Longan Varieties in Florida
A number of new and re-introductions including 'Edau' ('Daw'), 'Chompoo', 'Haew', and 'Biew Kiew' are under evaluation by several institutions and producers. However, nothing superior to 'Kohala' has been identified.
One of the recently introduced cultivars is named 'Diamond River'. This cultivar is from Thailand and is reported to fruit every year, be precocious, produce off-season, and produce a sizeable late season crop. However, fruit quality is only fair and the tree is very susceptible to limb breakage.
Although there are numerous longan cultivars in Southeast Asia, the cultivar diversity is lower in other regions. The following cultivars are the most commonly cultivated in Puerto Rico, Florida and Hawaii:
‘Kohala’ - Originally from Hawaii, the most important cultivar in Florida, but has erratic production in tropical regions. The fruit is early, large, of good quality, and with a small seed.
‘Diamond River’ (‘Phetsakon’) - A tropical longan from Thailand which has more reliable production in tropical areas. The fruit is of medium size, good quality and early.
‘Biew Kiew’ - From Thailand, with more consistent production in Hawaii than ‘Kohala’, but still requires cool winters to flower well. Good quality fruit, later than ‘Kohala’.
‘Si Chompoo’ - From Thailand, with more consistent fruiting in Hawaii than ‘Kohala’, but still requires cool winters to flower well. Large, good quality fruit.
'Ship'i' - Very large size, less tasty, late season, planted in Florida
'Ship' i' ('Snake skin') has the largest fruit, as big as a small lychee and slightly elongated. The skin is rough, the seed large, some of the juice is between the rind and the flesh, and the quality is low. Its only advantage is that it is very late in season.
Longan Growing in the Florida Home Landscape from the University of Florida pdf 9 pages
1 Crane, Jonathan H. ,Balerdi, Carlos F. Sargent, Steven A. and Maguire, Ian. "Longan Growing in the Florida Landscape." edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Fact Sheet HS-49, a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Publication Nov. 1978. Revised Apr. 1994, Nov. 2000, Sept. 2005, Oct. 2008, and Nov. 2016. Web. 8 Jan. 2017.
Fig. 1,2 Maguire, Ian. 'Kohala' longan fruit. N.d. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. University of Florida. Web. 5 June 2015.
Fig. 3 Maguire, Ian. 'Diamond River' longan fruit. N.d. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. University of Florida. Web. 5 June 2015.
Fig. 4,5,6,7 Photo Gallery of Longan Accessions. N.d. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. ars.usda.gov. Web. 5 June 2015.
Published 13 Mar. 2015 LR. Last update 10 Jan 2017 LR