Litchi chinensis Sonn.
|Synonym:||Nephelium litchi Camb.|
|Flowering & Fruiting Period:||January-May|
|Distribution:||Native of China|
|Uses:||Fruit edible - raw or cooked. The dried fruits, called lychee nuts, have a distinctive smoky flavour and are widely eaten in China. The fruit, its peel and the seed are used in traditional medicine; decoctions of the root, bark and flowers are used as a gargle to alleviate throat ailments. The fruit peel is used in the treatment of diarrhoea. Seeds are used as an anodyne in neuralgic disorders. The tree is sometimes grown to provide shade. The bark contains tannin. The wood is very durable and is said to be nearly indestructible, although it is brittle and has few uses.|
|Key Characteristics:||Medium sized tree, 15 m high; branching nearly from base; bark grey, nearly smooth; branchlets lenticellate. Leaves alternate, pinnate; leaflets oblong-lanceolate, acute to acuminate, base obtuse, glabrous and shining above and glaucous beneath. Panicles terminal. Flowers 0.3-0.5 cm across. Petals absent. Stamens 6-8, exserted; filaments slender. Drupe fleshy with a brown muricated rind turning red; seeds shining brown.|