Litchi Species, Chinese Lychee, Lumquat

Litchi chinensis

Family: Sapindaceae (sap-in-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Litchi (LEE-chee) (Info)
Species: chinensis (chi-NEN-sis) (Info)
View this plant in a garden


Edible Fruits and Nuts


Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

By grafting

By air layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Fresno, California

Upland, California

Kissimmee, Florida

Merritt Island, Florida(2 reports)

Miami, Florida

Rockledge, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Sebring, Florida

Venice, Florida

Snellville, Georgia

Honomu, Hawaii

Brookings, Oregon

Harbor, Oregon

Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes

Lenoir City, Tennessee

Houston, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 1, 2009, timrann from Other,
Mauritius wrote:

Here in Mauritius we have many of these. Also there is cultivar named Mauritius. Easily grown from seed or air-layering or even grafted. The easiest way is from air-layering that takes about 45 days to 70 days to roots on the mother plant. In Mauritius , the fruits ripe in summer which is nov - jan.


On Jan 16, 2009, vossner from East Texas,
United States (Zone 8a) wrote:

Delicious fruit, tree will not survive in my area w/o a whole lot of winter TLC or a greenhouse.


On Aug 14, 2006, tmccullo from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

We love Lychee. My wife buys them by the pounds at the grocery store. We literally throw the seeds out into our garden and they grow. I have transplanted quite of few of them in pots. we are finding out that the love shade when they are still young. I can't wait until we get one big enough to put into the ground. Anyone know how long they take to get 3-4' tall? How log before they produce fruit?


On Jul 15, 2006, greyyhawkk from Seattle, WA wrote:

The dictionaries ( list the pronunciation as lee-chee like the davesgarden listing at the top of the page does, vs. lie-chee.


On Jun 29, 2006, stressbaby from Fulton, MO wrote:

I grow smaller lychees in a zone 5 greenhouse. I thought I would add my "lessons learned" under the species, but I grow 'Brewster' and 'Sweetheart.'

The lychee is tricky to grow here. I grow them in raised beds, not in containers, upon the recommendation of the Florida nursery from which I purchased them. They are in loam well-amended with peat and compost. Lychees in my greenhouse go through several growth flushes per year. During these growth flushes, adequate moisture is essential; they do best with a thorough watering daily. They are salt sensitive, and so rainwater or treated water should be used. They are sensitive to overfertilization; with too much fert, the leaves will brown from the edges. And finally, the new, emerging leaves are wind-sensitive. Even an o... read more


On Jul 9, 2004, punaheledp from Kailua, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

if all you've ever tasted is canned lychee (yuck), you haven't tasted the bit of heaven fresh lychee is. When lucky I get a box from my brother on the Big Is. Like them chilled, will try frozen, sounds good. I've always heard the tree is temperamental and will go a few years without bearing if it doesn't like conditions. Nice looking tree. My neighbor had one but it stopped producing no matter what he did to encourage it so took it down.


On Jun 6, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

Lychee are pronounced Lie-chee, not Lee-chee........It grows very well in Hawaii. This year the crops seem to be especially large and the fruit bigger, plumper and juicier.

Love the perfumey taste.

The fruit reminds me somewhat of the "mamomcillo" I grew up with in Cuba, though the taste and shell are not the same at all.


On Jun 5, 2004, Thaumaturgist from Rockledge, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

If you search for Litchi chinensis, you would find that there are postings already for the top 6 varieties of Lychee,

Kwai Mai Pink
Sweet Cliff
Hak Ip


On Jun 5, 2004, Jamespayne from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I can not believe no one has posted a positive note on this tree and it's World renowed fruit, that bestows an addictive flavor that makes them impossible to stop eating!! They become ripe the second week of June and must be picked before they quickly drop onto the ground. In growing zone 9a-9b, they do well as long as the Winter cold snaps do not stay below freezing for over 3-4 hours. In 1982, a severe cold snap killed many Lychee Trees in our area. Now the area is full once again with Lychee Trees, and most if not all are for personal use, and not grown in central Florida for market sales. In south Florida they do grow them to sell and they bring a very hefty price. They can not be compared to the canned lychees. The canned are much too sweet and have the can taste, unlike the fresh... read more