Since the early 1900’s, Kesar Mango has become a household name among those who love Indian Mangos.
Famous for its orange flesh and complex flavors, Kesar is a delicious mango cultivar that has started to gain popularity in areas outside of its native homeland. That is because Kesar, unlike other well-known Indian Mangos such as Alphonso, has shown better adaptability to grow in a range of different climates.
With that being said, this grow guide will cover everything that you need to know about Kesar Mango:
Table of Contents
- Kesar Mango Tree Growth Habit & Fruit Production
- Kesar Mango Flavor Profile
- Kesar Mango Season (And When To Pick)
- Kesar Mango Disease Resistance
- Kesar Mango History
- Kesar Mango Tree For Sale
Kesar Mango Tree Growth Habit & Fruit Production
The Kesar Mango is considered a medium-sized mango tree.
Kesar Mango Trees have a moderately vigorous & spreading growth habit that produces a dense and compact canopy. As a result, Kesar can realistically be kept between 10 – 15 feet tall with annual pruning. With that being said, Kesar would not do well long-term in containers and would not be considered a “condo” mango.
While Kesar’s canopy is not as dense as an Alphonso, Kesar has shown to have better adaptability to growing in U.S. Climates and produce better crop yields relative to Alphonso. More specifically, Kesar’s fruit production consistently ranges from average to good.
The mangos themselves are small to medium-sized fruits that typically weigh between 0.5 – 1.5 lbs.
Kesar Mango Flavor Profile
Kesar Mangos are considered an Indian Flavored Mango.
A mature and ripe Kesar will typically be a very clean-looking fruit that has yellow skin, which can develop a beautiful pinkish-red blush with enough sun exposure. It looks very similar to Pim Saen Mun Mangos.
Furthermore, perfectly ripe Kesars will also have an intoxicating sweet mango aroma.
With that being said, slicing into the fruit will reveal a deep orange flesh (what Kesar is famous for) with a fiberless and smooth texture. On texture alone, Kesar is hands-down one of the best commercial varieties available.
From a flavor perspective, Kesar Mangos have a sweet and spicy Indian flavor. The juicy fruit is very rich and sweet (honey-like) with a strong complex flavor containing balanced notes of sweet spices. There is little to none acidic components to the fruit, which means there are no additional “fruity flavors” present.
Additionally, while there is a “piney” flavor present (stronger towards the skin), it is definitely not as “piney” as Alphonso. Speaking of Alphonso, I would venture to say that Kesar is slightly sweeter than Alphonso. However, from a taste perspective, I believe that a perfectly ripe Mallika easily beats out Kesar due to having equal amounts of sweetness but with more subdued spice complexity. With that being said, taste is subjective!
Overall, Kesar’s flavor will be mostly appreciated by those looking for a strong Indian-Flavored Mango. However, if one is looking for something even stronger than Kesar, East Indian is definitely towards the top of that scale.
Finally, it’s worth noting that Kesar Mangos produce monoembryonic seeds, which means that planting a seed from a Kesar Mango won’t yield another Kesar Mango Tree.
Kesar Mango Season (And When To Pick)
Kesar Mangos are considered a mid-season mango (June – July).
Like many other Indian Mangos, the best time to harvest Kesar Mangos are when they are mature green on the tree. As a result, Kesar Mangos can be tricky to know when they are ready to be picked. With that being said, one of the most prominent indicators to look for when picking Kesar is full/wide shoulders on the top of the fruit.
Fortunately, because Kesar Mangos are a commercial variety, they tend to be pretty forgiving when it comes to ripening evenly off the tree due to their excellent shelf life. In India, Kesar Mangos are usually not refrigerated but instead kept in warm areas to finish ripening prior to selling. Under the right circumstances, some Kesars can even be good up to 2-3 weeks post-harvest.
It is recommended to not allow Kesars to tree-ripen. That is because they are much more likely to overripen quickly on the tree and can also have problems with uneven ripening. When perfectly ripe, they will develop a beautiful yellow color that can sometimes have a pink/red blush covering the top of the fruit.
Finally, Kesar’s flavor can sometimes turn sour and tangy if the tree is experiencing exceptionally wet conditions. So if you have ever tried a Kesar with this kind of flavor profile, it is definitely not characteristic of the cultivar!
Kesar Mango Disease Resistance
Similar to Mallika, Kesar Mango doesn’t tend to have any issues whatsoever with Anthracnose. As a result, Kesar would be a good candidate for growing in more humid areas.
With that being said, Kesar is prone to both Powdery Mildew & Bacterial Black Spot. As a result, one should be prepared to spray in order to prevent Powdery Mildew from decimating the tree’s flowers and by extension the tree’s overall fruit production.
Kesar Mango History
We can trace Kesar Mango’s roots back to 1930’s West India.
The name “Kesar” was given to this mango due to it’s orange flesh being very similar in color to the saffron spice; in fact, “Kesar” in the Hindi Language translates to the word saffron. Due to its rich flavor and beautiful color, Kesar was quickly adopted by commercial farms. Today, it is still grown on a large commercial scale in India.
It is speculated that Kesar is a seedling of Alphonso Mango.
Kesar Mango Tree For Sale
To be honest, I’ve never personally come across a Kesar Mango Tree for sale.
I believe this is the case because Kesar is an immensely popular mango variety with a flavor that rivals Alphonso. However, due to Kesar’s better adaptability and growth in places like Florida, it’s possible that the supply is not keeping up with the demand for this cultivar.
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!
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