What is Loquat?
Loquat, scientific name Eriobotrya japonica, also known as Chinese plum, Japanese plum, Japanese medlar, Pipa, Nispero and Maltese plum. They are pear shaped and slightly larger than a plum, the fruits can have yellow or orange skin, sometimes with a red blush. The tangy flesh of the fruit is white, yellow or orange with brown seeds. It can be eaten either fresh or in dried form. The brightly colored, blemish-free ones are juicy as compared to the greenish ones which are sour and acidic.
Loquat has many health benefits which includes the ability to prevent diabetes, lower cholesterol levels, reduce cancer risk, protect bone mineral density, improve gastrointestinal health, aid vision, strengthen the immune system, soothe the respiratory tract, boost circulation and decrease blood pressure.
History Of Loquat
The loquat is originally from China (the Chinese name is pipa, cognate with the pipa instrument) where related species can be found growing in the wild. It was introduced into Japan and became naturalised there in very early times; it has been cultivated there for over 1,000 years. It has also become naturalised in Georgia, Armenia, Afghanistan, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bermuda, Chile, Kenya, India, Iran, Iraq, South Africa, the whole Mediterranean Basin, Pakistan, New Zealand, Réunion, Tonga, Central America, Mexico, South America and in warmer parts of the United States (Hawaii, California, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina).
Chinese immigrants are presumed to have carried the loquat to Hawaii and California. It has been cultivated in Japan for about 1,000 years and presumably the fruits and seeds were brought back from China to Japan by the many Japanese scholars visiting and studying in China during the Tang Dynasty. The loquat was often mentioned in ancient Chinese literature, such as the poems of Li Bai.
What is the difference between a loquat and a kumquat?
The Loquat is pictured to the left. It is in the family rosaceae. Other relatives in this family are apples, pears, strawberries, and peaches to name a few. The loquat is a larger tree than a kumquat which is in a completely different family discussed below. The loquat were once described on The Food Network’s Chopped as if a mango and an apricot had a baby. I think this is pretty spot on. Some varieties of loquat are more tart like Yehuta while others are mostly sweet. Pros: you can freeze them and cook with them like a peach. Yummy. The tree is pretty low maintenance and is well suited for planting in most of Florida. Fertilize it in lower quantity but same frequency as other fruit bearing trees.
The large and sometimes glossy leaves of the Loquat make it increasingly popular in the landscape- even in medians. You may want to prune your loquat tree or it can exceed 20 feet. I find it to be a beautiful shade tree. We have at least 3 loquats on our property -we enjoy them so much. I think we have hit peak season on ours. Cons: The seed (which is easily removed) contains toxins like an apple seed. So please don’t consume it. The peel is very thin and edible. One of my favorite trees for its beauty, production, flavor, and low maintenance.
The kumquat is a citrus relative. The tree is easily maintained under 10 feet even without pruning. I wish I had taken a picture of our nagami kumquat from a distance prior to any picking. It was stunning. The picture shown below is of the upper branches prior to full harvesting. Although they are almost over-ripe right now. The Nagami (oblong) pictured here is the same as our logo. It is the tart variety but is quite sweet this late in the season. Many people try peeling the kumquat and it should be eaten with the peel on or the flavor is going to be tart or bitter even if you are eating the sweeter variety called Meiwa (round). Peak season was Nov-Jan which is another difference between kumquat and loquat. Kumquats are popular to eat out of hand and people swear by the marmalades. There is a fellow that makes us some- and I am not a marmalade fan- but I must admit its quite tasty. I prefer loquats for out of hand eating because I have a sweet tooth. the kumquat is a beautiful tree in a smaller stature. For those that love citrus and are short on space or want to raise one in a pot- the kumquat is a great choice. Pro: Versatile fruit and one of the most cold hardy when it comes to citrus. Con: you have to like zest (because that is what it tastes like to me. Treat it like a citrus tree and its happy.
