Loquat Tree (Eriobotrya japonica)
native to south-central China;
aka Japanese Plum, Chinese Plum or Maltese Plum (Turkey)
Large evergreen shrub or small tree
can grow 16-33' tall; normally 10-13';
dark green, tough, leathery leaves; grows in zones 8b-10
Small, white, super fragrant 1" flowers appear in autumn or early winter, and the fruits ripen in late winter or early spring. Grows outdoors in zones 8-11. Can be container grown in colder areas. The colder the winter, the earlier the loquat blooms.
Loquat fruit grows in clusters and are oval, rounded or pear-shaped. Fruit is sometimes described as a mixture of peach, citrus & mild mango.
Loquats have a high sugar, acid and pectin content. They are high in vitamin A, dietary fiber, potassium, and manganese.
This grafted variety is very early: ripens mid to late December, ahead of the frosts and produces copious amounts of huge fruits -- up to 1.5" in diameter. Fruit is bright yellow with a tangy apricot flavor.
15gal size bears fruit in the first year after planting.
Seedling loquats are a fun project, but they generally don't produce fruit for 8-10 yrs! And the fruit won't necessarily taste like the parent plant. Grafting trees will bear fruit in 2-3 yrs after the graft. Expect fruit the first year from a 15gal size.