Wednesday, 10 October 2007

ABC WEDNESDAY - L

abc wednesday

L IS FOR LYCHEE

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On the 18th February (Chinese New Year) as part of the Great Pip Challenge (Libby and I decided to have a go at growing some fruit stones) I decided to try and germinate a Lychee stone.

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I was so surprised when it started to germinate

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and that when I potted it up it continued to shoot

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The Lychee (Litchi chinensis), Litchi or Laichi, is part of the soapberry family (Sapindaceae) and is indigenous to China.

The fruits are often, incorrectly, referred to as 'lychee nuts' as they are protected by an inedible bumpy, leathery rind. This rind easily comes away from the juicy flesh of the fruit, which is a translucent pearly white in color.

Lychees are a rich source of Vitamin C, as well as minerals like calcium, potassium and phosphorus. They are often used in cooking to flavor meat dishes, pressed for juice, or pulped to make a sherbet dish which is very popular in China. They are also used to flavor tea.
Cultivation of the lychee has expanded outside of China, and lychees are now a popular export from Australia and are also grown in California and Florida. In 1998 scientists at the Agricultural Research Service Subtropical Horticulture Research Station in Miami, Florida, ensured the status of these fruits as viable commercial crops by proving that the lychee does not host the dreaded Caribbean fruit fly.

An unusual use of the lychee tree is to hive bees in the groves. The honey made by lychee grove bees is said to have some of the flavor of the fruit itself. In China, lychees are prized not only for their flavor, but are also purported to have medicinal properties. Eating lychee fruit is suggested as a cure for a cough, digestive complaints and ulcers.
Lychees will not ripen any further after they have been taken from the tree, so only ripe lychees should be picked as unripened lychees have a bitter taste. Fresh lychees also have a short shelf life so should be used as soon as possible. The seed is slightly poisonous and should not be eaten.

A lychee has even taken a trip to space space aboard the spacecraft Genesis II on June 28, 2007 as part a private aerospace firm's "Fly Your Stuff" program.

And my Lychee now...well it's not grown a lot
but it's still alive and even seems to have a second shoot starting....... and the rest of the Pip Challenge?........the Avocado are doing well and I have 5 small orange trees like these (no they're not weeds in with them but self seeded Lobelia!!...I guess I ought to pull them out)



36 comments:

Nicole said...

You're so clever in growing your plants. Great idea of your "L" photo.

Lynette said...

Lots of pots with plants that look lovely to me. Great L post.

Mike said...

I don't think I've ever tried a lychee. The only things I've ever grown were chillies on my windowsill and garlic in my garden. Both of which were a success. You can't beat home grown food.

Ackworth Born said...

I've never had any lychee; maybe I will try some now, next time I visit the greengrocer.

Ali said...

I have never tried Lychee. I have grown all manor of things from peas to cuecumbers, from chillies to peppers and my most satisfying, melons! Maybe give the lychee a go. Well done for keeping it alive Ruth

CG said...

I like lychees a lot; funny little things to eat!

Could you remind me how you got your avocado to grow? xx

Melanie Rimmer said...

I love lychees, the taste is so special. Really fragrant and heady and scented.

Peter M said...

I prefer blue cheese to lychees, I think, no, like Mike I don't think I have ever tried one, nice photos of the life of a lychee.

Someone in our local, not so long back gave me a horseradish root, I planted it and it is growing, should be ok for next year, roll out the roast beef

Gledwood said...

Lychees! Ugh! Only fruit me and my brother didn't like when we were growing up. Maybe that's because they always came tinned and we thought they were a bit like eating boiled up rams' "stones" ahem ;->...

Avocado: when I was 15 we had a line of avocado, lemon, grapefruit and ugli trees in our kitchen. They grew to about 3 ft high, each one. Then I went off to uni...

Congratulations on your continuing green fingeredness/thumbness

Long may your pip-trees continue to grow!

PS as long as I knew it our avocado tree STILL had the open pip (if you can call the giant stone that) at the bottom. It looked really entertaining...

Libbys Blog said...

Wow! Haven't you done well! My date seed plants have done well but sadly my ginger died due to lack of water, I will try and remember to post a pic of the dates!!!

Digital Flower Pictures said...

What a great experiment. I had Lychee fruit in Hawaii and it was delicious.

Jeanette said...

Hi Ruth. Just popped in to say hi.
ohh Yummy I love lychees and ice cream. I have them if I go eat at the chinese. or buy a tin now and them, OHH i do hope it grows and bares fruit for you...
also hoping your studies are comming along nicely,,,
, im still waiting the return of my computer and will be back as soon as i can take care,,,,,

kml said...

