Eriobotrya Japonica, Loquat
Synonyms: Photinia, japonica Thunb, Eribotrya japonica, Japanese loquat, Japanese medlar, Chinese loquat
Common name: Loquat
Etymology: Eriobotrya, from the Greek meaning woolly bunch due to the bunch of its fruit. Japonica refers to its oriental origin, as it has always been highly cultivated in Japan.
Minimum Temperature: -10º C
The loquat tree is a species from the south-east of China. For this reason, some investigations have shown that this tree did not arrive to Europe until the XVIII century, when the loquat was imported as an ornamental plant and not due to its fruit.
The Eriobotrya Japonica is not a demanding tree. It has coriaceous leafs (long and big leafs) and it withstands cold and dry weather, as well as different kind of soils. In order to obtain a commercial production of its fruit, it is necessary to fertilize and prune the tree.
The Eriobotrya Japonica is a coastal fruit tree, as in these areas temperatures are very soften in winter and fall, during the time of the plant blooming and fruition.
El Eriotrya Japonia is purchased as a fruit and ornamental tree and it is also really common in walkways and avenues. The fruit cof this tree, the Japanese loquat, has overtaken the European loquat to the extent that nowadays, when talking about the loquat fruit, it is assumed that it is the Japanese loquat. Nevertheless, it is possible to find different kind of loquat fruit around the Mediterranean coast.
One curious detail is that the commercial cultivation of the loquat requires a warm weather, with annual temperatures over 15ºC.