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Name Variations Edit
About Rambutan Edit
Wikipedia Article About Rambutan on Wikipedia
The Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) is a medium-sized tropical tree in the family Sapindaceae, native to southeast Asia, and the fruit of this tree. It is believed to be native to the Malay Archipelago although its precise natural distribution is unknown. It is closely related to several other edible tropical fruits including the Lychee, Longan and Mamoncillo.
It is an evergreen tree growing to a height of 10-20 m tall. The leaves are alternate, 10-30 cm long, pinnate, with 3-11 leaflets, each leaflet 5-15 cm long and 3-10 cm broad, with an entire margin. The flowers are small, 2.5-5 mm, apetalous, discoidal, and borne in erect terminal panicles 15-30 cm long. Rambutan trees are either male (producing only staminate flowers and, hence, produce no fruit), female (producing flowers that are only functionally female), or hermaphroditic (producing flowers that are female with a small percentage of male flowers).
The fruit is a round to oval drupe 3-6 cm (rarely to 8 cm) long and 3-4 cm broad, borne in a loose pendant cluster of 10-20 together. The leathery skin is reddish (rarely orange or yellow), and covered with fleshy pliable spines, hence the name rambutan, derived from the Malayan word rambut which means hairs. The fruit flesh is translucent, whitish or very pale pink, with a sweet, mildly acidic flavour. The single seed is glossy brown, 2-3 cm long, with a white basal scar; it is poisonous and should not be eaten with the fruit flesh. Weak Im Pogi