The rambutan is native to Malaysia and commonly cultivated throughout the archipelago and southeast Asia. Many years ago, Arab traders introduced it into Zanzibar and Pemba. There are limited plantings in India, a few trees in Surinam, and in the coastal lowlands of Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Cuba. Some fruits are being marketed in Costa Rica. The rambutan was taken to the Philippines from Indonesia in 1912. Further introductions were made in 1920 (from Indonesia) and 1930 (from Malaya), but until the 1950's its distribution was rather limited. Then popular demand brought about systematic efforts to improve the crop and resulted in the establishment of many commercial plantations in the provinces of Batangas, Cavite, Davan, Iloilo, Laguna, Oriental Mindoro and Zamboanga. Seeds were imported into the United States from Java in 1906 (SPI #17515) but the species is not grown in this country.