Common names: Loquat, Japanese plum, Chinese plum,
The loquat is a member of the rose family and native to the cooler hill regions of south-central China. It has been widely grown in Japan for over 1000 years.
Loquat are large evergreen shrubs or small trees up to 10 meters. The large leaves give the plant a subtropical feel but are deceptively hardy. Trees have a rounded crown with a short trunk. Flowers form in late winter, early spring followed by tasty oval yellow orange fruits. These usually ripen before Xmas. Flowers are a valuable nectar source for birds and bees. Fruit is much loved by birds such as tauhou (silvereye). Fruit can be eaten fresh or used in preserves. Fruit has high sugar acid and pectin.
Plants are best protected from strong winds which will shred the large leaves. While generally hardy in most areas of NZ they will flower and fruit better where temperatures do not fall much below -1 during flowering. Plants have been reported to survive temperatures as low as -11.
- Ht: 10 meters
- Protect from strong wind
- Pb 5