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Trees or less often shrubs. Leaves alternate, paripinnate; leaflets distinctly glaucous beneath. Inflorescences axillary or distal (also cauliflorous in N. cuspidatum), simple or paniculate thyrses. Flowers actinomorphic, diclinous; calyx cup-shaped, with valvate aestivation, sepals free or connate at base, 4-6 subequal; petals wanting or 4-6, clawed, with a bilobed appendage (seemingly connate, reflexed, basal margins); disc annular; stamens 4-10; ovary (1)2(-4)-carpellate, with a single ovule per carpel, style elongated, stigma 2(3)-lobed, elongated and usually coiled. Fruits 1(2)-coccate, tardily loculicidally dehiscent, the pericarp warty, tuberculate or echinate, coriaceous or less often woody or corky. Seeds completely covered by edible sarcotesta.


Asia-Temperate, Malaysia present, Yunnan and Assam to Hainan present
About 16 species from China (Yunnan and Assam to Hainan) and Malaysia. Nephelium lappaceum L., the Rambutan and N. ramboutan-ake (Labill.) Leenh. the Pulasan are widely cultivated for their edible fruits.