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What Is Lychee Fruit – Learn About Growing Lychee Trees

Here in the Pacific Northwest we are privy to a plethora of Asian markets and there’s nothing more fun than tooling around investigating every package, fruit and vegetable. There are so many that are unfamiliar, but that’s the fun of it. Take lychee fruit, for instance. What’s lychee fruit, you ask? How do you grow lychee? Read on to answer those questions and learn about growing lychee trees and harvesting lychee fruit. What is Lychee Fruit? Lychee fruit is a rarity in the United States, probably because it isn’t commercially grown on the mainland with the exception of small farms in Florida. Because of this, it isn’t any wonder you’re asking what is lychee fruit. While it isn’t commonly found here, it has been prized for centuries by the Chinese who passed it along to Burma in the late 17th century, who in turn brought it to India.

The tree itself, Litchi chinensis, is a large, long-living subtropical evergreen that bears fruit from May through August in Hawaii. The most notable of the soapberry family, Sapindaceae, litchee trees bloom in the late winter to early spring. The resulting fruits are actually drupes, which are borne in clusters of from 3-50 fruits. The fruit is round to oval and 1-1.5 inches (25-38 mm.) across and a bumpy textured pink to red in color. Once peeled, the interior of fruit is whitish, semi-transparent, and juicy. Each drupe contains one shiny, dark brown seed.

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