sweetheart v hak ip and other lychee pearls of wisdom

lycheeluva(6/7)May 26, 2011

so i think i may have discovered a difference between hak ip and sweetheart, though its a very tentative theory as i have zero proof. from what i have seen in china town, the hak ip lychees have plenty of green blush to them, whereas the sweetheart r almost entirely red. i say tentative because neither of these two lychees r labelled and so im not certain that the red-green is hak ip and the totally red is sweetheart but i have a pretty strong hunch.

otherwise, they r pretty identical. they r both large for lychees, both have very small stones, both are very sweet and very juicy and both have a noticible astringent quality. the only difference i can see is that the sweetheart shell is fully red whereas the hak ip isnt. will try and take some good pics tomorrow and post to illustrate.

(the sweetheart are distinguishable from brewster because they r way bigger, more heart shaped and have spinier shells. the hak-ip is distinguishable from the mauritius in the same way. of course the hakip and sweetheart also taste quite different to brewster and mauritius).

in other lychee news, today was the first day that they were selling florida mauritius in china town. till now they have been selling the mexican mauritius which ripen a couple of weeks earlier. there is no comparison, the fl version wins hands down and as a bonus they are bigger and have smaller seeds. having said that the mexican ones r great till the fl ones arrive, and i certainly wouldnt kick them out of bed. the mexican lychees were selling for as low as $2.30 a pound, which means the poor mexican farmer must be selling them at under a buck per pound. the fl lychees r selling at $5 a pound, though the price usually comes down to around $3.50-$4 a pound, as the supply increases. the sweetheart and hak ip lychees, if thats what they r, r selling at $8-9 a pound, which is mangosteen price.

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sweetheart are much larger than any other lychee, ive never seen hak ip achieve golfball size. also the hak ip i got from harrys yard have a noticeable tanin aftertaste, it goes away somewhat when chilled, i think it comes from the seed. the skin had a pink undertone to it as well. hak ip have larger leaves.

Ive heard that these may be the same variety from more than one person which has me very confused. from my experience they are different in every possible way

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 3:35PM
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I meant to write hak ip has DARKER leaves, im not sure if there is a size difference.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 3:36PM
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i'll post pics of the different lychees available tomorrow, which will hopefully help somewhat

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 3:56PM
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The Sweethearts I've ordered from Lychees.com and also the ones I tasted from Phase's tree are completely different from Hak Ip. Like mango kush stated, both the Sweethearts from Lycheesonline and also from Phase's tree were were mostly just under golfball sized and there were quite a few that were golfball sized and larger. You can see in my old post where I have some Sweethearts next to a golfball.

My Sweetheart's leaves are average green color and are pretty large. Hak Ip leaves, especially some of the tree's at Ong's Nursery aver very very dark green and the fruit of Hak Ip are way smaller.

I've also noticed that Sweethearts have a majority of chicken tongue seeds, I would say about 95% very small or chicken tongue seeds.

I wonder if some nurseries may have received specimens that were misslabeled, grew up the trees and made their own air layers and then sold the air layers. Another nursery could have purchased some of these misslabled air layers and then the confusion spreads.

This is a great thread and its good we are all discussing our observations.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 4:09AM
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I think thats definitely what happened, Ive heard this misnomer before, even from lychree grove growers. top tropica1s also states they are similar when they are distinct in every way. Pine Island has correct pictures on their site. you can see the pinkish hue in the shell of hak ip i was referring to

sweetheart have much better flavor as well,

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 1:03PM
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