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Litchi, Lychee nut, Litchi nut, Chinese nut

Sapindaceae Litchi chinensis Sonn.

Source: Magness et al. 1971

The lychee tree is an evergreen, medium to large, up to 40 feet, with pinnate, leathery leaves. It is sensitive to frost, somewhat more so than sweet orange, and a little less so than mango and avocado. Fruits are generally bright red, round to ovate in shape, and 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter, with a single rather large seed. They are borne on large, loose panicles. The "shell" or peel is thin and leathery, with a rough surface due to numerous small protuberances and separates from the pulp readily. The edible pulp, between the shell and seed is juicy, pearl white in color and translucent.

Season, bloom to harvest: 3 to 4 months.

Production in U.S.: About 60 tons.

Use: Mainly as fresh fruit in U.S. In China, canned and dried.

Part of fruit consumed: Interior pulp only.

Last update February 18, 1999 by ch