Lichee Fruit Structure
Date: Summer 2011
I bought some fresh Lychee fruit today and as I peal and
eat them, it occurred to me that within the outer shell the pulp
appears to be formed into degenerate "petals." Is this the case? In
most fruits, there is little apparent structure to the pulp and I am
surprised to find some within this fruit. If a Lychee fruit is left
on the tree, does the outer shell crack and a second flower-like
structure develop exposing the seed?
Each fruit has a single seed.
The following might be helpful to you:
Anthony R. Brach, PhD
Missouri Botanical Garden
c/o Harvard University Herbaria
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Update: June 2012