Lychee

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The lychee (Litchi chinensis, and commonly called leechi, litchi, laichi, lichu) (Hindi: लीची, līchī) (Chinese:荔枝, lizhi) is the sole member of the genus Litchi in the soapberry family, Sapindaceae. It is a tropical and subtropical fruit tree native to China, and now cultivated in many parts of the world. The fresh fruit has a "delicate, whitish pulp" with a "perfume" flavor that is lost in canning, so the fruit is mostly eaten fresh.[2]

Lychee is an evergreen tree, reaching 10–20 m tall, bearing fleshy fruits that are up to 5 cm (2.0 in) long and 4 cm (1.6 in) wide. The outside of the fruit is covered by a pink-red, roughly-textured rind that is inedible but easily removed to expose a layer of sweet, translucent white flesh. Lychees are eaten in many different dessert dishes, and are especially popular in China, throughout South-East Asia, along with South Asia.[2][3]

Lychee is cultivated in China, and in a narrow belt through Thailand, northern Vietnam, and northern India, particular Bihar which accounts for 75% of total production.[2][4] South Africa and the United States (Hawaii and Florida) also have commercial lychee production.[2]

Lychee has a history of cultivation, going back as far as 2000 BCE according to records in China. Cultivation began in the area of southern China, Malaysia, and northern Vietnam. Wild trees still grow in parts of southern China and on Hainan Island. There are many stories of the fruit's use as a delicacy in the Chinese Imperial Court. It was first described and introduced to the west in 1782.[1]

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