Scientific Name: Nephelium lappaceum
Plant Description: The rambutan tree is perennial. It normally grows to around ten meters in height, although it can reach 20. The trunk is branched, brown in color. It has a round crown. The alternate leaves are 20 to 25 centimeters long. It has small flowers, which can be white, pinkish, or greenish-white. Trees can be male or hermaphroditic that do not produce fruit, or female that do.
The red fruit of this tree is notable for its hairy rind. The fruit grows in clusters. The pulp is white, smooth, with a sweet but slightly acid taste. It has a large brown seed that is poisonous.
Cultivation: The rambutan grows about 600 meters above sea level. It grows best in soils that are high in clay and organic matter. It must be well drained, and not muddy.
It can be propagated through seeds, which are planted in the field 25 days after germinating. The seeds must be washed and well dried so that it grows with strong roots. Grafts help a better development of the plant, the most recommended is the patch. It must be emphasized that rambutan grafts are quite difficult to do.
Trees should be planted at a distance of at least ten meters from each other for best fruit yield. Rambutan trees are susceptible to strong winds, so they should not be planted where they can be affected.
Watering should be frequent when it is very hot. Pruning helps strengthen the tree and contributes to better growth.
Harvesting is generally done twice a year in the summer and winter months. The fruit is harvested in clusters as it grows. It is recommended to store in a cool and dry environment to avoid damaging the fruit.
Uses: Rambutan is a delicious and healthy fruit. In some parts of Asia it is used as a complementary medicine for the treatment of diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. It contains carbohydrates and proteins. It is rich in vitamin C, which is important for the immune system. It also contains vitamin B and folic acid, important for the formation of collagen and the strengthening of bones and teeth. There are indications that the gallic acid present in rambutan helps fight cancer-causing cells. It also has fiber that benefits digestion.
Pests and Diseases: The mealybug, the borer, birds, bats, fruit flies, canker and mold are pests and diseases that must be controlled from the start as they can affect the cultivation of the fruit and even destroy the tree.
En español: Rambután