Nephelium lappaceum 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Sapindales Sapindaceae

Scientific Name: Nephelium lappaceum Linn.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-06-22
Assessor(s): Barstow, M.
Reviewer(s): Cuong, T., Jimbo, T. & Sugau, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Rivers, M.C.
Nephelium lappaceum is a large tree species. It is native to Indochina and Malaysia, however, the species origin within some countries still requires conservation as it is widely cultivated and naturalised within Asia (and the rest of the world). Despite this, the species is likely to have a wide native range and it is assumed wild populations will also be large. No threats to the species have been reported, however to some extent the species will be affected by forest loss across the region. The species is globally assessed as Least Concern. It is recommended the species distribution is confirmed and that genetic diversity of the wild population maintained.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is native to Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and is native and present to Borneo (Adema et al. 1996). The species may also be native to Viet Nam and Cambodia, but this requires further investigation and confirmation. The species is widely cultivated within and outside of its natural range where it has been introduced to the rest of Asia, Africa, Australia, South America and the Caribbean (Tindall 1992). It has become naturalised in some of these locations as it has escaped cultivation. In the wild the species is found in lowland habitat up to 600 m in elevation (Ecocrop 1993-2007).
Countries occurrence:
Brunei Darussalam; Indonesia (Jawa, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Sumatera); Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak); Philippines; Singapore; Thailand
Present - origin uncertain:
Cambodia; Viet Nam
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):600
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Due to the species wide cultivation there is limited information on the species wild population (Tindall 1992). There are also different varieties of the species which vary in abundance. In general the species is common in Sabah and Sarawak (Adema et al. 1996) and Viet Nam (T. Q. Cuong pers. comm. 2017). The species is widespread within the Philippines (de Guzman et al. 1986). The population of this species is likely to be large due to its wide native range. It is thought that the species still maintains good genetic diversity (Tindall 1992).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This tree can grow to 12 to 20 m in height from the seed however clonal trees rarely grow beyond 12 m (Tindall 1992). The species grows within primary and secondary forests which are hot and humid (Ecocrop 1993-2007). The trees have shallow roots, cannot tolerate the cold but can cope with a prolonged dry season. Individuals bear fruit from between five and six years and can continue past their 40th year (Tindall 1992). Trees can survive up to 60 years of age (Ecocrop 1993-2007). Initial growth is rapid but begins to slow after the first six months (Tindall 1992). Flowering and fruiting time varies depending on location however most trees will flower twice in a year. In Malaysia flowering occurs from March to May and August to October. These trees grow best on rich, well drained sandy loams or clay soils (Tindall 1992). The species is insect pollinated.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is used for timber (Mark et al. 2014). It produces a heavy hardwood used for construction (Tindall 1992). The predominant use of the plant is for its fruit which can be consumed raw, canned or in jellies (Tindall 1992). The fruit is traded and cultivated across the world, within Indochina alone there is over 100,000 ha of Rambutan under cultivation. Fats can also be extracted from the fruit and used to make soaps, candles and tallows. The fruit is also antihelminthic while the roots are used to treat fever and poultices can be produces to treat headaches (Tindall 1992).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats to this species are not known. It is anticipated that the species is threatened by habitat loss as it occurs within a region of high deforestation due to the expansion of agricultural and urban areas across its range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is reported from 25 ex situ collections (BGCI PlantSearch 2017). It is recommended that the definitive native range of the species is named and the state of wild populations investigated. It is also essential that genetic diversity within the wild population is monitored and maintained.

Citation: Barstow, M. 2017. Nephelium lappaceum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T33266A67808476. . Downloaded on 18 August 2018.
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