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lychee litchi, leechee, mamoncillo chino, lichi

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lychee litchi, leechee, mamoncillo chino, lichi. Litchi chinensis Sonn. Sapindaceae.
Lychee trees are native to southern China and southeast Asia and may grow to 40 or more feet in height. Lychee is an excellent fresh fruit with a pleasant, sweet flavor. Fruit are a relatively small (about the size of a typical strawberry), round to oval, and borne in loose clusters. When fruit are ripe, the leathery skin develops an attractive pinkish red color. Lychee trees are attractive having a dense, rounded, symmetrical canopy of dark green foliage. They may grow as high as 40 feet. Plant in sunny, well drained sites, preferably where there is some protection from wind. Trees may begin to bear within 3-5 years of transplanting. However, unreliable bearing is a major constraint. Season: June, early July. Lychee does not fruit satisfactorily at sea level in tropical climates and is best adapted to warm to cool subtropical areas. The best climates for lychee production have a dry, cold (but nonfreezing) winter period lasting 3 to 5 months; a warm spring during the flowering period; a hot and humid summer during fruit growth, development, and maturation; and moderately warm temperatures during the fall. Periodic rainfall during spring and summer is ideal.

The lychee has more cold tolerance than mango but less than sweet orange, so plantings are limited to coastal areas in southern Florida (Figure 2) . Young trees are damaged at temperatures of 28° to 32°F (-2° to 0°C), while temperatures down to 24° to 25°F (-3° to -4°C) cause extensive damage or death to large trees if exposed for several hours. Lychee trees do not acclimate to cold temperatures after exposure to cool, nonfreezing temperatures. Symptoms of cold damage include leaf death, leaf drop, stem and limb dieback, bark splitting, and tree death.

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This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 30 December, 2010.