Where are Lychees Grown? Exploring the Global Origins of this Exotic Fruit!

Lychee, a fruit that is native to China, has been enjoyed by people around the world for centuries. Its juicy, fragrant flesh and tough, red skin make it a popular choice for both cooking and snacking. But where else besides China is this delicious fruit grown?

History of Lychees

Lychees have been known to Chinese people for more than 2,000 years. It is said that the Emperor of the Tang Dynasty was so enamoured with the fruit that he had it sent to his palace in Beijing every year. By the time the Song Dynasty came around, the fruit had become a popular food in southern China.

It wasn’t until the 17th century that lychees were discovered by the outside world. The first recorded mention of the fruit was by a Portuguese missionary who visited China in 1548. The fruit was still virtually unknown outside of China until around 1782, when British botanist William Roxburgh introduced it to India.

Where are Lychees Grown Today?


China remains the largest producer of lychees in the world. The fruit is grown in the provinces of Guangdong, Fujian, Guangxi, Sichuan, Hunan, and Yunnan, among others. It is estimated that China produces around 70% of the world’s lychees each year.


India is the second-largest producer of lychees in the world, accounting for around 20% of global production. The fruit is grown in the states of Bihar, West Bengal, and Assam, as well as in some parts of Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.


Thailand is the third-largest producer of lychees in the world. The fruit is grown mainly in the northern and central regions of the country, particularly in the provinces of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Lamphun. Thailand’s lychee exports are particularly popular in the Middle East, with the country exporting around 6,000 metric tonnes of lychees each year.


Australia is the largest producer of lychees outside of Asia. The fruit is grown mainly in the sub-tropical regions of northern Queensland, particularly in the Atherton Tablelands. The lychees grown in Australia are usually harvested between October and February, making them a popular Christmas fruit.


Madagascar is one of the largest producers of lychees in Africa. The fruit is grown mainly in the eastern part of the country, particularly in the regions of Toamasina and Antsiranana. Madagascar exports around 10,000 metric tonnes of lychees each year, mostly to France.

Other Countries

Lychees are also grown in many other countries around the world, including:

  • Mauritius
  • South Africa
  • Israel
  • Brazil
  • United States

The Benefits of Lychees

Lychees are not only delicious, they are also packed with nutrients that can be beneficial for your health. Here are some of the benefits that this exotic fruit can offer:

High in Vitamin C

Lychees are rich in vitamin C, which is essential for healthy skin, bones, and teeth. Eating just a few lychees a day can help you meet your daily recommended intake of this important nutrient.

Rich in Antioxidants

Lychees are also packed with antioxidants, which can help protect your body from damage caused by free radicals. These antioxidants can help reduce inflammation, prevent chronic diseases, and even slow down the ageing process.

Good for Digestion

Lychees are rich in dietary fibre, which can help promote healthy digestion. Eating high-fibre foods like lychees can help prevent constipation, reduce your risk of colon cancer, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.


Lychees are a delicious and nutritious fruit that can be enjoyed around the world. From their origins in China to their popularity in countries like India, Thailand, and Australia, lychees have a long and fascinating history. Whether you’re snacking on them fresh or using them in your favourite dishes, lychees are a great addition to any diet.


  • Q: Are there any risks associated with eating lychees?

    A: While lychees are generally safe to eat, some people may experience an allergic reaction to them. If you have a known allergy to lychees or other fruits in the same family, it’s important to avoid eating them.
  • Q: Can lychees be frozen?

    A: Yes, lychees can be frozen. To freeze them, remove the seeds and place the fruit in an airtight container. They should last for around six months in the freezer.
  • Q: How do I know if a lychee is ripe?

    A: Ripe lychees should have a bright red shell and feel firm and heavy for their size. You can test the ripeness by gently pressing on the shell – if it gives slightly, it’s ready to eat.


“Lychee.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 9 Sept. 2021. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lychee

“The many benefits of lychees.” HealthLine, 21 June 2019. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lychee-benefits

“Lychee.” Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/plant/lychee

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