I have never had lychee - will have to try to find some.

I really like your series of photos from the beginning until now - a great idea!

dot said...

Hi Ruth! Good "L" post. My mother planted one of those trees in her yard but I've never been there when it's bearing fruit.

Gledwood said...

Paragraph 3:

popular in China. They are also used to flavor tea.

American spelling! FlavoUr!!

Really, Ruth!

Gledwood said...

Hey did you know Elizabeth I used American spellings, too.

Aparently they originated after Dr Johnson compiled the 1st English dictionary over here. He used the predominant spellings colour, flavour, centre etc though color, flavor, center were perfectly acceptable.

When Noah Webster wrote his AMERICAN dictionary some couple of decades later (if I'm not wrong I'm not sure of the dates but it was within a lifetime of Dr Johnson's book appearing in England)... he deliberately selected the alternative spellings as a way of underlining the differences between the "old" UK and the "new" USA.

So when Liz I put pen to paper before America even existed, it was no big deal to her to speak of "rumors" about her "honor" ... & so on...

I've seen the facsimile letter in Hatfield House... made me reconsider my attitude to the American spellings, after all blogs and personal correspondence aside, there's something a little bit political in spelling the American way (or not) or using the American voice even... I couldn't help but note that Al Jezeera TV in English scrupulously avoids having ANYONE who sounds remotely American in front of the camera. So much so that my friend Pascal who IS 1/2 American believed the Al Jezeera was a British only news channel (when actually it's the world English stream of the infamous Arabic TV news service...)

Gledwood said...

Sorry I just wiki'd the dates:

they are 1755 (Johnson) and 1828 (Webster)

Gledwood said...

... sorry but forgot to add: Webster was 70 when he published his, so he must've been a toddler or just born when Johnson's dikker came out...


awfully sorry I hope all this isn't boring you too much!!

Moi said...

Back in India we used to wait for the season for Lychee.....we get some real sweet, juicy ones back there and I love them chilled :)

Thanks for bringing back the memories from childhood, Ruth :)

Neva said...

YOu are quite the gardener!!! A great "L" word!!very unusual!

Suzi-k said...

ooh interesting, I love lychees, if i don't look at them when I eat them... they remind me of eyeballs!!! How long will it be before you can expect fruit from the little seedling? I know the avos are about 7 years, so a long term project!

mrsnesbitt said...

Amazing success Ruth! A great idea.

Dxx

RUTH said...

Thanks to you all for dropping by and to Gleds for pointing out the American spelling. We have been told we MUST NOT use American spelling in our Literature lessons....oops :o)Hope my tutor doesn't read my blog!!!!
CG; I just put the stones in a plastic bag of moist compst and perlite then sealed it an put it in the airing cupboard. Then was VERY patient. I know some people suspend the stone over water using toothpicks but I've never tried that.
Rx
Rx

RUTH said...

Suzi-k; I have no idea if/when I'll get fruit. I've found pictures of a full grown tree on Google and it's enormous!
Rx

Sylvia said...

Nice. I too have never tried a lychee but your post make me want to. The post has done two things,one is inspire me to try photography and the second is to try and grow something.

WalksFarWoman said...

Ruth - I seem to have your old blog address in my links, I just discovered that today because I came here from DFP's site. :( My apologies, I visit your old blog every week in the hope that you've posted - how stupid am I?? Don't answer!

Novel 'L' Ruth and great follow up post, I never knew they were so interesting. Hope your little plant grows after a little rest. :)

Andrea said...

Interesting "L" post.

david mcmahon said...

Hi Ruth,

Here's a confession - even tho I grew up in India, where the fruit was very common, I have NEVER eaten lychee!!!

Max-e said...

Hi Ruth,
I just love lychees. Delicious. Hope you get yours to the fruit growing stage.

Audrey said...

Great post Ruth. Ive done the avacado with the cocktail sticks with some success but non of the others, may just try the orange pip.

Mr. Mapper said...

neat!

Meg Wolff said...

Thank you, I knew nothing about Lychees. ;-)

Dirty Knees said...

You're quite the indoor gardener, Ruth! I'm impressed that you not only got the pip to sprout but also that you've gotten it to grow into a small houseplant.

Janice said...

I enjoyed your 'L' post! I have never heard of lychee before and am trying to figure out what 'The great pip challenge' is...lol. I'll keep reading and maybe I'll figure it out. Blessings!

Shaz said...

You're so clever Ruth. All I've ever grown are my Pepper plants from seed, the rest I leave to Pops x x

Mauigirl said...

Thanks for the explanation of what a lychee is! I always wondered!

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