Eriobotrya japonica

Accession Count: 10
Common Name: Loquat, Japanese Plum
Family Name: Rosaceae
Botanical Name: Eriobotrya japonica
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Characteristics: Eriobotrya japonica is a evergreen tree or large shrub with dense foliage. Leaves are fuzzy, leathery, deeply veined and dark gray-green in color, the underside of the leaf is whitish in color.
Compound: Eri jap
Geographic Origin: East Asia
Ecozone Origin: Palearctic
Biome Origin:
Natural History: Eriobotrya japonica is native to southeast Asia. Records of the cultivation of the loquat in Asia go back as far as 1000 years. E. japonica was introduced to the western world in the late 17th century, where it was cultivated extensively in the southern Mediterranean and on the North African coast.
Cultivation Notes:
E. japonica is cultivated from seed only for the production of landscape ornamentals and rootstock. Cuttings grafted onto rootstock begin to produce fruit after about five years, compared to approximately eight to ten years for seed-cultivated plants. However, it is particularly hard to root cuttings from E. japonica. To do so successfully often requires application of rooting hormone (1). The loquat tolerates periods of drought, and grows best in well-draining soil. It is vulnerable to root rot, and potentially vulnerable to fire blight, an infection by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora. The loquat is a messy tree. It is better suited to fully sunny, or partially shady locations. Hardy to 15°F. 
Ethnobotany: Eriobotrya japonica is a staple food crop in southeast Asia, the cultivation of its fruit has been documented  there for more than 1000 years. E. japonica has medicinal uses, as it has sedative and anti-nausea applications. The spread of this plant in the United States has seen limited success, as E. japonica does not produce fruit when it experiences cold stress (in the U.S., anywhere colder than USDA Zone 8). This plant has applications as medicine, lumber, as well as being a food source for humans and animals (1).

Height: 11 - 15 feet
Width: 16 - 20 feet
Growth Rate: Moderate Growing
Grow Season: Summer
Flower Season: Winter
Color: White
Function: Shade
Spread: Non-spreading
Allergen: Non-allergenic
Invasive: Benign
Toxicity: Benign
Hardy: Hardy
Water Use: Moderate Water Use

Citations:
1. Eriobotrya japonica in: Purdue University Horticulture
4. Duffield, Mary Rose, and Warren D. Jones. Plants for Dry Climates - How To Select, Grow, And Enjoy. Lane Publishing Company, 1992.
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Eriobotrya japonica