Loquat Facts

Loquat Facts
Loquat is an evergreen plant that belongs to the family of roses. It originates from the Southeast China, but it can be found in warm areas around the world today (it prefers areas with subtropical and temperate climate). Loquat requires mildly fertile, well-drained soil and plenty of sun for the successful growth and development of fruit. It tolerates wind and drought. People cultivate loquat as a source of food and in ornamental purposes. Japan (where loquat is also known as Japanese plum) is the greatest manufacturer of loquat in the world.
Interesting Loquat Facts:
Loquat grows in the form of large shrub or small tree with rounded crown. It can reach 10 to 30 feet in height.
Depending on the cultivar, loquat develops narrow or broad, elliptic to lanceolate-shaped leaves. They are dark green in color, glossy and covered with numerous parallel veins on the upper surface. Bottom side of the leaves is covered with white or rusty-colored hairs. Leaves are alternately arranged on the branches.
Loquat produces small, white and fragrant flowers arranged in the form of multi-branched inflorescence at the end of the branches. Immature flowers have woolly texture.
Loquat blooms during the autumn and winter. Flowers attract bees, main pollinators of this plant.
Loquat produces oval, roundish or pear-shaped fruit. Botanically speaking, fruit of loquat belongs to the group of pomes. It has succulent flesh with 3 to 5 seed covered with tough membrane in the middle of the fruit. Skin can be yellow, orange or reddish-blue colored. Flesh is sweet or slightly acidic, white, yellow or orange colored.
Loquat produces fruit arranged in clusters (5 to 20). Fruit is ready for the harvest during the winter and spring (90 days after pollination of the flowers). Loquat does not increase content of sugar after the harvest (it ripens only on the tree).
Loquat propagates via seed and grafting. Plant starts to produce fruit 8 to 10 years after planting.
Loquat produces fruit that is rich source of dietary fibers, vitamin A, B6 and B9 and minerals such as potassium, iron and copper.
Fruit has soft texture that tastes like apple (even though it is not crispy). It can be consumed fresh or in the forms of pies, jellies, jams, marmalades and syrups.
Loquat is also used for the manufacture of plum wine.
Dried leaves of loquat can be used for the preparation of the herbal tea.
Unlike the fruit, seed contain cyanogenic glycosides (group of toxic compounds) that can induce mild intoxication after consumption (typical sings of poisoning include nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath).
Loquat is used in treatment of digestive and respiratory disorders in traditional Chinese medicine.
Cultivated varieties of loquat are often grown in the form of espaliers.
Loquat is perennial plant that can survive more than 50 years in the wild.

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