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Jakfruit - Exotic Tropical Fruit - Cape Tribulation
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ABIU
BLACK SAPOTE
BREADFRUIT
CANISTEL
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CHEMPADEK
DAVIDSON PLUM
DURIAN
FIJIAN LONGAN
GIANT GRANADILLA
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ICE-CREAM BEAN
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JAKFRUIT
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LYCHEE
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MAMEY SAPOTE
MANGOSTEEN
MAPRANG
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MATISIA
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RAMBUTAN
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SAPODILLA
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STAR APPLE
SWEETSOP
WAX JAMBU
WHITE SAPOTE
YELLOW MANGOSTEEN

 

 

 

 

Rambutan
(Nephelium lappaceum)
Rambutan - Exotic Tropical Fruit - Cape Tribulation

A native to Malaysia and Sumatra but cultivated throughout SE Asia. Vivid red fruit covered in hairy spikes which has a sweet flesh with a mild acid flavour, which is very refreshing.

Soil
Characteristics
Deep, rich well drained sandy loams or clay loams, with high organic content are generall preferred.
Climate Requirements Rambutan require a hot wet climate, and are unlikely to thrive if temperatures drop below 15 C. High humidity is necessary or the tree will drop it's leaves to conserve water.

Culture

Seedling trees are typically tall, growing to 20 meters, while grafted or air layered cultivars are usually more branching and rarely exceed 8 meters. Branches are often weak and may need support when in fruit.
Harvesting Fruit is harvested by cutting away the whole bunch together with a small amount of wood to encourage new leaf growth.
Length of time
until first crop
Seedling rambutan may take up to 7 years to flower and half of these trees will be pure male, producing no fruit. They can be approach or bud grafted in the field but survival is better if this is done in the nursery before planting. Grafted trees tend to start producing in third or fourth year.
Marketing Notes The fruit do not store well, but if kept at 10 C, sealed in plastic with high humidity, they can be kept for about 2 weeks.

 

Food Preparation

It is most convenient to eat the fruit fresh as it is a lot of work to open and remove the seed from a large number of fruit. If you are patient enough to do this, then a fine jam can be made by cooking equal weights of flesh and sugar together with sufficient lime juice (about 5%) or pectin to help the jam set.

Hot bottling the opened fruit in sugar syrup can allow you to enjoy the fruit out of season.

Further information

Purdue University - Centre for New Crops and Plants - Rambutan
This site is a chapter from a book written by Julia Morton. Gives a detailed desription of the different varieties, climate, soil, season, pests and diseases and food uses. You can purchase this classic book Fruits of Warm Climates online from Amazon.

Rambutan - New Crop Fact Sheet.
Written by Francis T. Zee, USDA-ARS, National Clonal Germplasm Repository, Hilo, HI.

Rambutan Cookbook Profile - Global Gourmet
Gives advice on how to actually eat them

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Last updated November 6, 2014