Eriobotrya japonica – Bush
Loquat, Japanese Medlar
The Japanese Loquat, usually seen in the UK as a tropical, large and architectural evergreen shrub, is grown for its compact size, fragrant flowers, edible fruit and huge, leathery, heavily-corrugated oval leaves with attractive velvety undersides. Established plants show remarkable drought tolerance, unusual for a large leafed plant.
Eriobotrya japonica (Bush) is a bush form of the species which has grown in a natural, unpruned shape.
Despite its common name and epithet, The Japanese Loquat is actually native to China, although it was imported to Japan as long ago as the medieval era during the Tang dynasty.
In the UK it’s most often grown for its attractive ornamental value, but in warmer areas is foremost grown for its fruit – the loquat. Loquat are small, spherical orange coloured fruits which are edible from the tree or, because of their high pectin content, are perfect for making jam.
In mild areas heavily scented flowers are produced in autumn or winter and, with luck, ripen to give the distinctive orange fruits that are exotically juicy and sweet. Related to the apple, the loquat fruit is similarly high in pectin and thus suited to making jam and jellies.
Care & Size Guidance
Eriobotrya japonica is easy to grow and prefers full sun, though it can handle partial shade.
If you want your Eriobotrya japonica to fruit, it must be kept in a sheltered position that doesn’t get winter frosts.