Name: Loquat Tree
Scientific name: Eriobotrya japonica
Flowering period: September - December
The loquat tree is an evergreen shrub or small tree, with a short, almost straight trunk, native to China and Japan. It was introduced to the Mediterranean around the end of the 17th century. The tree grows easily, and its rich foliage is maintained on the branches, as it is resistant to changes in weather. It can reach 8 meters height. The leaves are large and leathery, green on top and slightly lighter and fuzzy on the bottom. The flowers of the loquat are white-yellow with a pleasant smell of bitter almonds. The loquat fruits are ripe at any time from early spring to early summer and they appear round or oval, with an orange-yellow colour and a sweet and sour taste. They contain three to five ovules, that mature into large brown seeds.
Use & History :
Medlar is considered one of the most ancient plants. Today it is cultivated for its delicious fruit, but also as an ornamental for its rich foliage, which creates a lush shade. The consumption of its fruit is directly related to the prevention of diseases, as it is an important source of natural antibacterial agents.
The tree was much loved in the West during the 17th and 18th centuries, and especially during the Victorian era, as it was the favorite plant of Queen Victoria. Since then it can be found in the garden of every respectable house.