Rambutan vs Lychee: What’s the Difference?

How can you differentiate between Lychee and Rambutan? Do they also differ in their nutrient content? Read this Rambutan Vs lychee comparison to know!

Despite having a great difference in their taste and nutrient content, Lychee and Rambutan are often confused with each other. The main reason why a vast fraction of people consider these two fruits as one is the reason that they both are tropical and look quite similar.

So today, we are going to uncover how rambutan and lychee are different, based on their origin, taste, and appearance. Read the article so next time, someone won’t fool you and sell the wrong fruit falsely. Let’s begin!

●     Appearance


For someone who doesn’t know much about lychee and rambutan may confuse them as one fruit. Both look red and rough from the outside with white flesh. Even both fruits have a big seed right in the center and are hard to open. Still, besides possessing this much resemblance, there’s a big difference with which you can differentiate one from another.

The exterior wall of lychee is thinner than Rambutan and it’s also smaller in size. Plus, Rambutan contains hair-like follicles at the exterior wall, which are quite prominent to see. These prongs are usually bright orange, on the shell of a fully ripened fruit. Whereas, on unripened rambutan, these follicles are in bright green or neon green color.

●     Origin

As stated before, both the rambutan and Lychee are considered tropical fruits and share the same fruit family – Sapindaceae. That’s the very reason why both fruits are called cousins. Lychee was first grown in Southern China whereas Rambutan was first cultivated in southern Asia.

You might be surprised to know that both these similar-looking fruits require completely different environments to grow. For example, lychee is cultivated in relatively hotter regions and frost-free climates. Besides, it also requires acidic soil and humidity to grow perfectly. On the other hand, Rambutan is best cultivated in relatively colder areas – especially the hilly areas, having sandy loam, less humidity, and proper drainage.

●     Taste


The major point through which one may differentiate rambutan from Lychee is taste. Lychee holds a crisp, sour taste without almost negligible sweetness. Rambutan is relatively sweeter than lychee but still has a little touch of sourness which boosts the richness.

Although both these tropical fruits are sour, one can easily differentiate which one is sweeter & creamier and which one is sourer and crispier.

●     Nutrient facts

Lastly and most importantly, the nutrient content of both Lychee and Rambutan are quite similar due to belonging to the same fruit family. They have the same amount of dietary fiber and sugar which means one may eat one if he is recommended to eat the other one.

However, there are still some minor differences in the nutrient contents of both of these tropical fruits. For example, Lychee has vitamin C in a very large amount as compared to rambutan (about 74% higher than Rambutan). Not only Vitamin C but also contains higher levels of copper and vitamin B6. Whereas, Rambutan contains higher amounts of calcium, iron, and Zinc. However, the amount of minerals and cholesterol is almost equal in both Lychee and Rambutan.