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Tree Description: Loquats are shaped like Christmas trees, but they have large fuzzy leaves that are green on top and silver underneath. The fruit tastes like a combination of peach and apricot. They are most often eaten fresh, in jellies and in wines. The trees will begin fruiting at just one to two years of age. Avg. Height x Width: 15' x 15'. Season: January to April. Damage Temp: 22F.
Scientific Name:Eriobotrya japonica
Common Name: Loquat
Relatives: pear, apple
Distribution: Loquat is grown in southern Japan, Taiwan, Europe, the Near, Middle, and Far East, North Africa, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the East Indies (at moderate altitudes), and North, Central, and South America.
History: Loquat has been cultivated in Asia for at least 1,000 years and was introduced into the US sometime before 1879 and into Florida before 1887.
Importance: Loquats are particularly high in carotenoid antioxidants, which boost the immune system. A strong immune system is important for fighting off sickness. Early research shows that loquat fruit and leaves may help prevent cancer. Antioxidants in loquat fruit help suppress cancerous tumor growth.