by Krystal Folino and Bill Mee


Mauritius Lychee Cluster
Fig. 1
magnifying glass
'Mauritius' lychee cluster

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 (Fig. 2a, 2b) characteristic of ripe fruit.

Close-up of Ripe Mauritius Lychees
Close-up of Ripe 'Brewster' Lychees
Fig. 2a magnifying glass
Close-up 'Mauritius' cluster
Fig. 2b magnifying glass
Close-up of ripe 'Brewster' lychees

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'.

Early Flower Panicle Mauritius Fruits almost one month from maturity
Fig. 3 magnifying glass
Early flower panicle
Fig. 4 magnifying glass
'Mauritius' fruits almost one month from maturity

'Mauritius' fruit should begin to ripen around the middle to the end of May.

Up Close Look at Ripening Mauritius Fruit Mauritius Clusters Turning Pink
Fig. 5a magnifying glass
Up close look at ripening 'Mauritius' fruit
Fig. 5b magnifying glass
'Mauritius' clusters turning pink

This close-up photo (Fig. 5a) of 'Mauritius' fruit shows how the fruit turns pink or red as it ripens. The bumps on the skin of the fruit and the area around where the stem and the top of the fruit meet turns red first. In Fig. 5b, this 'Mauritius' fruit is ripening nicely and should be ready to pick in about 2 weeks. The tops of most of the lychees is starting to turn pink and then red.
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.

Looking Up at a Lychee Treetop Loaded With Fruit
Fig. 6
magnifying glass
Looking up at a lychee treetop loaded with fruit

This photo is looking up at the canopy of a 'Mauritius' lychee tree loaded with ripening fruit. The best fruit on the is at the top of lychee tree where it gets the most sun. Most of the fruit shown in this photo are turning pink, but some are still green.You can really see how the fruit does not ripen uniformly on the tree.

Once you have developed a familiarity with lychee trees it is fairly easy to distinguish a 'Mauritius' from a 'Brewster' and
a 'Hak Ip'.

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 'Brewster' 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.

Map of Mauritius Island

The Mauritius variety of lychee was named after the African island of Mauritius, east of Madagascar, where the seedling originated.

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Lychee Page


Folino, Krystal and  Bill Mee. "Mauritius Variety/Cultivar of Lychee." Updated Jan. 10 2004. Web. 25 Jan. 2014.


Fig. 1,2a,2b3a,3b,4,5a,5b,6 Folino, Krystal and Bill Mee. MauritiusVariety/Cultivar of Lychee. N.d.  Web. 4 June 2014.
Fig. 3 Maguire, Ian. Early Flower Panicle. N.d.  From the Tropical Fruit Photography Picture Archive. Web. 3 June 2014.

Published 25 Jan. 2014 LR. Last update 4 June 2014 LR
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