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Litchi chinensis

SynonymsLitchi sinensis Radik, Nephelium litchi Cambess
Common nameslin-chee, litchi, lychee
Ecocrop code1357

BRIEF DESCRIPTION A small, dense, evergreen tree normally reaching a height of 4-12 m, while up to 20 m have been recorded. The fruits are borne in loose clusters of 3-20, they are round or ovate, 2.5 cm long, and the peel is yellow to red and leathery. USES The fruits are eaten fresh, canned in syrup, dried or processed into juice and wine. It is a good source of honey. The fruit, its peel and seed have medicinal properties. The timber is very durable. Mentioned as a useful agroforestry species. KILLING T Tender shoots and young trees may tolerate -1 to -2°C and mature trees -4°C or even -6°C for a few hours in the resting stage. GROWING PERIOD Perennial evergreen tree, it come into bearing in 4-6 years and require 98-106 days from bloom to harvest. COMMON NAMES Litchi nut, Litchi, Lychee, Linche, Lici, Licy, Litchibaum, Lichia, Litchi de Chine, Cerisier de la Chine, Mamoncillo chino, Klengkeng, Kalengkeng, Kelengkang, Letsias, Laici, Kyet-mouk, Lin chi, Lam yai, Kuleen, Ngeew, See raaman, Vai, Cay vai, Tu hu. FURTHER INF Scientific synonym: Nephelium litchi. Litchi nut is a native of Southern China. It is adapted to the tropics and warm subtropics within the latitudinal ranges 13-32°N and 9-29°S. It need a chilling period for flowering with temperatures about 7-12°C or below 20-22°C depending on the cultivar. Widely flucturating day temperatures seem to contribute to vigorous vegetative growth. Bright light is essential for fruit production but shady conditions for young plants favour initial growth. It is sensitive to nitrogen and over-fertilization will slow growth and may be fatal to newly planted trees. The tree is sensitive to high winds especially in combination with low relative humidity, and it does not thrive in hot dry summers. Optimum relative humidity of wettest month is 83% and driest month 70%. In Swaziland lychee can be found at elevations between 1000-2000 m, while in southern China, it can be grown from sea level with an optimum elevation of about 300 m. Photosynthesis pathway probably C 3. Fruit yields for 10-year-old trees range from 10-80 kg/tree, or 0.7-11.2 t/ha. Average yields are often only about 2 t/ha.
SOURCES (L. chinensis Sonn.)
Roecklein J 1987 pp 225 [USE, TEXT, DRA, PH]
Purseglove J 1974 pp 642-644 [USE]
Samson J 1986 pp 300-302 [TEMP, RAIN, LIMIT, TEXT, DRA]
Rehm S 1991 pp 197-198 [RAIN, FER, DEP, DRA]
Duke J 1975 pp 19 [PH, RAIN, TEMP]
Hacklett C 1982 pp 97 [FER, PHO, DEP, PH, TEXT, TEMP]
Popenoe W 1974 pp 312-333 [KTMP, DEP, DRA, USE, RAIN, TEXT, FER]
Nair P 1984 pp 22 [RAIN, TEMP, TEXT, DEP, DRA, USE]
Van Waveren E 1993 pp 65
Rice R 1990 pp 125-128 [DRA, PH, LIMIT]
Singh R 1969 pp 127-131 [TEMP, KTMP, TEXT, DEP, DRA, FER, USE]
Martin F 1984 pp 262-263 [TEMP, RAIN, PHO, DEP, TEXT, DRA, PH, FER, USE]
Verheij E 1991 pp 191-195 [USE, TEMP, KTMP, RAIN, LIMITS]