Litchi Fruit Set, Development, and Maturation

  • Hui-Cong WangEmail author
  • Biao Lai
  • Xu-Ming Huang


In broad terms, fruit development can be divided into three stages: set, growth, and maturation. The fruit set of litchi are established soon after fertilization except for the parthenocarpic cultivars, which grow fruits without fertilization. In structure, the fruit of litchi is a drupe with an edible aril enclosing a single seed surrounded by a pericarp. Some cultivars produce a proportion of aborted seeds and thus have a higher flesh recovery than others, while a few rare strains produce seedless fruit. The aril (flesh) of litchi is white, semitranslucent, and juicy with sweet taste and fragrant flavor. The tuberculate skin or pericarp is green, yellow-red, or red, depending on the cultivar. Fruit set, development, and maturation of litchi are the crucial period for yield and quality formation. Understanding the fruit set, development, maturation, and the health benefit property will be helpful to increase yield and produce high-quality fruit and the consumption of litchi.


Fruit set Fruit size Maturation Sugar accumulation Anthocyanin biosynthesis Health benefit compounds 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Guangdong Litchi Engineering Research Center, College of HorticultureSouth China Agricultural UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Life Sciences and TechnologyYangtze Normal UniversityFulingPeople’s Republic of China

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