Originating from South China in approximately 1700 BC, the lychee is often called "the king of fruits".
The lychee (Litchi chinensis) is a subtropical fruit. It is oval to round in shape and about the size of a walnut. Its thin, red bumpy skin is easily peeled to reveal a white, juicy, translucent ball of firm jelly-like flesh that surrounds a shiny brown seed.
The flesh is sweet and delicately flavoured with a texture similar to a grape.
Lychees are berries and are produced on tropical evergreen trees. The trees are attractive with shiny, leathery green leaves and long sprays of green, white or yellow flowers. After a few months, the sprays of flowers become bunches of fruit.
Once ripe, the bunches of fruit are harvested by hand.
Australia has the longest lychee production season in the world producing fruit from late October to late March. Lychee growing regions in Australia include tropical Far North Queensland, Central Queensland, South East Queensland and Northern NSW.