Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica)

Orange-yellow, fleshy fruit, usually with one or two large seeds, and a delicious sweet flavor, sometimes akin to an apricot.

Description: Small or medium sized tree to 30ft. The leaves are large, deep green, and glossy, with a grayish hairy underside. Trees can flower several times a year, but often produce their largest crops during winter and spring.

Hardiness: The loquat is subtropical and marginally hardy to temperate climates. It can survive temperature drops to 10-15F. Flowers and fruit are usually harmed at 20-25F.

Growing Environment: A fairly hardy tree once established, loquats will benefit from some irrigation during warmer months. They do not like intense heat (above 100F) and prolonged exposure generally inhibits flowering and fruiting. Trees grow nicely in full sun and are adaptable to tropical, subtropical and Mediterranean climates.

Propagation: The best varieties are propagated by grafts. Trees are also grown from seed.

Uses: The pulp is eaten fresh. Fruits are also processed into juices, jams, jellies, and desserts.

Native Range: Native to southeastern China, and southern Japan. The loquat is grown commercially on a wide scale in Japan, and to a lesser extent in China, the United States, Brazil, and southern Europe.