Longan

longan

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A relative of the lychee and indigenous to the lowland and middle elevations of South East Asia, it thrives in monsoon regions. Longan is being grown successfully in Florida since the 1990's.

Longan is a handsome evergreen tree which can reach up to 100 ft. Its foliage is dense and dark green and the tan colored fruits grow abundantly in large clusters. Individual fruits are small, ovoid, slightly bigger than a grape.

The peel is thin and leathery, smoother than that of the lychee. In Asia they are sometimes called "dragon eyes", because once the brown shell is removed you are left with the almost translucent white flesh and the single dark seed in the middle.

Longan are very popular in Asia where they are usually eaten raw or poached.