Scientific Name: Eriobotrya japonica
- Order: Rosales
- Family: Rosaceae
- Genus: Eriobotrya
- Species: E. japonica
Originally from China, loquat trees can now be found throughout the world. These evergreen fruit trees have glossy dark green leaves, clusters of white flowers, and yellow fruits. Loquats are sometimes called Japanese plums (the tree was introduced to Japan over a thousand years ago) or pipa (Chinese name of the fruit). Interestingly enough, loquats have even been brought up in ancient Chinese poems, such as “田舍,” or “Field House” by Du Fu.
Loquats are part of the rose family, which includes apples, strawberries, cherries, and peaches. With several large seeds in each fruit, loquat trees can be directly grown from seed. However, the trees will take several years to develop before flowering and producing fruit.
Loquats are very nutritious, rich in fiber, vitamin A, and antioxidants. This makes the fruit good for the respiratory system and liver. The Chinese have also made cough syrups out of loquat. Furthermore, dried loquat leaves can be made into tea that is beneficial to the skin.