A tropical fruit tree native to southern China. The fruit is a drupe, about the size of a small plum. 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 center contains a single glossy brown seed. 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. Lychees are extensively grown in their native southern China, and also elsewhere in southeast Asia, India, southern Japan, and more recently in Florida and Hawaii in the United States, and the wetter areas of eastern Australia. Lychees are commonly sold fresh in Chinese markets (and in recent years in Western supermarkets). The red rind turns dark brown when the fruit is refrigerated, but the taste is not affected. It is also sold canned year-round. Over-consumption of lychees is reported to lead to dried lips and nosebleeds in some people.
Season: August - November