litchi, Chinese tree (Litchi chinensis) of the family Sapindaceae (soapberry family), having a small, aromatic, pulpy fruit in a thin, rough shell. It is the best-known Chinese fruit and a favorite with the Chinese, who use it fresh, dried, or preserved. In commerce it is usually seen dried, in which form it appears as a nut with a raisinlike center. The juicy pulp is also canned. The tree is now grown in other warm countries and to some extent in the United States in S Florida and California. Among variant spellings are leechee, lichee, and lychee. Litchis are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Sapindales, family Sapindaceae.
or lichee or lychee

Fruit of the tree Litchi chinensis (family Sapindaceae), believed to be native to southern China and adjacent regions but now also cultivated elsewhere. It has been a favourite fruit of the Cantonese since ancient times and is a popular dessert in U.S. Chinese restaurants. The fresh pulp tastes musky; when dried, it is acidic and very sweet. The handsome tree develops a compact crown of foliage, with compound leaves that are bright green year-round. Clusters of small, inconspicuous flowers form small, oval red fruits.

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