Lychee is a fruit native of Southern China. Currently it is extensively cultivated in low elevations of the provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan. It is one of the main cultivated fruits in the South of China being the annual production over a million tons. Lychee tree flowering occurs in April and the fruit matures and is harvested between June and July. Lychee trees give the first harvest approximately 10 years from planting, providing fruit for over 30 years. It is said that in Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan there are trees that are over 1000-year-old still give fruit.
Chinese Medicinal Uses
Lychee is said to relieve coughing and to have a beneficial effect on skin texture and color as well as to be refreshing to the mind, promote cognitive awareness, improve memory and support treatment of tumors. Already several centuries ago lychee was used for the same beauty and anti-oxidant characteristics as it is applied today.
Fresh Lychee is a treasure
Once the lychee fruit is picked it deteriorates quickly. In the southern regions of China where it is produced it is sold with the branch, having an intense red color. In further regions and overseas can be found frozen or canned. A traditional reference describes the changes in the lychee after harvesting: "during the first day after picking the lychee fruit from the tree, the color changes;
Lady Yang Fei
During the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.), the Emperor Li Longji was so obsessed with the power of the lychee that he had this remarkable fruit sent daily from the southern city of Canton (Guangdong) by imperial courier to his palace in northern China, 600 miles away.