(Nephelium maingayi)

A portion of nude rambutan tree

Family:  Sapindaceae

Synonyms:  Nephelium lappaceum var. maingayi

Other names: Buah serait, hairless rambutan

Nude rambutan is a fruit from Peninsular Malaysia.  It grows there in undisturbed mixed dipterocarp, (peat)-swamp and sub-montane forests up to 1600 m altitude. Mainly in alluvial (swamps) sites and along rivers and streams. In secondary forests usually present as a pre-disturbance remnant.

               Accoerding to some, nude rambutan is a very rare fruit.  It is not found much and might even be heading towards extinction.


A tall mid-canopy tree up to 40 m high with trunk dia of 90 cm;  sometimes buttress as high as 1.40 m;  stipules absent.

Leaves alternate, compound, 3-5 pairs of leaflets; leaflets penni-veined, glabrous, venation strongly reticulate; elliptic to obovate, 5.75 to 22 cm long, 3-9 cm wide.

Leaves of nude rambutan

Flowers ca. 2 mm diameter, green-yellow, placed in panicles.

Fruits ca. 22 mm long, green-pink-red, drupes, pericarp glabrous to slightly warty, thin, red to brown, green turning to yellow, orange and brilliant red at ripening; sacrotesta translucent, white, juicy, acid to sweet.

Flowers of nude rambutan

Seeds with large, flattebed ovoid.


The fruits are eaten.  These are easily peeled and the aril is very juicy, sweet and inviting and quite unlike the common rambutan in consistency.

Fruits of nude rambutan

               Hundred grams of edible portion of nude rambutan has been found to contain moisture 64.4 %, protein 3.5 g, DW 9.9 g, fat 12.8 g, carbohydrates 15.5 g, fibre 1.8 g, ash 0.9 g, P 53 mg, K 283 mg, Ca 104 mg, Mg 46 mg, Fe 22 mcg, Mn 7 mcg, Cu 3.6 mcg, Zn 19.1 mcg and vitamin C 2 mg.

Wood is used for various purposes.


Nude rambutan is not cultivated.  But its heritage-red colored fruits have true commercial potential.  So it should be domesticated and cultivated on commercial lines in the orchards.