July 19, 2019

Rambutan tree

Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum L.) is believed to be native to the Malay Archipelago, from where it spread westwards to Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka and India; eastwards to Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia. The rambutan, a tropical fruit tree that belongs to Sapindaceae family includes about 125 genera and more than 1000 species of shrubs and trees which are widely distributed throughout the tropics and warm regions.


Nephelium lappaceum is an evergreen tree about 10-12 m tall; principal trunk is erect with an open crown of large branches; bark is slightly rugose, greyish or red.

The leaves are alternate, 10 –30 cm long, pinnate, with 3-11 leaflets, each leaflet 5–15 cm wide and 3-10cm broad, with an entire margin. The flowers are greenish white, short-petioled, apetalous, faintly odorous, and are covered with very fine short hair. The pedicels are thin, greenish yellow and densely rusty pubescent. The calyx is cup-shaped, 4-to 6-lobed, yellowish green and rusty tomantose outside and beset with short white hair within.

Fruit an ellipsoid to sub-globular schizocarp, up to 7 x 5 cm, weighing 20-95 g, usually consisting of only 1 nutlet, yellowish to purplish-red, hardly stalked, often finally dehiscing (at least the apical part), glabrous, usually densely set with filiform, curved, 0.5-2 cm long appendages; wall coriaceous, up to 2.5 mm thick. Seed covered by a usually thick, juicy, white to yellow, translucent sarcotesta.

The tree grows well in heights up to 500 meters above sea-level and grows best in deep soil; clay loam or sandy loam rich in organic matter. They thrive on hilly terrain due to good drainage.
Rambutan tree
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