The second most common commercially produced lychee in South Florida is the Mauritius variety.
Mauritius fruit typically ripens several weeks earlier than the Brewster and is easily distinguished from it's counterpart by the pinkish green skin coloration characteristic of ripe fruit.
The flavor of Mauritius fruit is distinctly different and spicier than the Brewster and is quite delicious.
Another favorable characteristic of the Mauritius is the higher percentage of small ("chicken tongue") seeds within a given batch of fruit, although the Mauritius lychee tends to be smaller than the Brewster.
The sub-acid sweet aril of ripe Mauritius fruit is slightly tart and as the fruit ages on the tree the flesh becomes firmer and less juicy.
Overripe Mauritius fruit develop a noticeable membrane around the flesh and the skin of the fruit frequently gets fungal discoloration.
Once you have developed a familiarity with lychee trees it is fairly easy to distinguish a Mauritius from a Brewster and a Ha Kip.
The Mauritius has a somewhat lateral habit of growth whereas the Brewster develops a hemispherical shape as it ages.
Wildlife is always a problem around fruit groves and lychee fruit are enjoyed by a wide variety of native animals. This wouldn't be so bad except that Mauritius trees have branches that are significantly weaker than Brewsters and an attack by foraging raccoons can leave a mass of broken branches. High winds, such as hurricanes, can inflict considerable damage on Mauritius trees.
The Mauritius variety of lychee was named after the African island of Mauritius, east of Madagascar, where the seedling originated.
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