|Origin||The rambai is a native of Sumatra, Borneo and Java. It is widely cultivated throughout Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, Java and Bali, and has found its way to neighbouring countries like Thailand and the Phillippines.|
|Description||Rambai is a medium-sized tree reaching 15-25m in height and a trunk diameter of up 40cm, with a low, round, bushy crown. The twigs, petioles and lower side of leaves are velvety. The fruit is a bit sour in general but there are some species which produced sweet fruits.|
|Growth Habitat||Warm humid areas – can grow in most parts of the tropics and subtropics. Rambai trees need direct tropical sunlight in hot but slightly wet weather. It thrives in tropical lowland forests at elevations up to 750m.|
|Foliage||The evergreen leaves are shiny green on the upper surface and greenish-brown and hairy underneath. Each leaf is up to 33cm long and 15cm wide|
|Flowers||The species is dioecious, with male and female flowers growing on separate individuals. Both types of flowers are fragrant and have yellow sepals.|
|Fruits||The fruits are each 2 to 5 cm long and about 2cm wide and grow in strands. Each fruit has velvety pinkish, yellow or brown skin which wrinkles at ripening and is filled with whitish pulp containing 3 to 5 seeds. The pulp is sweet to acid in taste|
|Harvest||Strings of fruit are picked when they go white. Can be rather acid if picked early, so taste test|
|Soil||Wide range of soil types provided drainage is good. It grows on alluvial soils, yellow clay sand or limestone soils from 10 to 750m altitude.|
|Pruning||Not pruned as this promotes vegetative growth, preventing flowering.|
|Fertilization||Use a fertilizer rich with nitrogen and potassium to favor the development of the new vegetation; fertilization is done by adding fertilizer to the irrigating water, every 15-20 days.|
|Propagation||Seed propagation was generally used in the old days. However, as rambai has both male and female trees, air layering of female trees is recommended to make sure that propagated trees will bear fruit. Budding and grafting of rambai rootstocks are also possible|
|The fruit has a low vitamin content of 55 mg vitamin C per 100 g edible portion, low vitamin B1 (thiamine = 0.03 mg) and vitamin B2 (riboflavin = 0.09 mg). The fruit also contains 2 mg calcium and 20 mg phosphorous.|
|Health Benefits||Rambai trees have barks that can be taken and then finely crushed and the liquid will be obtained by squeezing. The fluid is very good for the eyes and also as a cure for red eye. The bark can also be made into lotions and is very effective as it was claimed to cure many types of skin problems such as rashes, ringworm and so on. Rambai barks is also used as an ingredient for spices and is boiled for drinking by mothers after childbirth in protective medicaments.|
|Commercial Uses||The sweet fruit is made into conserves or fermented into a liquor. The bark is rich in tannins and yields a mordant for dyes. Its timber is of low quality but is used for posts. The tree is also planted as an ornamental and shade tree. Squeezed cambium and inner bark has been used as a remedy for eye inflammation.|
|Food Suggestion||Masak Lemak Kulit Rambai Kering
- 1 medium bowl thick coconut milk
- ½ cup light coconut milk
- 10-20 chili padi (can be less or more)
- 1 ½ inch turmeric
- 400 gm small white shrimp (remove skin)
- 3 stalks lemongrass (in points)
- 1 small bowl of dry rambai skin (soak and when quite soft, drain it)
1)Finely ground chilli and turmeric. Put into a pot or pan.
2)Put in light coconut milk, lemongrass and rambai skin. Stir occasionally.
3)When boiling, put in the thick coconut milk and shrimp that have been cleaned.
4)Add salt to taste, bring to a boil to thicken slightly.
5)Remove from heat and serve.