This exotic and richly flavored fruit is in high demand in the markets of Western Europe and Agro Star supplies some of the finest and highest qualities produce from leading growers in Israel during the months of July/August.
The lychee is the most renowned of a group of edible fruits of the soapberry family, Sapindaceae. It is botanically designated Litchi chinensis Sonn. (Nephelium litchi Cambess) and widely known as litchi and regionally as lichi, lichee, laichi, leechee or lychee. Professor G. Weidman Groff, an influential authority of the recent past, urged the adoption of the latter as approximating the pronunciation of the local name in Canton, China, the leading center of lychee production. I am giving it preference here because the spelling best indicates the desired pronunciation and helps to standardize English usage. Spanish and Portuguese-speaking people call the fruit lechia; the French, litchi, or, in French-speaking Haiti, quenepe chinois, distinguishing it from the quenepe, genip or mamoncillo of the West Indies, Melicoccus bijugatus, q.v. The German word is litschi.