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The Australian Kensington Mango

Joe Appleton - Monday, November 24, 2014



In the latter half of the 19th century Bowen, in North Queensland, was the centre of a thriving horse trading business between North Queensland and India. The crews of the ships coming in from India bought many items back with them, including mangoes.

The Bowen Harbourmaster and Customs Officer at the time, Mr GE Sandrock, collected a quantity of mango seeds from the sailors and planted them on his property “Woodlands” just outside Bowen. As this initial stock came into fruit, seeds from the better quality and better producing trees were separately collected and Mr Sandrock gave these to a friend of his, Mr McDonald, who planted them on his property at Adelaide Point near Bowen.

A local farmer, Mr Harry Lott, selected a good stringless type of fruit from McDonald’s harvests and used the seeds to start a small orchard on his property, “Kensington”, in the late 1880’s.

Mr Lott found that his mango variety sold well at the local markets due its smooth stringless flesh, and attempted to monopolise the variety. Other local growers unfortunately got hold of seeds by fair and foul means, and within a few years this style of mango was widely distributed through the Bowen and Burdekin regions.

The name “Kensington” has remained although this variety is also called “Bowen Special”. It is easily identifiable by its large, bright orange colour, often with a red blush, and its deep orange flesh that is free of fibrous strands

Mangoes are harvested from September to March with the peak of the season being from November to January.

A mango tree doesn’t produce fruit until it’s about four years old

Mangoes belong to the same family as the cashew and the pistachio nut

Now in-season and in-store today.


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