Does this Lychee tree look like Sweetheart or Hak Ip?

bradfloridaSeptember 30, 2011

I bought this "Sweetheart" lychee tree at the rare fruit tree sale in Sarasota this past weekend.

It was labeled "Hak Ip (in small letters), aka "SWEETHEART" in big bold letters.

The seller told me that he just buys and sells from the various wholesalers, and that the dealers in south Florida pretty much consider Hak Ip and Sweetheart to be the same thing.

I have searched old threads here and realize that the two seem to be distinct varieties. I have read that the original tree was an established cultivar from Australia (I bet a nursery in Australia that specializes in lychees could identify it...but then again, why would the owner of the Sweetheart Lychee trademark want to pursue that?!).

Does this tree look like Sweetheart or Hak Ip?



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I observed hak ip and sweetheart at MANY nurseries and they all look the same....color/size/growth habit etc...Wasted hours and hours trying to distinguish them apart but.....One will have characteristics of the other or vice versa.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 11:34PM
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Dnt, I disagree. The Hak Ip and Sweetheart do NOT have the same growth habit. The Sweetheart, from all of the specimens I have seen, have a little more open/sprawling habit where the Hak Ip seems to be a little more compact.

Some people do believe the two are the same, while growth and fruit seems to prove otherwise.

Brad - from the looks of your picture, I would say it is a Sweetheart. Only time will tell with the fruit.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 12:10AM
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They aren't the same. They are separate, distinct cultivars and most importantly, taste different. Hak Ip has a very recognizable aftertaste that distinguishes it from Sweetheart. I like Sweetheart's flavor better personally.

The idea that they are the same has gotten a lot of play down here though for some reason....probably because they appear somewhat similar in terms of fruit appearance. Both are large-fruited lychees.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 12:35AM
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Squam - I have not seen any Hak Ip fruit near the size of the Sweetheart. From all that I have seen, the Sweetheart produces a larger fruit. Funny you say the Hak has an "aftertaste". I know some don't like the Hak because of the "aftertaste" but to me it is an excellent tasting variety and its the "aftertaste", in a non-oppressive way, that distinguishes the Hak from other lychees (hence the reasoning for the use of quotes around aftertaste).

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 1:00AM
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Sweetheart IS NOT Hak Ip. they are very distinct from each other.

I have a sweetheart that bears identical large golf ball sized fruit to Phases Sweetheart in California, both pictures are on this forum. They are in no way comparable to hak ip.

Im not sure where this misnomer started, maybe a large supply of mislabeled nursery stock, but I have heard it several times even from people who are somewhat an authority on tropical fruit.

I purchased my Sweetheart from Pine Island

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 7:41AM
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