Will it compost? – mango seeds

So a while back when I was collecting kangaroo droppings from our street (yes, these are the kinds of things I do for fun!), I found the strange hairy thing that you can see in the bucket below.

It was a mango pit and amazingly it was starting to break down. I say ‘amazingly’ because with all of my composting I had never seen a partially broken down mango seed before. This one had been through the compost, and then buried in an old planter box where some tomatoes grew last summer, and then uncovered much later. Mango seeds are very tough, but more than that they are also not brittle at all, so not easily broken into!

Tearing into the seed I was confused to find a bunch of puzzle-like pieces but then I learnt that mangoes can produce polyembryonic seeds. Cool! According to this website that means that there are multiple embryos within the one seed. One of these will be fertilised but the others will all be clones of the mother plant. Seeds are such fascinating things 🙂

Anyhow, the answer to the question above is ‘no, not really’. You can see from the photo above that even after being in compost and soil the fibrous coating on the mango pit is fully intact. The seed coat bearing these hairs was also still very tough. So until the HCC gets a heavy duty shredder I’m not sure that these will be turned into compost anytime soon? Feel free to still put the pits in the buckets if you like, as the remants of sweet pulp on the outside of the pit will supply the compost with useful sugars. The pits themselves will be removed with sieving!

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