Emperor fruit is large and hard with a fine sweet flavor. The Emperor is an unusually large variety of lychee. It is good tasting with a large seed. The skin (pericarp) of the fruit has very distinct bumps. This is a mountain variety, adapts well to container culture and tends to fruit consistently, is the largest of the lychee fruits achieving golf ball size.
Native to China, the Philippines India and Thailand, lychees are a delectable fruit which will add flavor to fruit salads. Lychees are eaten fresh or dried. The emperor litchi trees themselves bear heavily large size litchi fruits.
Plant seeds approximately 1cm deep into the soil, water soil lightly.
Lychees require a warm subtropical to tropical climate that is cool but also frost-free or with only very slight winter frosts not below -4°C, and with high summer heat, rainfall, and humidity.
Lychees will not stand heavy frost especially when young. If well sheltered with a guard for the first two winters or until the tree is 1.5 M (five ft) high, it will then stand light frosts to -1 degrees. Growth is best on well-drained, slightly acidic soils rich in organic matter. Lychees have no drought tolerance whatsoever.
They must be kept moist at all times. Whereas most trees will wilt when dry, then recover sometime after watering, the Lychee will not recover from a dry-out, but will drop its leaves and eventually die. Protect from frost and cold winds in winter until 2 metres high.
They are also grown as an ornamental tree as well as for their fruit.