Loquat, or Eriobotrya japonica, is a fast-growing, evergreen tree with a bold texture, fragrant flowers, and delicious fruit. And it’s easy to grow, if you live in mild winter areas. It can reach 20 to 30 feet with a picturesque, rounded form and a dense canopy of dark green. The large, corrugated leaves are about 12 inches long with a rough texture, the size and shape of which give the tree its tropical look. Loquat has terminal clusters of white flowers in late fall which have a delicate perfume. The flowers are followed by bright yellow fruits in spring that are decorative as well as delicious. And being evergreen means it is ideal shade for an overly warm south facing wall and its size makes it a good fit in all but the smallest gardens. It is, however, short-lived, 20 - 30 years, so plant accordingly. And although it cannot take really cold winters, it does survive the low 20s, upper teens if established. Loquats lend themselves well to planters which make them viable in cold winter areas. It does well along streets but don't plant it too close to swimming pools, patios or walkways as the fallen fruit can be messy.

It grows well across the US gulf coast and the American southwest and it is also successful in Australia. It also grows well in the UK though fruit production is less than spectacular. Regular water and long, hot summers are best for fruit production.

The better fruiting cultivars are not likely to be found in the large discount nurseries, but more likely found in the select plant nurseries or from mail-order fruit tree nurseries.



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