Lychee (Litchi chinensis)

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J.M. Garg

Jul 4, 2008, 12:48:42 PM7/4/08
to indiantreepix
On 19/3/08 at Samsing, Duars, West Bengal.
Here are some extracts from Wikipedia link:

The Lychee (Litchi chinensis), also spelled Litchi (the U.S. FDA spelling) or Laichi and Lichu, Chinese: 荔枝, Hanyu Pinyin: Lìzhī, is the sole member of the genus Litchi in the soapberry family Sapindaceae. It is a tropical fruit tree native to southern China. It is also commonly found in India (Muzaffarpur), Bangladesh, southern Taiwan, northern Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and and the Philippines.

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 pink-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 edible flesh consists of a highly developed aril enveloping the seed. The center 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 not poisonous but should not be eaten. The fruit matures from July to October, about 100 days after flowering.

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Lychee (Litchi chinensis) at Samsing, Duars, West Bengal I IMG_6504.jpg
Lychee (Litchi chinensis) at Samsing, Duars, West Bengal I IMG_6506.jpg
Lychee (Litchi chinensis) flowering tree at Samsing, Duars, West Bengal I IMG_6508.jpg
Lychee (Litchi chinensis) flowers at Samsing, Duars, West Bengal I IMG_6505.jpg
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