From the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia, inc.
by Gene Joyner

Seasons in Australia are opposite to those in the US.  Summer is Dec. Jan. Feb. Autumn is Mar. Apr. May. Winter is June July Aug. Spring is Sept. Oct. Nov.


Euphoria longana
The longan is a large evergreen tree that is becoming very popular in South Florida landscapes. Native to southeast Asia, this beautiful tree produces showy clusters of grape-like fruit during the mid-to-late summer. Trees can grow as high as forty feet or more and are well-adapted for a wide variety of soil and moisture conditions.

There are some limited commercial plantings of longan in the south Florida area, and it is becoming more widely planted as a commercial fruit as good-bearing cultivars become available.

Trees produce fruit on terminal clusters during the midsummer months, and there may be as many as thirty fruit or more in individual clusters. Fruit size varies from about three-quarters of an inch to an inch and a half, depending on the variety; at present, one introduced from Hawaii called Kohala is the most widely sought-after for both commercial and dooryard plantings.

Fruits have a tough, leathery brown skin which is easily cracked, and the inside flesh is a translucent or whitish color with a medium-sized shiny brown seed. Flesh is very sweet and very moist, and few people don't like eating this fruit out-of-hand. It also can be canned and frozen for prolonged periods without any loss of quality.

Trees can be seed-propagated, but seedlings do not come true to type and may take up to six to eight years to start bearing. A more practical way of propagation is by air-layering, which takes about eight to ten weeks, or veneer grafting on seedling rootstocks. Air-layered trees generally will bear within one to two years after being planted and grafted trees may bear the next year after being planted.

Longans prefer an acid soil, and on high-pH soils may develop nutritional deficiencies that require regular nutritional sprays to correct. Trees have poor salt tolerance and should not be planted where they are exposed to strong salt winds. However, they have excellent cold-hardiness and mature trees have reportedly withstood temperatures as low as 24°F.

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Joyner, Gene. "Longan." Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia. Tropical Fruit News Vol. 28 No. 10. May 1995. Web. 17 Mar. 2015.

Published 17 Mar. 2015 LR
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