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A Complete Guide to Litchi Varieties

Explore the diverse varieties of litchi developed for high yield and disease resistance.

Shreetu Singh
A Complete Guide to Litchi Varieties, Image Source: Pexels
A Complete Guide to Litchi Varieties, Image Source: Pexels

Litchi, the juicy and fragrant tropical fruit, holds a special place in the hearts and orchards of India. Known for its delectable taste and vibrant colors, litchi comes in a variety of cultivars, each with its own unique characteristics and flavors. Let's take a closer look at some of the most popular litchi varieties cultivated across different regions of India.


This is one of the commercial cultivars cultivated for table purpose in Muzaffarpur area of Bihar. It matures in the third week of May. Fruits are oval and oblong conical in shape with crimson-red tubercles on uranium-green background at maturity. It is a heavy-bearing variety with large fruits and an average yield of 90-100 kg per tree.


This variety is commercially cultivated for table purposes in the Muzaffarpur area of Bihar. This variety exhibits a semi-dwarf growth habit, and its fruits typically reach maturity starting from the third week of May. Average yield is 80-100 kg per tree. Fruits are medium-large, globose, with a mixture of red and orange color.


Mostly grown in the eastern part of Bihar, Kasba fruits are medium-large, heart-shaped with red tubercles on a reddish background at maturity. It ripens during the first week of June with an average yield of 80-100 kg per tree.


The Elachi tree is moderately vigorous, attaining an average height of 5 to 6 m and spreading of 6-7 m. Fruits are conical and orange-red in color, cultivated for table purposes with an average yield of 50-60 kg per tree.


Primarily grown for table purposes in the eastern part of Bihar, Purbi fruits are medium-large, oblong-conical in shape, which ripen at the end of May or the first week of June. Red tubercles appear on a pinkish-brown background at maturity. The average yield is 90-100 kg per tree.

Early Seedless (Syn. Early Bedana)

This variety is the earliest and is mainly grown for table purposes and processing in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. This particular variety demonstrates a moderate to modest yield, yet it consistently produces fruit. The fruits themselves vary from small to medium in size and generally take on a heart-to-oval shape, developing carmine red tubercles upon reaching maturity. The pulp is characterized by its creamy white appearance and contains a total soluble solids (T.S.S.) content of approximately 19.8%.

Rose Scented

Commercially cultivated for table purpose in Muzaffarpur area of Bihar, Rose Scented litchis are famous for their distinct rose aroma. They start ripening in the first week of June with an average yield of around 80-90 kg per tree. Fruits are medium to large in size, mostly oval or heart-shaped and deep rose pink in color.


An important commercial variety cultivated for table purpose in West Bengal, Bombai litchis ripen during the first to second week of May. The trees are vigorous, and fruits are large in size, mostly obliquely heart-shaped, with carmine red tubercles on a uranium-green background. The average yield is 80-90 kg per tree.

Calcutta (Syn. Kalkatiya)

Considered the best of all the varieties grown in northern parts of India for table purpose, Calcutta litchis ripen in the last week of June. The fruits of this variety are notable for their large size, taking on an oblong shape. At maturity, they exhibit a distinctive tyrian rose color and are adorned with dark tubercles. The pulp is creamy white, soft, juicy, and very sweet with T.S.S. 18.17%.

Late Seedless (Syn. Late Bedana)

While not completely devoid of seeds, this variety has shriveled and small seeds. It can be cultivated even in hotter areas, provided there is protection from strong hot winds and provision for plenty of water for irrigation. The trees are very vigorous, and fruits usually ripen in the third week of June. The average yield is 80-100 kg per tree.

Dehra Dun

Mainly grown for table purpose in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, Dehra Dun litchis are medium in size, obliquely heart-shaped to conical, with bright rose pink color at maturity. The pulp is greyish-white, soft, and moderately juicy with T.S.S. 17%. Highly susceptible to sunburn and cracking, the fruit yield is 80-90 kg per tree.

Gulabi (Syn. Sre no.4)

Cultivated for table purposes in north India, Gulabi litchis ripen in the fourth week of June. They bear profusely and regularly, with 90-100 kg of fruits per tree. Trees attain a height of 6.0 m and spread of 7.0 m. Fruits are medium in size, oblong-oval heart-shaped, with mandarin red tubercles on shrimp red to carmine red background at maturity. The pulp is greyish-white, firm sweet with T.S.S. 18.2%.

Late Large Red (Syn. Muzaffarpur)

An important variety mainly grown in Bihar and adjacent states, Late Large Red litchis bear profusely every year with an average yield of 80-100 kg per tree. Fruits are large in size, oval or oblong-conical with crimson red tubercles. The pulp is greyish-white, soft, and moderately juicy with T. S. S. 20.3%.

Gandaki Sampada

A selection from Pantnagar, Gandaki Sampada is characterized by its late maturation during mid-June. Fruits are conical in shape, with vermilion to carmine color at maturity. They are large in size, weighing between 35-42 g. The pulp is creamy-white, soft, and juicy, with a high pulp recovery of 80 to 85 percent. This variety is known for its resistance to cracking and has a commendable yield ranging from 120-140 kg per tree.

Gandaki Yogita

Another selection from Ranchi, Gandaki Yogita features dwarf trees suitable for closer planting. Its fruits mature late, ripening in mid-July. With a pulp recovery of 70-75 percent, the fruits possess a melting texture, along with a pleasant aroma and a well-balanced blend of sugar and acid. Despite a slightly lower yield of 70-80 kg per tree, Gandaki Yogita stands out for its unique flavor profile.

Gandaki Lalima

Also originating from Ranchi, Gandaki Lalima is a late-maturing cultivar, with fruits ripening in the second week of June. The trees are moderately vigorous, producing fruits weighing between 28-32 g. The pulp, creamy white in color, is sweet and soft, with a juicy texture and a good flavor. With a pulp recovery above 60 percent and excellent shelf life, Gandaki Lalima yields between 130-140 kg per tree, making it a promising addition to litchi cultivation.

Exotic Varieties

Several exotic litchi varieties are also grown in India, including 'No Mai Tsze', 'Kwa Iuk', 'Kwai mi', 'Hsiang li', 'Hsi Chio tsu', 'Hak ip', 'Feitsu hsiao', 'Sheung shu wai', 'Ch'u ma lsu', 'Ta tsao', 'Huai chih', 'San yueh hung', 'Pai la li chih', 'Shan chi' from China, and 'Mauritius', 'Maclean', 'Brewster', 'Haak Yip' from Germany.

(Source: ICAR - National Research Centre on Litchi and National Horticulture Board)

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