The Lychee fruit are ripening and getting close to the picking time. As you can see in the accompanying video the Mauritius fruit are a couple of weeks away from the beginning of picking. This year is a mixed grill. It appears as though there will be no Sweethearts. While this may be very disappointing to some, it is much better than prior years when we had nothing and I might add that the Brewster is the best tasting of all the lychee fruit (when it is ripe).
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A lychee is a rare sub tropical fruit originating in South China where the lychee is very important in their culture and is famed as “the King of Fruits”.
The lychee fruit is about 1½ to 2 inches in size, oval to rounded heart shaped and the bumpy skin is red in color. Once you peel the skin off, the crisp juicy flesh of a lychee fruit is white or pinkish, translucent and glossy like the consistency of a grape, but the taste is sweeter. Lychees have a sub acid sweet taste and have a wonderful freshness to them that is hard to describe. Lychee fruit is high in the antioxidant Vitamin C and the essential mineral Potassium.
Lychee trees are beautiful hardwoods that can grow 20 to 40 feet tall in a primarily dome shaped habit of growth with dense, evergreen leaves. Lychee trees are popular landscape trees in South Florida and other areas of the southern U.S. and container, atrium or greenhouse growing of lychee trees is becoming popular throughout the rest of he country.
Lychee trees are grown commercially in the US for the highly sought after fruit in primarily South and Coastal Central Florida where it is warm and there is some winter chilling, but little or no risk of hard freezes.