Lychees vs. Longans

johnb51(FL 10a)December 18, 2011

Got some (more) questions for the experts! Even I know that lychees belong in the category of "the great ones" when it comes to fruit. How do the taste of longans compare? How do the trees compare? Are they easier to grow, more fruitful, less finicky? Can you keep them at a similar size? Would I be better off planting one lychee and one longan, instead of two lychees?

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altough its a mater of taste, i think most people on this forum would say they prefer the taste of lychees to longans. I think the trees are pretty similar in their culture and you should have little difficulty getting either to grow well in florida. personally, id always grow an extra lychee tree over a longan- i think your best bet is to eat a bunch of lychees next season and decide whether you would like to have one tree of each or prefer two lychees (or extrely unlikely, two longans!) lychees are avilabl in south florida in late may early june and longans i believe ripen in july.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 7:07PM
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johnb51(FL 10a)

I have tasted lychees, and I think they're superb--one of the best-tasting fruits. But I've seen on this forum that many people have a hard time getting them to fruit and a few even intend to chop them down.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 7:47PM
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john- i think most of the people who have difficulty getting them to fruit live outside of florida or in northern florida. also some varities fruit more than others. mauritius lychee, which is my personal favorite, fruits pretty much every year without fail

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 8:55PM
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Longans are less picky then Lychees when it comes to fruiting. Longans also have a little more cold tolerance. Lychees are the best tasting of the two, longans take a little more of an acquired taste (they are excellent in their own unique flavor).

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 10:51PM
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I love lychees, but I love longans more. Longans are also less susceptible to wind damage during new growth flush.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 11:56PM
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newgen(9 Central California)

Count me as another who prefers longans over lychees. I have the opportunity to eat them several months of the year. I like the crispiness longan pulp over that of lychees. I actually like both, but of the two, I'd pick a longan anytime. Also, longan is much easier to grow outside of Florida. Mine has been doing fine in 100+ F summer weather and low 30s currently.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 3:23AM
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hmhausman(FL 10B)

Ahhh, the age old debate about lychee vs. longan. I am in the lychee tastes better camp, by a considerable margin. I have this ongoing arguement with a friend of mine. In support of his longan preference, he says that it takes a more experienced and distinguished palate to really appreciate longans. Lychess more or less club you over the head (err..maybe tongue would be a better allusion) while longans a more delicate, more get the idea. He cites the alleged fact that most Chinese fruit lovers prefer longan to lychee when push comes to shove. Not being Chinese, and having seen no polls on this, I am left wondering if this is, in fact, true. Any Chinese folks out there who can give us an opinion or observation on this point?


    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 7:42AM
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harry- i have heard this 'Chinese people prefer longan" allegation before, but not sure if I heard it from you or from my local Chinese lychee distributor.

personally, it is truly a mystery to me how lychees are not everyone's flat out favorite fruit and how mauritius are not everyone's favorite lychee variety.

john- here is a link to some very interesting lychee and longan videos on you tube posted by florida university (there are also some vids on other toprical fruit such as mango and carambola)

Here is a link that might be useful: lychee and longan vids

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 8:25AM
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I feel like I've encountered tons of people who prefer longans over lychees.

I enjoy both but like lychees much better myself

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 8:57AM
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The longan reminds me of a really sweet honey dew melon. Personally I prefer lychee, but I think that's an artifact of my 'americanized' palate which prefers some acidity (longan has none). And, I'd try to plant early lychees and late longans to complement the mango season. (Fruits that mature during the height of mango season tend to get under eaten :-)

There are some longans that have a really strong musky aftertaste. I think the diamond river is one. I try to stay away from those.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 11:06AM
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Biew Kiew longan was really good and it seemed like it was fairly late.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 11:08AM
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Just about all the asians I know prefer Lychees over Longan. We typically only eat Longan when there are no Lychees left. I personally prefer Lychees over Longan but over the past several years, I have become more and more fond of Longan.

I really got turned onto Longan when I purchased some very large Longan from Their Longan are huge, about quarter size, with excellent flesh to seed ratio and extremely sweet. I believe they are growing the Kohala variety and I'm sure they do a lot of thinning to get the fruit to size up. I typically pass on the tiny dime-nickel sized Longan at the asian markets.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 7:42PM
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