Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lansium domesticum

Lansium domesticum (Family Meliaceae) is a species tree plant that is native to and endemic in Southeast Asia. Locally, in Malaysia, it is called langsat. The cultivated  varieties or types are present with variations in their fruit characteristics.  These cultivated varieties are called langsat, duku, dokong and langsat-duku. Langsat has softer skin and softer edible jelly part. Dokong, duku-langsat and duku have slightly tougher skin and more solid jelly parts, more delicious as compared to langsat, and of course fetche higher price.

In the year 2000, a group of researchers from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (The National University of Malaysia) showed the occurrence of three main clusters in Lansium when studied using molecular biology techniques. Of the 85 accessions (collections of genetically defined plant materials), 56 of them fall into one cluster. This cluster is comprised of accessions which possess thin-skinned fruits. Most of them are identified as dokong and langsat. Dokong has slightly thicker skin than langsat. Besides, the skin coloration is a bit darker.

A total of 28 accessions fall into a second cluster, which is comprised mostly of duku-langsat, duku Terengganu and duku Johor. These accessions have thick fruit skin.  The third cluster is comprised of only one accession, which is duku hutan (jungle duku).

Langsat (left) Dokong (right)

Dokong (top) and Duku (below)

Dokong (left) and Duku (right)

Rambai (Baccaurea motleyana)
It looks like langsat but not langsat
(See earlier post on  Baccaurea sp.)