Sunday, April 13, 2014

The history of rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum)

The commonly used name of ‘rambutan’ is derived from the Malay word ‘rambut’ which means ‘hair’ and is in general use in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Rambutan is thought to be indigenous to the Malay Peninsula, though it long history of domestication makes its origins difficult to ascertain.

The rambutan was taken to the Philippines from Indonesia in 1912. Further introductions were made in 1920 (from Indonesia) and 1930 (from Malaya), but until the 1950's its distribution was rather limited.

The plant also cultivated throughout the humid tropics of Asia (Sri Lanka to New Guinea) and is small numbers in the humid tropics of America, Africa and Australia.

In Malaysia, the earliest record of cultivars trials date from 1932, resulting in the registration in 1952, of 32 clones by the Malayan Department of Agriculture.

Rambutan has been classified as an underutilized fruit crops, but has grown in commercial importance. 

Thailand is the largest global producer of rambutan and the crop also is grown for domestic and export markets in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia, Sri Lanka, Central America, South Africa and United States.
The history of rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum)
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