In article <4as352$33 at dnrserver1.dnr.state.mi.us>,
mackinnw at wildlife.dnr.state.mi.us (Whitey) wrote:
>Is this the same beast that is called maman-chino in Latin America, Soft
>spiny looking husks that turn red when ripe and a (big) grape sized fleshy
>treat in the middle?
I guess the fruit you are refering to is called a rambutan (Nephelium sp).
These fruit are related to lychee and are in the family Sapindaceae. They
have a "cling stone" seed and a hard, somewhat pricklier skin than lychees.
Lychees can also form "chicken tongue seeds" (aborted seeds) as well as the
normal brown smooth seeds (NB. lychee trees that produce high numbers of
chicken tongue seeds are highly prized - more flesh to seed ratio). Another
fruit that is related to lychees and rambutan are longans. Longans can
hybridize with lychee and hybrids in china they are called "longlis" (see
McConchie et al. 1994 Annals of Botany Vol. ?? I can give the vol number if
you email me). Longans have a green/brown skin and taste similar to a grape.
I hate these fruit as they have a green vegetable taste, where as lychees are
incredibly sweet and much more scented (up to 21% sugar - depending on when
you pick them). As mentioned before lychees do not grow well in frosty
conditions. I just bought 2 kg of lychees cv Fay Xi Xue (average fruit = 40g,
95% chicken tongue). Quite a bit of flesh per fruit. Please email me if you
have any queries. I can suggest some papers that might be of use.
Cheers, Adam Vivian-Smith. adamv at tcp.csiro.au