1) Plant History & General Information:
- Location on Property: Garden P
- Scientific Name: Dimocarpus longan
- Region of Origin: Southern Asia
- Type: Edible
- General History: Longan is a tropical tree that produces edible fruit and is one of the better-known members of the soapberry family (Sapindaceae), to which the lychee also belongs. Depending upon climate and soil type the tree may grow to over 100 feet (30 m) in height, but it typically stands 30–40 ft (9–12 m).
2) Plant Uses:
- As Food: The fruit is sweet, juicy and succulent in superior agricultural varieties. The seed and the shell are not consumed. Apart from being eaten fresh and raw, longan fruit is also often used in Asian soups, snacks, desserts, and sweet-and-sour foods, either fresh or dried, and sometimes preserved and canned in syrup. The taste is different from lychees; while longan have a drier sweetness, lychees are often messily juicy with a more tropical, sour sweetness. Dried longan are often used in Chinese cuisine and Chinese sweet dessert soups. In Chinese food therapy and herbal medicine, it is believed to have an effect on relaxation.
- As Medicine: Longan is commonly found in traditional Eastern folk medicine. In ancient Vietnamese medicine, the “eye” of the longan seed is pressed against snakebites to absorb the venom. This was ineffective, but is still commonly used today. The flesh of the fruit is administered as a stomachic, febrifuge and vermifuge, and is regarded as an antidote for poison. A decoction of the dried flesh is taken as a tonic and treatment for insomnia and neurasthenic neurosis.
- Other Uses:
- Growing: Trees should be pruned back after fruiting to manage growth. Avoid adding high amounts of nitrogen.
- Best time to Harvest: June to July
- Sunlight Requirements: Partial to full sun
- Soil Requirements: Sandy loam
- Propagation: From seed, germination in 7-10 days. Air layering is often successful and perferred here in Hawaii.
- Difficulties with this plant: The longan is relatively free of pests and diseases. At times, there may be signs of mineral deficiency which can be readily corrected by supplying minor elements in the fertilization program.
History of this Plant at Hedonisia: