The Litchi nut is more of a fruit than a nut. The tree grows in southern China and the Philippine Islands, and belongs to the Soapberry family (Sapindaceae).

The tree grows about twenty-five feet high with sturdy twigs and branches; the leaves are composed of seven oblong, pointed leaflets. It is said to be one of the most popular of Oriental fruits. These trees are now on trial in Florida, being introduced in 1886.

In the last few years, this fruit has appeared in the markets of our large cities, in consequence of the increased trade with Oriental countries and facilities for rapid transit across the continent.

The fruit is globular in form about one inch in diameter, with a thin, chocolate-brown colored shell covered with wartlike protuberances. When fresh, the shell is filled with a jelly-like pulp of a most delicious sub-acid flavor, but is often rather dry and stale in the nuts before it reaches our markets. It has one smooth, brown seed in the center of the fruit.

Litchi Nut.

Litchi Nut.