Latin name: Litchi chinensis
Number of species: 1
family: Soap tree plants
growing region: worldwide (subtropical)
Orig. circulation area: Indochina
harvest time: all year round
Wuchshцhe: 1 - 10m
Older: more than 30 years possible
calories: approx. 60kcal per 100g
fruit color: white
GrцЯe: 3cm diameter
Contained vitamins: Vitamin C
Included minerals: Iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium
Interesting about the lychees
The lychee is the fruit of the lychee or Litchi chinensis, which forms its own genus, which is counted among the soap tree plants.
The evergreen tree reaches growth heights of up to twenty meters and forms paired feathery, oppositely arranged leaves, which appear bronze-colored after the shoot and gradually turn green. The leaflets are of elliptic or lanceolate and pointed shape.
The fragrant blooms of the Litchi tree appear in spring and sit on branched flower stalks. They are either white or greenish and produce no petals, but four or five sepals. From the flowers develop numerous clustered crevasses, whose bronze pericarp can be smooth or with spines and furrows.
Originally from China, Malaysia and Vietnam, Litchi trees are today cultivated in the subtropical regions of India, Taiwan, Cambodia and Mauritius. These trees can also be found in some southern states of the USA, Israel, Australia and Mexico. They prefer a high humidity, hot summers and frost-free winters. Litchi trees, however, need a certain amount of cold during the winter months, otherwise they will not form flowers.
The snow-white and juicy lychees, which have a milky appearance, delight with their sweet, slightly spicy aroma, which reminds slightly of nutmeg, as well as their subtle bitter aftertaste. They are also known by the colloquial name "Chinese hazelnut", as they are closely related to the culture of China, where they have found a versatile use in the kitchen for millennia. Lychees are often eaten fresh or in syrup and are a popular ingredient for exotic fruit salads. Many desserts, bowls or cocktails are garnished with lychees. The juice extracted from the fruit has a subtle sweetness and is drunk straight, but also refines many curry dishes with meat and fish. Also produced in Taiwan, lychee wine is a globally popular spirit drink and can be used as an aromatic cooking ingredient.
Lychees consist of eighty percent water and are therefore very low in calories. Their high content of vitamin C makes the fruit moreover a very healthy food.