Tree For Sale

Cac Mango is an uncommon-to-rare mango cultivar to source; I believe the last time that I saw a Cac Mango Tree for sale was in 2021. I speculate this is the case because, despite the excellent disease resistance/flavor, people’s preferences tend to naturally favor smaller mango cultivars that are much easier to keep under control.

However, if one has the space for large mango tree, they should definitely consider Cac 🙂

With that being said, if you are unable to find one at a local nursery, your next best option is checking out Tropical Acres Farms (not sponsored). They are the only legit place online (from my experience) that you are getting exactly what you are paying for. 

They have over 300 varieties of mangos available. You can either order budwood to graft yourself or submit a grafting request to have a grafted tree created for you. They do ship!

Conclusion

If you found this grow guide helpful, please consider sharing. It helps support the website 🙂

If you have any questions regarding anything mentioned in this grow guide, please comment them below! This way, others can also benefit from the answer to the same question. For any other questions or growing tips that you think may be helpful, feel free to use the contact form and drop me a line.

Thank you for reading! 🙂

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Matthew Rowlings

I have an Associates Degree in Biology from the University of Florida and am also an active Florida Master Gardener. I am located in Central Florida (Zone 10A) and have 6+ years of experience with growing 20+ types of tropical trees. You can learn more about me and why I started Tropical Tree Guide on my about page.

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