Ashphol or Longan tree, Dimocarpus longan

Ashphol or Longan tree (Dimocarpus longan, family: Sapindaceae) is a medium-sized (10-15 m) evergreen tree from Litchi family. Bark is blackish grey. Its fruit is known as Kath-lichu in Bangla, because it has a similarity with litchi.

Leaflets green, 2-5 pairs, elliptical, ovate or lanceolate, acute or obtuse at the end, glabrous above, Veins and midribs are clearly visible, 7-10 cm long and 3-5 cm wide. 

Flowers are small, petals 5, yellowish white as Litchi's flower, soft and round, borne on terminal panicle. Male and hermaphrodite flowers can be seen in the same panicle. Flowers occur in February-Mach. 

Fruit is round, brown and reddish yellow, containing one seed each like Litchi. Fruit-flesh is juicy and almost sweet as Litchi, but not thick as that. Fruits ripen in May-June. 

The plant is propagated by seed and air layering. Fruits are edible and popular among the children of Bangladesh. Original home of the plant is Malay. It is found in hilly areas of Chittagong of the country.

Fruit and its skin is used in weakness, stomach disorder, round worm, bilious fever and dyspepsia.


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