For anyone seeking a fruitful garden filled with exotic species of plants with high edible quality of fruits, try planting Dimocarpus longan fruit tree.
The longan, botanically Dimocarpus longan, is also known as the dragon eye, because of its translucent pulp and the single large black seed inside.
Being a low maintenance plant, it is perfect for not only seasoned gardeners but also an excellent starting point for novices!
Longan is a highly perishable fruit making it less attractive for commercial cultivation compared its close relative Lytchee. Hence it is unlikey that it is available in local markets in India. So, if you want to enjoy this sweet juicy fruit, consider planting one at home.
- Origin: Southeast China, Myanmar
- Scientific name: Dimocarpus longan
- Botanical family: Sapindaceae
- Common names : Dragon eye
- Edible quality rating: 8/10
- Health benefits: 6/10
There are several varieties of Dimocarpus longan, each with their own unique taste and skin colour. Popular varieties are Kohala, Edaw, and Diamond river
Propagation of Longan trees is typically done through air layering or grafting, with the latter being more common.
They thrive in tropical and subtropical conditions with temperatures around 20-25°C while still being relatively robust as they withstand frost for short periods but suffer damage when prolonged.
Full sunlight is essential for optimal growth and a good fruitful yield.
Longan require adequate spacing between plantings (approximately 20-25 feet apart) to ensure proper air circulation and sunlight.
Pruning helps shaping and optimum yield whether maintained on ground or in containers. For ample fruiting watering should remain consistent during growth seasons while limiting it during their dormant phases.
A mature longan tree yields plentiful number of fruits delighting gardeners and encouraging more people into planting longans.
Longan fruit and health benefits
In addition to its delectable taste, Dimocarpus longan also offers many nutritional benefits and health considerations. The longan fruit is high in minerals such as potassium and calcium, vitamins including A, B1, B2, and C, and dietary fibre.
Longan fruits can be eaten fresh or preserved for later use by boiling them with sugar syrup or drying them into chips or dried fruit slices or flakes as snacks or ingredients for desserts.
Consuming longan can reduce fatigue due to physical activity and stress.