Dragon's Eyes
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Dragon's Eyes
ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Dragon's Eyes, Eyeball tree, longan • Assamese: আচফল asphol, নাগা লীচী nagalichi • Bengali: আঁশফল ashphol • Garo: samphal bol • Kannada: ಕೆಂದಾಳ Kendaala, ಕನೆಕೆಂದಾಳ Kanekendaala, ಕೆನೆಕೆಂದಾಳ Kenekandaala • Khasi: dieng loba • Konkani: वुंब wumb • Malayalam: പെമ്പുന്ന pempunna, പെമ്പൂവം pempuuvam, പൊരിപുന്ന poripunna • Manipuri: নোংগাঙ হৈ Nonggang hei • Marathi: ओंब omb, उंब umb • Mizo: thei-fei-mûng • Tamil: செம்பூவம் cem-puvam, காட்டுப்பூவம் kattu-p-puvam, பிரப்பன் pirappan, பூவம் puvam
Botanical name: Dimocarpus longan    Family: Sapindaceae (Soapberry family)
Synonyms: Euphoria longana, Nephelium longana

Dragon's Eyes is a large tree, up to 15 m tall, with a dense, symmetrical crown and rough bark. Alternate, compound leaves are up to 30 cm in length, with 6-9 pairs of leaflets. Flowers are staminate, pistillate and hermaphroditic, small, whitish, produced in panicles in leaf axils or at ends of branches. Fruits are round, 1-2.5 cm in diameter, with a rough, light brown peel. One peeling, what emerges is a translucent, whitish ball of pulp with a smooth black seed inside. This is probably what inspired the name Dragon's Eyes and Eyeball tree. Dragon's Eyes is found in Indomalaysia and throughout the Western Ghats.

Identification credit: Vijayasankar Raman, Satish Chile, Giby Kuriakose Photographed at Kodagu Valley Resort, Madikeri, Karnataka.

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