Rambutan fruit is obtained from the tropical evergreen rambutan tree, being closely related to the litchi fruit. It is native to the warm South-East Asian countries of Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as Thailand, Philippines, Singapore. Moreover, since this plant thrives in tropical environments, it is also extensively cultivated in parts of Sri Lanka, India in Asia, besides certain parts of Africa and Central America that have a conducive warm climate. It is very delicious.

The tree usually attains a height of 12 – 20 meters and can be of three types – producing only male flowers, bearing female flowers with fruit and hermaphroditic meaning giving rise to budding male and female flowers. The dark green leaves are arranged in an alternate pattern, being 10 – 30 cm in length with a few leaflets. The tree sprouts small greenish-red flowers which have no prominent petals and are hence apetalous.

The rambutan fruit bears a round to oval shape comprising a white succulent flesh within, clad by a ridged bright orange to red skin on the outside with spiky furry projections. The name rambutan is derived from the word “Rambut” in the Malay language, which means hair. The tiny bounty is fundamentally a drupe that occurs as a cluster of 10 – 20 fruits. The interior flesh or aril of rambutan is tender in texture and white to pale pink in colour.

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