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Best Longan Variety

Posted by simon_grow SoCal zone 10 (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 19, 09 at 2:41

Hello everyone, I have done a lot of research on the internet regarding the best Longan varieties but I cannot decide between the three top varieties which are Sri Chompoo, Biew Kiew and Kohala. I'm looking for an excellent tasting fruit that is large and has a small seed.

Kohala is highly recommended because it is widely grown in Hawaii, Florida and California and has a large fruit that is very good quality and tends to have small seeds. Sri Chompoo and Biew Kiew are supposed to be very similar but Sri Chompoo is supposed to have pink flesh and a smaller seed. Of these three varieties, the flavor (which is most important to me) is supposed to be similar in quality. I know taste/flavor is very subjective but Sri Chompoo and Biew Kiew are supposedly favored over Kohala by Thai people.

Ideally, I will be growing one plant with the other two varieties grafted on but I tend to get lazy and would like to have the best one just in case. Any info, especially first hand accounts/descriptions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Best Longan Variety

For me it would be kohala and chompoo tied for first with biew kiew next.
however if you plan to graft together just remember that kohala has a very upright fast growing habit, especially compared to chompoo. You wouldn't want a misshaped tree would you?


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RE: Best Longan Variety

  • Posted by cagary zone 10 CA (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 19, 09 at 19:03

I have a huge Kohala here in south Orange County. It gives me good fruit every year. Its over 15 years old and 20 feet tall. I was impatient and wanted a tree as fast as possible so I actually planted 3 trees in one hole, but you would never know it looking at the foliage. The three trees grew together into one quite quickly. You might want to try growing all three of your choices in the same hole, but you'd have to be careful and prevent the Kohala from taking over and crowding out the others. I'd just get a Kohala.

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RE: Best Longan Variety

  • Posted by dghays Z10A FL Brevard (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 19, 09 at 21:20

If I were you in CA, I'd go with Kohala, it seems to better survive adverse conditions, like cold weather. Thais would be very unlikely to have tasted a Kohala in Thailand. Ronald and I have a mutual Thai friend, and he rates Biew Kiew above even See Chompoo, and those above Kohala in taste. They all taste wonderful to me.

Gary


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RE: Best Longan Variety

Thanks Ronald, Cagary and dghays. If I decide to graft I will make sure to graft Kohala on a smaller, higher up branch. I live in a special microclimate of San Diego CA where we get very light frost only occasionally, we can even get Indian and mixed mangoes to grow here. I live really close to Leo Manuel of the CRFG and he has tons of fruiting Mangoes at his house.

I'm really leaning towards the Kohala because of all the recommendations but I wish I could taste all the varieties for a direct comparison. I have only tasted the Kohala from Exotica Nursery but they didn't cull the fruit so the fruit was kinda small and the fruit I did taste were picked early but still sweet. The seeds were small but the flesh wasn't fully developed yet because the flesh is supposed to develope when the Longan are fully mature. I was probably 1-2 weeks early.

I recently came across an article that says a new variety of Longan called "Egami" is very much prefered in Hawaii. The fruits are smaller than Kohala but it is supposed to be superior to Kohala and other varieties by the people who have tasted Egami.

Thanks for everyones input, please keep the suggestions comming:)


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RE: Best Longan Variety

  • Posted by dghays Z10A FL Brevard (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 25, 09 at 8:16

The problem is it's unknown if Egami would do well in sub tropical areas out of Hawaii. I realize Kohala did though. My Kohala was barely affected by a frost, and my See Chompoo and Biew Kiew are struggling afterwards. I'd like to try Egami myself just because I collect longans. I harvested Chompoo and Kohala a couple years ago and loved them both. My Kohala is in flower now, re-flowering a month after 28F frost.

Gary


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RE: Best Longan Variety

Hey Gary, If you could only choose to keep either your Chompoo or Kohala, which one would you choose and why? I would think that small longan plants will be very sensitive to winter frosts but hopefully all your longans will be much more resistant once they are fully grown. I think the occasional light frosts in San Diego and Florida will actually help the longan and lychees flower and fruit better.


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RE: Best Longan Variety

  • Posted by dghays Z10A FL Brevard (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 27, 09 at 13:40

Not sure what low temps you actually get, but I typically barely reach freezing, or don't every year. No doubt, mature trees are much more cold tolerant than young ones. My chompoo and kohala both had around 4" trunks. Frost itself I don't think is a positive factor, but chill hours can help if it's not a variety with true tropical heritage. Based on what happened this winter, I'd choose Kohala, but it's hard to know what effect the direction from my house each plant is had on how harshly the cold affected them. They're both about 25' from my house, but different directions.


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RE: Best Longan Variety

Thanks for the information Gary, yeah, what I should have said is that the Chill hours we get are beneficial to flowering out lychee and longan plants. I'm really leaning towards Kohala now!


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RE: Best Longan Variety

The Ebay seller 7_heads said the Sri Champoo longan is the best. California Tropical Fruit Tree Nursery in Vista said that they tested a few varieties of longan trees and they only sell Kohala because it is best adapted in San Diego region.

This post was edited by Tamytnu on Mon, Dec 9, 13 at 0:40


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