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The lychee

Number of visits: Date:2016-04-18 15:37

The lychee, litchi, liechee, lizhi or li zhi, or lichee (Litchi chinensis; Chinese: 荔枝) is the sole member of the genus Litchi in the soapberry family, Sapindaceae.[2]

It is a tropical and subtropical fruit tree native to the Guangdong and Fujian provinces of China, and now cultivated in many parts of the world.[2] The fresh fruit has a "delicate, whitish pulp" with a floral smell and a fragrant, sweet flavor. Since this perfume-like flavor is lost in the process of canning, the fruit is usually eaten fresh.[3]

An evergreen tree reaching 10–28 metres (33–92 ft) tall, the lychee bears fleshy fruits that are up to 5 cm long and 4 cm wide (2.0 in × 1.6 in), approximately 20g. 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 Southeast Asia, along with South Asia and parts of Southern Africa.[3][4]

China is the main producer of lychees, followed by India (Bihar accounts 71% of annual production in India), with production occurring among other countries in Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent and South Africa.[2]

The lychee has a history and cultivation in China going back to 1059 AD.[2] Cultivation began in the area of southern China, Malaysia, and 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.

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