Name Variations Edit
About Litchi Edit
Wikipedia Article About Litchi on Wikipedia
A small fruit from Asia that has been sun-dried, turning the bright red, leathery outer shell to a brown color and drying the white grape-like flesh inside into a crisp texture, similar to a raisin. Although the white succulent fruit covers a small to large seed, do not confuse the seed for a nut. This seed contains a toxin and is not to be consumed. If it is consumed fresh, peel the thin sturdy shell away from the fruit and remove the inner seed. If the white fruit is allowed to ripen and dry, it is then considered to be a "Lychee Nut" and is served like a dried fruit snack or nut eaten out of hand. This fruit is also known as litchi nut, lichi nut, lichee nut, and lechee nut. When referred to simply as lichi, leechee, lechia, lychee, litchi, or lichee, it usually means the fresh fruit. Select bright red-fleshed outer shells that are not green. The fresh fruit is perishable and should not be stored for more than several days in the refrigerator. Canned lychee fruit with the seed removed and packed in a thick syrup is often available in food stores.
The Lychee (Litchi chinensis) is the sole member of the genus Litchi in the soapberry family Sapindaceae. It is a tropical fruit tree native to southern China, where it is known as 荔枝 (pinyin: lìzhī), south to Indonesia and east to the Philippines, where it is known as Alupag.
It is a medium-sized evergreen tree, reaching 15-20 m tall, with alternate pinnate leaves, each leaf 15-25 cm long, with 2-8 lateral leaflets 5-10 cm long; the terminal leaflet is absent. The newly emerging young leaves are a bright coppery red at first, before turning green as they expand to full size. The flowers are small, greenish-white or yellowish-white, produced in panicles up to 30 cm long.
The fruit is a drupe, 3-4 cm long and 3 cm in diameter. The outside is covered by a red, roughly-textured rind that is inedible but easily removed. The inside consists of a layer of sweet, translucent white flesh, rich in vitamin C, with a texture somewhat similar to that of a grape. The centre contains a single glossy brown nut-like seed, 2 cm long and 1-1.5 cm in diameter. The seed, similar to a buckeye seed, is slightly poisonous and should not be eaten. The fruit matures from July to October, about 100 days after flowering.
Its fruit is a very juicy fruit. It is red coloured cover when ripe and inside a white juicy pulp with single seed. In India, it ripens during summer. Gangetic plains of Bihar ( Muzaffarpur) and Hills of Himalaya (dehradun)is famous for production on Litchi.