What Do Loquat Trees Look Like?
The loquat tree (Eriobotrya japonica) can grow up to 30 feet, with their impressive foliage that adds that tropical look to any landscape. Loquat leaves are dark green, with a glossy appearance. Small white flowers provide a sweet subtle fragrance that appears early spring or late winter. The fruits are usually ready to be harvested by March.
I have a smaller loquat tree that is about 10 feet in my garden. Our friendly squirrels also love to compete for the fruits. I have to tie plastic bags around the clusters of fruits to protect them from the squirrels.
Where Can Loquat Trees Be Found?
Although the loquat originated from southeastern China, Japan is actually the leading producer of loquats. Loquat trees are also commonly found in Brazil and Israel. Surprisingly, they are now quite common in California!
In California, you can see them commonly lined along the coastal areas from San Diego to Sacramento. The fruits are now grown in many farm gardens such as Brentwood, California.
The fruits are usually harvested between the months of March to June. Harvesting these fruits can be somewhat labor intensive for farmers, since it is difficult to handle the fragile clusters of fruits. They also have a shorter shelf life. Thus, it limits the loquat fruit as a major commercial fruit.
Nutrition Value of Loquat
The loquat fruit and leaves include pectin (fiber), vitamin A, vitamin C, and B-complex vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, folates, and folic acid, which make it very effective for boosting overall human health. Loquats are also an excellent source of minerals like iron, calcium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and selenium. Low in cholesterol and calories, loquats contains monounsaturated fats like omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids.
Nutritional Facts Of Loquat
|NUTRIENT||UNIT||VALUE PER 100G||1. CUP, CUBED 149G||1 LARGE 20G||1 MEDIUM 16G||1 SMALL 13.6G|
|Total lipid (fat)||g||0.20||0.30||0.04||0.03||0.03|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||g||12.14||18.09||2.43||1.94||1.65|
|Fiber, total dietary||g||1.7||2.5||0.3||0.3||0.2|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||mg||1.0||1.5||0.2||0.2||0.1|
|Vitamin A, RAE||76||113||15||12||10|
|Vitamin A, IU||IU||1528||2277||306||244||208|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||g||0.040||0.060||0.008||0.006||0.005|
|Fatty acids, total monounsaturated||g||0.008||0.012||0.002||0.001||0.001|
|Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated||g||0.091||0.136||0.018||0.015||0.012|
Amount Per 100 grams
- Calories 47
- Total Fat 0.2 g 0%
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Sodium 1 mg
- Potassium 266 mg – 7% RDA
- Total Carbohydrate 12 g – 4% RDA
- Dietary fiber 1.7 g – 6% RDA
- Protein 0.4 g
- Vitamin A 30% RDA
- Vitamin C 1% RDA
- Calcium 1% RDA
- Iron 1% RDA
- Vitamin B-6 5% RDA
- Magnesium 3% RDA
Excellent Vitamin A Source:
Loquat is an excellent source of Vitamin A. Vitamin A maintains the integrity of mucous membranes of the skin. Consumption of Vitamin A rich foods prevents lung and cavity cancer. Vitamin A is also crucial for the visual and dental health in a person.
Good Source of Essential Minerals:
Loquat has a good source of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, manganese etc. Manganese is used in the body as a co factor for the anti-oxidant enzyme. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells where as iron is required for cellular oxidation and proper blood circulation in the body.
Amazing Health Benefits of Loquat
1. Lowers Blood Pressure
Loquat contains potassium which is a vasodilator and helps reduce the strain and pressure on the blood vessels and arteries thereby lowering blood pressure and protect heart health.
2. Regulates Blood Sugar
The unique organic compounds found in loquat tea are able to regulate the insulin and glucose levels, which helps protects against diabetes. For the people suffering from diabetes it helps avoid spikes and drops in blood sugar.
