Litchi chinensis thrives and fruits regularly in the warmer coastal Mediterranean. It does not grow well in the tropics, because it needs cool winters, with temperatures below 12 C in order to induce flowering. It only takes short, light frost.
Lychee is a subtropical evergreen tree native to eastern China where it has been cultivated for thousands of years. The tree has a medium size reaching up to 2-3 m (6-8 ft). Its fruit is smooth, aromatic and juicy inside the thin, rough, slightly spiky and leathery pink to red shell. Litchi chinensis has a small inedible brown seed. Rich in vitamin C it is available mainly in mid-summer. Eaten fresh, used in fruit salads, also bottled, canned, frozen and dried (lychee nuts).
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|Minimum winter temperature||0 ºC to 10 ºC|