The tasty and pulpy Rambutan is a red oval fruit, which is covered by soft spines and has the size of a small hen’s egg. Botanically, its plant is known as Nephelium lappaceum and generally it is called Rambutan. There are other local names of Rambutan in other languages of the world. It belongs to the soapberry family (Sapindaceae) and it is a native plant of Malaysia and Philippines where it is cultivated for commercial purposes for its pungent fruit.
The warm and humid climate is highly suitable for the growth of Rambutan and the growing seasons vary in each of the tropical regions where these are planted. The Rambutan tree can gain the height of 50 to 80 ft with a straight trunk having a width of 2 ft. The leaves of Rambutan tree are evergreen in color with reddish rachis and are hairy when young. Normally each leaflet contains 2 to 4 pairs of leaves. In the breeding season the Rambutan tree is full of small and petal less flowers. These flowers are mildly fragrant and are either completely male or bisexual. Flowering occurs twice a year. Rambutan fruit is very exotic looking which is closely related to the Lychee. Normally it is crimson colored but this fruit may also be greenish yellow or orange. Its taste is full of juicy-sweet texture and it is delicately flavored. The Rambutan fruit is eaten raw made into jams or is cooked.
Although Rambutan is indigenous plant of Malaysia and Philippines but it is commonly cultivated throughout Southeast Asia. There are also some cultivations of Rambatan in India and Surinam, and it has also been tried in the coastal areas of Latin America and West Indies.