History Of The Loquat

Loquats, ‘Eriobotrya japonica,’ are documented to have been grown in Japan around 1100 AD. Some botanists have suggested that the first plantings of the loquat trees may have come from China originally and later were introduced into Japan. The loquat tree was widely distributed in Europe after 1712, but early records show that it came to the United States in the mid-1800’s. This prolific plant is now established firmly as a seed-borne naturalized fruit tree in hundreds of countries, even in the Southern United States, where it readily grows after the seed sprout from bird-planted visitations after eating the loquat fruit directly from the trees.

Loquat fruit in the South is most commonly known as the “Japanese Plum,” but in Texas its less common name is the “Chinese Plum.” The loquat tree when mature can grow 35 feet tall; however, the soft wood in the limbs and trunk will self-prune the tree to lower heights after experiencing the heavy weight of huge fruit crops. Most plant parts of the loquat tree are covered with fuzzy little hairs except on the trunk of the tree, where they are replaced by smooth bark. The loquat fruit itself is covered with these fuzzy little hairs much like the fuzz on the skin of a peach. The fruit of the loquat is bright yellow on the skin and the pulp on the inside. Some rare cultivars originating from Japan may develop an orange skin and a white pulp. Inside the pulp is a 2-3 cluster of large brown seeds that are easily removed from the edible, interior, tasty layers of the loquat. The fruit size of loquats is 2

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