Pometia pin
nata (Sapindaceae) 

Common Names 

English: Fijian longan, island lychee  

Spanish: longán de Fiji

Samoa: tava 

Malaysia: kasai

 

Origin and Distribution 

Southeast Asia and Pacific islands. 

 

Botanical Synonyms 

Pometia acuminata, P. alnifolia, P. glabra, P. tomentosa, Euphoria pinnata and E. pometia. 

 

Description

Large tree, reaching a height of 60-90 feet (18-27 m). Leaves compound, 12-36 inches (30-91 cm) long, with 4-12 pairs of leaflets. New leaves bright red. Small, bisexual, whitish flowers in terminal panicles 12-18 inches (30-46 cm) long. Fruits round to ellipsoid, with a thin peel that may be greenish to red or almost black when mature. The pulp is cream colored, juicy and sweet, and contains a single large seed.

 

 

Propagation and Culture

Propagated by seed, but superior selections could probably be propagated by grafting. 

Fijian longan is a fast growing tree, and is found wild from sea level to an altitude of about 2,500 feet (762 m). Cultivated trees should be pruned regularly to facilitate fruit harvest. Fruiting occurs sporadically throughout the year, with the greatest production in December and January in the Northern Hemisphere.

 

Cultivars and Related Species

In the Pacific islands, where this fruit is common, different types are distinguished by the color and size of the fruit. In Fiji, “dawa moli” y “dawa seren” have large red fruits, “dawa lowa” has black fruits, and “dawa sisici” has small green fruits. The cultivar ‘Whitman’ has fruits of fair quality with a diameter of 2.5 inches (6 cm), and produces throughout the year.

Pometia ridleyi is a related timber species from Southeast Asia. 

 

Uses

The fruit is highly perishable, and is primarily consumed fresh. The seed is edible, and is consumed roasted or boiled. The tree is harvested for timber, and the wood is used to make many different items, as well as for firewood. Bark extracts are used medicinally to treat coughs, ulcers, stomach and tooth pain, and for mouth and skin diseases.

 

 

   

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