Frankie's Nursery
41-999 Mahiku PlWaimanaloOahu(808) 259-8737Website
Kamaaina Land Plant Nursery
Poamoho Agricultural SubdivisionWaialuaOahu(808) 589-6242
La‘iku Organic Farm
P. O. Box 918KurtistownHawai'i(808) 966-7361
Pit Farms
Wailea Agricultural Group
P. O. Box 69HonomuHawai'i(808) 963-6373Website


KCC Saturday Farmers Market
4303 Diamond Head RdHonoluluOahu(808) 848-2074Website
Volcano Farmers' Market
19-4030 Wright RoadVolcanoHawai'iWebsite
Honolulu Farmers' Market
Neil Blaisdell Center777 Ward AvenueHonoluluOahu(808) 848-2074Website
Kailua Farmers' Market
609 Kailua Road(Parking lot near Long's and Pier 1)KailuaOahu(808) 848-2074Website
KCC @ Night Farmers' Market
Kapiolani Community College4303 Diamond Head RoadHonoluluOahu(808) 848-2074Website


This luscious, pearl of a fruit usually starts ripening on trees in Hawaii’s backyards and farms as summer comes around (usually May through August).

Lychee season casts a glow of sweet glee over the islands. The tree itself is beautiful as well, of the evergreen tree family, and can reach extraordinary heights. The fruit grows in gatherings on branches and is hard to miss – plump, perfect spheres or ovals, with a leathery red skin that when peeled reveal translucent and juicy flesh, with a brown shiny inedible seed in the middle. The taste is sweet, fragrant, captivating. The fragrantness does not translate to the preserved fruit (canned or dried) so it is best eaten fresh.

Prepping and Eating Tips

– Always wash and dry your lychee before eating. It will just take 5 seconds.

– How best to eat? As soon as possible, in a reverent moment, popping a just peeled fruit into your mouth, closing your eyes and savoring its incredible texture and flavor.

– How best to peel? Everyone has their own methods, but if you want to get technical: with a paring knife create a light, longitudinal cut around the fruit that will allow you to slip it out of its little red jacket without accidently losing any drops of juice (which can sometimes happen when wrestling it out of the peel with excited fingers).

– Lychee can also be used to make sorbets, ice cream, preserves, and martinis.

Selection and Storage Tips

Lychee stops ripening once it is picked. Choose fruit free of brown and mold.

Lychee can be refrigerated and will keep more than a week, its flavor undiminished though its lovely red skin will turn brown. To store in the refrigerator keep in air tight plastic bag to slow loss of moisture.

Morsel of History

Lychee has a long and lustrous history. It has been recorded that in 1st century China, the Imperial Court created a special courier service comprised of the fastest horses to transport in timely manner the lychee grown in the southern Guangdong province to the northern capitol. Now that’s love! The first lychee tree was brought to Hawaii in 1873 from China by Mr. Ching Chock. It was planted at the corner of Nuuanu and School Streets on Oahu, on the property of Mr. Chun Afong – so it was known for a while as the ‘Afong tree’ – the variety was later determined to be Tai So.

Growing Tip

Lychee is so loved that people will go to great lengths to keep their trees fruiting, lychee tree care is a hot topic in the gardening circles. The College of Tropical Agriculture here in Hawaii has even published an entire paper on how to care for your lychee tree. The varieties recognized as ideal for growing Hawaii are: Kaimana, Groff and Kwai Mi.

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