Nephelium lappaceum var. lappaceum

Description

Tree, up to 27 m high, dbh up to 70 cm, buttresses up to 1.50 m high, or shrub. Leaves 1-foliolate to 5-jugate; Sepals 4 or 5(-7), mostly slightly connate, 1.1-2.1 mm long, outside mostly thinly to densely appressedly short-hairy, inside mostly densely appressedly long-hairy to woolly. Stamens 5-8. Fruits large and with a thin wall.

Distribution

Asia-Tropical:, Borneopresent; Malaya (Peninsular Malaysiapresent); Philippines (Philippinespresent); Sumatera (Sumaterapresent); Thailand (Thailandpresent) Basilan: present Ceram: Palawan: present W and C Java: present
Thailand and Malesia: Sumatra, Malay Peninsula, Borneo, W and C Java, Philippines (Palawan, Basilan), and possibly Ceram. Commonly cultivated, also in other parts of the Tropics, and doubtless not rarely escaped and sometimes naturalized.

Uses

Commonly cultivated as a fruit tree. See, among others:

Notes

1. As with many commonly cultivated plants it is difficult to decide what is its natural area of distribution and where it is naturalized. I have the impression that var. lappaceum is native in Thailand and West Malesia, though many of the collections, especially from Java are doubtful, being either collected near kampongs or in cultivated areas, or lacking sufficient information on the locality. The Philippine material may be of truly wild origin: var. lappaceum is common on Borneo, Palawan has a strong Bornean element in its flora, and Basilan is not far from Palawan. On the other hand, I strongly doubt that the species is native on Ceram: only one old collection is known without any detailed information on the locality.
Specimens of N. hypoleucum may resemble the present variety. They differ mainly in being (nearly) glabrous all over and by their often distinctly ovate leaflets with a densely reticulate, not very conspicuous venation. In this variety the upper leaflets at least are often obovate with a cuneate base and the reticulation is often very lax and on both sides prominent. The fruits are distinctly different: in N. hypoleucum with pyramidal or linear, up to 1.5 mm high warts, in N. lappaceum with bulbous- or broad-based, tapering to strap-shaped or filiform, 0.5-2 cm long appendages.
Nephelium lappaceum var. lappaceum and N. ramboutan-ake sometimes resemble each other vegetatively. However, typical N. ramboutan-ake clearly differs from the present variety in its leaflets: they are elliptic with the angle of the base and the apex being about the same, the apex itself is nearly always distinctly acuminate, they are thin-pergamentaceous, in the herbarium often curled or rolled up, glaucous beneath, the nerves are rather numerous, widely spreading, light brown beneath in the dried leaflets, and the nervation is faint on both sides. In N. lappaceum var. lappaceum the upper leaflets tend to be obovate, and the base is distinctly more acute than the apex, they are coriaceous, flat when dried, at most hardly glaucous, the apex is rounded or sometimes slightly acuminate, with few steep nerves which are gradually curved upwards and are mostly dark purplish brown to nearly black in the dried leaflets; the venation is prominent on both sides.

Synonymy

Nephelium lappaceum L. var. lappaceum
  • Litchi rambou-tan Labill.
  • Nephelium glabrum Noroňa
  • Nephelium glabrum Reinw. ex Blume
  • Nephelium lappaceum L.
  • Nephelium maculatum Radlk.
  • Nephelium obovatum Ridley.
  • Nephelium sufferrugineum Radlk.