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Sapindaceae, Nephellium mutabile, Pulasan

September 28, 2008

The Pulisan is native to South East Asia, widely cultivated in Indonesia, especially on the island of Java. It is also relatively well known in Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. 

The tree grows up to 10 – 15 meters, with spreading branches and an irregular crown. The fruit is 5-8 cm long and 3-5 cm wide encased in a red or yellow capsule covered in short, soft spines, similar to that of the Rambutan, a close relative to the Pulasan. The fruit is most similar to the Rambutan, typically consumed raw, also made into marmalades and preserves. 

There are two known groups of Pulasan varieties. Dark red and yellow. There are freestone cultivars in both groups. The most prized varieties are “Silbabat” and “Koneng”. 

The Pulasan requires a hot, humid climate. Trees cannot withstand prolonged dry seasons. To obtain quality fruit the tree needs deep, well drained soil, rich in organic matter. 

The tree is propagated by seed, graft and air layer. 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Dan S. permalink
    December 13, 2010 10:08:05 pm

    It is weird that Pulasan is a lot less common than Rambutan (I guess it is more tropical and harder to grow). The taste is nearly the same (Pulasan maybe slightly stronger and sweeter) but the real advantages are: pulasan is HUGE (about twice the size of standard rambutan), it is easier to peel (simply twist, in fact, the name is Malay for ‘twist’), and you can get the flesh off the seed easier than with rambutan (even “freestone” rambutan varieties have the hard skin around the seed come off with the flesh, and that’s not nice).

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