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About 65-70% were consumed as fresh fruits domestically, while the rest is exported in the form of dry fruits 2.1.3 Origin and distribution: The origin is uncertain; some think the mountainous chain in Myanmar through Southern China while others think Southwest India and Sri Lanka including the lowlands.
The crop is mainly grown in southern China, Taiwan and Thailand.
Many people, especially the Chinese, love to eat longan as they believe the fruit provides vitality and energy and possibly has some medicinal properties.
Longan is considered a traditional fruit of Vietnam with the main production areas being in the south: Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Dong Thap, Vinh Long, Can Tho, Baria Vungtau; and in the north: Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Thai Nguyen, Phu Tho, Son La, Hung Yen and Thanh Hoa.
It is closely related to lychee having similar leaf and flower characteristics but the fruit is quite different, both in color (brown instead of red) and skin texture (smooth instead of bumpy).Longan requires higher soil moisture than lychee; suitable annual precipitation is about 1 500 to 2 000 mm.The tree cannot tolerate drought (as lychee does), but can tolerate shady conditions.In 1997, total planted areas for longan were 60 000 ha, and reached 75 200 ha in 2002 (of which 49 367 and 14 530 ha were in the Mekong delta and the southern region, respectively).The annual production for 2000, 2001, and 2002 were 535 500, 508 200 and 620 000 tons, respectively (Hong and Chau 2004).
In the south, the popular cultivars are Nhan Long and Tieu Da Bo; both have large fruits (80 to 90 fruits/kg). Longan cultivars in Vietnam with their fruit size and location of cultivation * Data not available 2.1.8 Propagation: Longan is normally propagated by marcotting (air layering) and the root development is lengthy.