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Longan facts for kids

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Owoce Longan
Fruits hanging on a longan tree, and inside the fruit

Longan (scientific name: Dimocarpus longan) is the name for a tree in the Sapindaceae (soapberry) family. It comes from the southern part of Asia and is related to the lychee.

The fruit of the longan is white, round, and together with its hard seed, looks like an eyeball when the shell is peeled off. This gave the fruit its name in Chinese, which means "dragon's eye". The English name is from its pronunciation in Cantonese, the dialect of southern China. The fruit is edible, has a sweet taste, and is often used for cooking. There is a lot of protein and dietary fiber.

Most longan trees are harvested in China, where the fruit was known as early as the Han dynasty and there are many legends about it. In the Western world, though, it was not known until near the end of the 18th century.

Longan
Longan (Chinese characters).svg
"Longan" in Traditional (top) and Simplified (bottom) Chinese characters
Traditional Chinese 龍眼
Simplified Chinese 龙眼
Literal meaning "dragon eye"

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