The small, bumpy red fruit known as the lychee is happiest in the tropics, and while it can mostly be found in parts of South East Asia, it is commercially cultivated in both China and India. Globalization has allowed the lychee (or litchi as it is known in some places) to spread its roots as it were, so it is now grown in the continental United States — specifically Florida, where lychees have grown since 1916 — and in other parts of the world including the Mediterranean, South Africa, and Hawaii, according to Britannica.
The lychee is closely related to the longan, a small, brown-shelled fruit widely cultivated in Thailand, and the rambutan, a fleshy white fruit which, like the lychee, is covered in a red, spiky peel. Once they become ripe, lychees need to be kept refrigerated so they can last longer; without the cold, lychees can only survive room temperatures for up to three days
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