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Eriobotrya Japonica Loquat lokwat Rosaceae

Loquat, Nispero, Japanese Medlar, Japanese Plum, lokwat, Eriobotrya Japonica

Loquat, Nispero, Japanese Medlar, Japanese Plum, lokwat, Eriobotrya Japonica

Eriobotrya Japonica
Other Names: Nispero, Japanese Medlar, Japanese Plum

Related To: [Rosaceae] Apples, Peaches, Pears

Main Uses: Fruit, landscaping specimen.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Mature Height/Spread: Can reach tt in height and up to 20 feet in width.

Flowering/Pollination: Small and yellow, fragrant, occurring in autumn. Self-pollinating. Loquat flowers occur during winter, so areas with frosty winters may have trouble with fruiting as the flowers freeze off easily. Loquat, Nispero, Japanese Medlar, Japanese Plum, lokwat, Eriobotrya Japonica

Tolerance: Larger trees can tolerate drought. During extreme drought the foliage will dry out. Does not tolerate salt.

Soil/Nutrition: Widely tolerant, but particularly appreciates rich, moist sandy soils. Mulch. Fertilize sparingly in the spring, as it will become more susceptible to fireblight.

Light: Full sun.

Wind: Loquats are sturdy trees grown from seed. Grafted trees can be weaker.

Temperature: Defoliates in the low 20's. Stems start to die back around 15 degrees, but roots can recover from temperatures below zero. Needs subtropical to tropical warmth to successfully flower and fruit. Is sometimes used as an ornamental in subtropical climates, where it may occasionally fruit during a mild winter.

Dangers: None.

Diseases Prone: Fireblight. Prune back at least one foot from infection if spots occur. Mealybugs can also be a problem.

Bearing Age: 5-8 years from seed.

Fruit: Yellow, round, some varieties white-fleshed. Highly valued in Japan and China as a fresh fruit. Taste of a ripe fruit is honey sweet, fruity, with hints of berries and floral overtones.

History/Origin: Loquat is native to China and Japan, where there are many hundreds of cultivars. The fruit has spread around the world and is now grown in India, Israel, Australia, Egypt, Hawaii and many other tropical locales. The most commonly grown type in the US is the widespread large fruit cultivar "Big Jim."

Species Observations: Loquat is a uniquely cold-hardy tropical species. While it will not fruit in colder climates, it can be grown an attractive ornamental tree. In Florida, the fruits usually begin to ripen during late March and early April. Loquat, Nispero, Japanese Medlar, Japanese Plum, lokwat, Eriobotrya Japonica

Propogation: Seeds are most commonly used for landscape specimens. Seeds usually germinate with a little heat, but can sometimes take up to 2 months. Grafts are used to ensure high quality fruits and are used for commercial fruit production. Air layers are possible but difficult. Cuttings are also possible but usually unsuccessful.

Container Culture: Loquats can be grown and fruited in a container but will eventually need to be planted in the ground.

Medicinal Uses: Leaves are used medicinally to treat diarrhea. They are also said to help sober a person after having too much alcoholic beverage.

Nutritional Information: Fruits are considerably nutritious, especially if the skins are eaten.

Preparation / Food: Usually eaten fresh, sometimes chilled, and many people like to peel the skin. In the US, the fruit can be difficult to find outside of a can.