Longan Dimocarpus longan
The word Longan means "The Eye of The Dragon" in Chinese.
Kohala is the leading commercial variety in Florida. It is the most productive of the Longans. The Longan is not as cold hardy as the Lychee. Longans need a cool dry winter for fruit production to occur in the summer. Warm summer temperatures and moist soil is critical for a successful harvest. These trees, like many others, do not like poorly drained wet soil and can be easily killed after just 4 or 5 days of water logged conditions. Unlike Lychee trees, Longans can however tolerate windy sites well.
Plant Longan trees in full sun and be sure to have irrigation available during early summer. Longans adapt to a wide range of soils but will not tolerate saline conditions. Be sure to keep a thick mulch layer around your tree but don't pile milch around the base of the trunk.
The harvesting season in South Florida is from July to August. Mature fruit will be an intense tan color as large as a quarter. You will know it's ready when you taste one that is nice and sweet. The fruit will not increase in sweetness once harvested.
Harvesting is done manually, with pruning shears or a pole with a cutter that holds the entire cluster. Usually, a portion of the branch behind the fruit-bearing panicle (about one foot ) is cut. Place all harvested fruit in the shade immediately and then pack on ice or refrigerate as soon as possible. Longan fruit have a relatively short shelf life when stored at 75 to 85 F. Fruit may be placed in plastic bags and kept in the refrigerator for about a week.