Lychee (US: // LEE-chee; UK: // LIE-chee; Litchi chinensis; Chinese: 荔枝; pinyin: lìzhī; Jyutping: lai6 zi1; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: nāi-chi) is the sole member of the genus Litchi in the soapberry family, Sapindaceae.
It is a tropical tree native to the Guangdong and Fujian provinces of southeastern China, where cultivation is documented from the 11th century. China is the main producer of lychees, followed by India, other countries in Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, Madagascar and South Africa. A tall evergreen tree, the lychee bears small fleshy fruits. The outside of the fruit is pink-red, roughly textured and inedible, covering sweet flesh eaten in many different dessert dishes.
Lychee seeds contain methylene cyclopropyl glycine which can cause hypoglycemia associated with outbreaks of encephalopathy in undernourished Indian and Vietnamese children who had consumed lychee fruit.
- lichee, lichi
From Cantonese 荔枝 (lai6 zi1). Doublet of litchi
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈlaɪ̯t͡ʃiː/
- (US) IPA(key): /ˈlitʃiː/
lychee (plural lychees)
- The Chinese tropical fruit tree Litchi chinensis, of the soapberry family.
- That tree's bright red oval fruit with a single stone surrounded by a fleshy white aril.
- A soft pink-red colour, like that of a lychee rind (also called lychee red).