Family: Rosaceae
Common Name: Eriobotrya Japonica

Native to China and widely cultivated in Japan and other subtropical regions, this evergreen tree grows 6-8 m (20-26 ft) tall. In cooler areas, it is grown as a foliage plant. It has dark green, glossy leaves, to 30 cm (12 in) long, with rusty hairs on the undersides, and clusters of cream, fragrant flowers in autumn, followed in winter to spring by the oval to pear-shaped, thin-skinned, deep yellow fruit. Not as sweet or rich as many other tropical fruits, it is eaten fresh or stewed, or made into jam.


As well as the species, there are several fruiting cultivars including 'Champagne', bred for warm regions, 'Gold Nugget' and 'MacBeth'.


Loquats require warmth in order to thrive and set fruit. They will tolerate occa­sional dry conditions once established, but do best with occasional, deep watering in the warmer months. They will grow in any ordi­nary, free-draining garden soil, but prefer full sun. Trees can be pruned in spring to remove straggly stems. The loquat is not recommended as a garden tree, except in areas with cold winters, as the fruit acts as a host to fruit fly at a time when no other fruit is setting. Outdoors, grow against a warm, sunny wall, but in cli­mates prone to hard frosts, grow in a cool, light and airy greenhouse in a tub of soil-based pot­ting compost. The plant can be stood outdoors for the summer. Propagate from semi-ripe cut­tings in summer.


Zone 8.