The Lychee (Litchi chinensis), also spelled Litchi or Laichi and Lichu, is the sole member of the genus Litchi in the soapberry family Sapindaceae. It is a tropical fruit tree native to southern China. It is also commonly found in India, southern Taiwan, northern Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. The fruit is a drupe, 3?4 cm long and 3 cm in diameter. The outside is covered by a pink-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 edible flesh consists of a highly developed aril enveloping the seed. The center contains a single glossy brown nut-like seed, 2 cm long and 1?1.5 cm in diameter. The seed, similar to a buckeye seed, is not poisonous but should not be eaten. The fruit matures from July to October, about 100 days after flowering.
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