The Loquat is a decidious tree in the Rose family originating from Southeastern China. It has also been naturalized into the Japanese landscape as well, with cultivation dating back 1,000 years. With its large tropical-looking leaves and delicious fruit it is amongst one of the most common landscaping trees in the Southeast United States. In history it has been mentioned in numerous Chinese poems and in Dutch historical writings. Japan is the leading producer of Loquats followed by Israel and the Brazil.
The Loquat is most notably used for its fruit. The sweet yellow fruit ripen in Spring and have one or two large seeds. The skin is a lot like that of a peach, with a bit if fuzz, and the flesh tastes similar to a plum, which has nicknamed the fruit the “Asian or Japanese Plum” (Although there are other species that have this name). However, don’t expect to find Loquats in your local super market, as they have a very short shelf life and are frequently sold as jams or other preserves. You can however freeze Loquats with good success.
Loquats also possess a number of medicinal uses. In China, the fruit is a common ingredient for cough drops, and a paste made from the leaves is taken as a demulcent and an expectorant. There is also evidence of a sedative effect when consumed in large quantities.
Edible Fruit Tree
Loquats are very easy to grow, even in mild temperate climates, which is what makes them common as landscape trees. There are named cultivars that vary depending on fruit color, number of seeds, to fruit size. The flowers are fragrant and do attract bees. Most are not self-fertile.
I made about 6 jars and gave them out to friends and teachers, all of which thoroughly enjoyed trying something new and something so local! If you have loquat trees or any preservable fruit tree near you, I highly suggest giving canning a try!This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← Dirt! The Movie