Longan Facts

Longan Facts
Longan, also known as euphoria fruit and lychee's little brother, is an evergreen tree that belongs to the soapberry family. It originates from China. Longan grows in tropical areas, with dry autumns and frost-free winters. It can be found from the sea level to the altitude of 1.500 feet. People cultivate longan as a source of food. Majority of globally consumed longan originates from Southeast Asia. Longan is cultivated in ornamental purposes in areas with cool climate (where it cannot produce fruit).
Interesting Longan Facts:
Longan is medium-sized tree that can reach 20 to 23 feet in height. It has roundish crown and corky bark.
Longan produces dark green, shiny, leathery, pinnate leaves composed of 6 to 9 oval leaflets with wavy margins and pointed tips. Leaves are alternately arranged on the branches.
Longan produces dense clusters of small, brownish-yellow to yellowish-green flowers. Each cluster contains three types of flowers: functionally male, functionally female and hermaphroditic (with both types of reproductive organs).
Longan blooms during the spring. Male flowers open first, followed by female flowers and finally hermaphroditic, which function as male flowers. Strictly organized maturation and opening of flowers prevent self-pollination.
Longan produces large, drooping clusters of cherry-sized drupes. Fruit is oval or round in shape. It has thin, brittle, light brown shell on the surface and grayish-white, translucent flesh which surrounds centrally positioned large, black seed with white ovoid-shaped mark.
Harvest takes place from the mid to late summer (140 to 190 days after pollination).
Longan is rich source of vitamins A and C and minerals such as iron, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium.
Longan (flesh) looks like peeled grape. It has pleasant, sweet taste which resembles a mixture of musk, spruce and gardenia. Longan can be consumed in the form of fruit salads, ice-creams, smoothies, cocktails and syrups. Fresh, dried and canned longan can be also used for the preparation of various sweet and savory dishes.
Pit cannot be easily removed from the fruit, which increases popularity of the "stone free" varieties of longan in the market.
Longan is very popular in Asia, especially Thailand, where it is also known as lam-yai.
Longan is also known as "Dragon's eye" in China due to transparent flesh with black, pupil-like seed in the middle, which all together creates impression of an eyeball.
Longan (fruit) is used in treatment of insomnia, fatigue, depression and irritability. It also accelerates healing of the wound, improves blood circulation and absorption of iron and keeps cardiovascular system, skin, gums and teeth healthy.
Longan (fruit) contains substances which prevent cell damage and development of certain types of cancer.
Seed can be used to stop the bleeding and absorb the venom after the snake bite.
Longan is perennial plant (life span: more than 2 years in the wild).

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