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Matoa, Fijian Longan

Matoa, or Fijian longan, is known for its sweet and juicy fruit, which is similar to rambutan in taste. Matoa is less fleshy than rambutan but produces fruit in large bunches.

It is native to Fiji, the Pacific Islands, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Due to this, it is also called Fijian longan.

  • Origin: Pacific islands
  • Common names: Matoa, Fiji longan, island lychee
  • Botanical name: Pometia pinnata
  • Botanical family: Sapindaceae
  • Edible quality: 7/10
  • Health benefits: 4/10

Growing Matoa

The tree can grow up to 20 metres tall and has a canopy that can extend up to 30 feet or wider.

Seedlings are usually the planting material. It is a fast-growing tree that starts producing fruit within 3–4 years of planting.

Matoa thrives in tropical and subtropical climates and hence it can grow in most places in India. Full sun exposure is needed to produce fruit.

Prune the tree to a manageable size; otherwise, it will grow into a very large tree. However, if the tree is also grown for its lumber, then it may be allowed to grow big. Leave a spacing of about 30 feet while planting matoa.

Matoa Fruit Description

The matoa fruit is a small, round, fleshy fruit with a single seed inside. The matoa fruit has a hard shell. The skin of the fruit is thin and leathery, turning red or yellow when ripe. It is similar in appearance to the lychee.

The flesh is sweet and juicy, and it does not stick to the seed. Its flavour is often compared to that of rambutan.

The fruit is commonly eaten fresh. There are various health benefits, including improving digestion and treating skin conditions.

Matoa is a good source of vitamin C, dietary fibre, and antioxidants.

The seeds are edible either cooked or roasted, but not raw.

Other Uses of Matoa

Matoa is an important timber tree for the lumber industry in countries where it is natively found. Its wood is used for construction, furniture, and boat-building. It is also used for making veneers.

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Matoa is a high-yielding tropical fruit tree that has a taste similar to that of rambutan. Matoa has a good, thick skin and a nice, fleshy inner core. The fleshy part is easily separated from the small pulp and is very tasty.

The Matova tree flowers in the month of October and starts giving good, ripe fruits in 45 days. Unripe Matoa is green in colour, which turns purple upon ripening.

Matoa fruit is not usually affected by pests. The male and female flowers bloom together on the Matoa tree, which grows 20 metres or more in height.

Seedlings are used as the planting material. Trees from seedlings bear fruit in 3 to 4 years.

Scientific name: Pometia pinnata 

Propagation method: Seedling

Plant size: Medium

Supplier: Saphal Agro

See how to grow a matoa plant and its fruit description.