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Lychees have been cultivated in their native southern China for centuries. Their popularity has seen them spread worldwide for commercial cultivation.

They were introduced into Australia in the 1870s by Chinese gold seekers. It is Chinese tradition to offer lychees as a New Year good-luck charm because they are considered a symbol of romance.

Lychees are oval to round, depending on variety, and measure about 3 cm in diameter. They have a leathery, scaly, skin, which ranges in colour from pink to red. The flesh is semi-translucent, firm and jelly-like, containing a shiny brown seed. They taste tangy, sweet and juicy.

 

Growing Regions

Australian lychees are grown from October in Far North Queensland to early April in Northern New South Wales.

Selecting Tips

Choose fruit with skin that is pink or red. Once picked, the lychee does not continue to ripen.

Fresh fruit wrapped in plastic can be kept in a refrigerator for five to seven days and may be kept at room temperature for two or three days.

Lychees can be frozen for up to six months or dried within their shells.

Health Benefits

Kiwifruit are high in vitamin C, with 100g of kiwifruit having one and half times as much vitamin C as the same quantity of orange. They are also a good source of vitamin E.

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