3. Reduces Cancer Risk
Antioxidants like laetrile and corosolic acid neutralize free radicals within the body that can cause healthy cells to mutate, leading to chronic disease, including cancer. Loquat tea has specifically been linked to lower occurrence rates of lung and oral cancers.
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Laetrile in loquat is a known anti-cancer agent. Pectin in loquat retains moisture in the colon and thus functions as a bulk laxative. In this way it helps to protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time to toxic substances as well as binding the cancer causing chemicals in the colon.
4. Respiratory Health
Loquat tea is used as an expectorant, expectorant substances are important in the treatment of colds and other respiratory infections. It causes coughing and through that, the expulsion of mucus and phlegm. This is where bacteria can live and grow, while also exacerbating other symptoms, so eliminating these toxic substances from the respiratory tract can help you feel better fast.
5. Boosts Immunity
Loquat are rich in vitamin C which helps boost immunity through stimulation of the production of white blood cells, the body’s first line of defense against pathogens, and also works as an antioxidant to prevent chronic illness. Vitamin C also stimulates the production of collagen which aids growth and repair of tissues throughout the body. The loquat leaf also produces acids containing antigens like megastigmane glycosides and polyphenolic compounds, which act as antiviral agents. Triterpene compounds help destroy rhinovirus, which causes the common cold.
6. Aids in Digestion
Loquat contain dietary fiber which aids in digestion by add bulk to the stool and stimulate peristaltic motion, which helps with the regularity of bowel movements. This helps prevent constipation, diarrhea, cramping, bloating, or other stomach disorders. They also ease inflammation and improves gut health.
7. Brain Health
The powerful antioxidants contained in loquat combat oxidative stress due to free radicals, which is one of the primary causes of neurological degeneration and memory loss. Potassium which acts as a vasodilator helps increase blood flow to the capillaries of the brain thereby improving cognition.
8. Strengthens Bones
Loquat has been shown to prevent bone density loss in various parts of the body, owing to its rich mixture of vitamins, nutrients, and hormone-mimicking chemical components.
9. Regulates Circulatory System
Loquat are rich in iron which is a necessary part of hemoglobin, which transports oxygenated red blood cells throughout the body, thus boosting circulation. This can speed healing, increase energy, and ensure that all your organ systems are working at full capacity.
10. Heart Health
Pectin in loquat reduces blood cholesterol levels by decreasing the re absorption in the colon by binding bile acids resulting in its excretion from the body. Bad cholestrol may accumulate in the blood vessels which may lead to heart diseases like arteriosclerosis.
11. Prevents Diabetes
Loquat tea is often suggested for preventing or treating diabetes, as blood sugar has been shown to significantly reduce in those who regularly ingest it. The unique organic compounds found in loquat tea are able to regulate the insulin and glucose levels, which helps protects against diabetes. Also, for those suffering from diabetes, avoiding spikes and drops in blood sugar is crucial, which this tea can help with.
12. Soothes Respiratory System
Expectorant substances are important in the treatment of colds and other respiratory infections. Loquat tea is used as an expectorant, either when drunk or gargled, as it can cause coughing and through that, the expulsion of mucus and phlegm. This is where bacteria can live and grow, while also exacerbating other symptoms, so eliminating these toxic substances from your respiratory tract can help you feel better fast.
13. Strengthens Bones
Losing bone mineral density is a major problem for many people as they age, particularly for women following menopause. Fortunately, loquat has been shown to prevent bone density loss in various parts of the body, owing to its rich mixture of vitamins, nutrients, and hormone-mimicking chemical components.
14. Anti-Inflammatory & Analgesic Properties
Loquat leaves contain significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities and is a valuable agent in the treatment of cancer. Loquats leaves extract also protects the body against cellular ageing. Besides, Loquat leaves are also believed to have a mild restrictive effect on HIV. The leaf contains 2-alpha-hydoxyursolic acid which also contains anti HIV effects.
15. Mild Sedative Quality
Loquats have a mild sedative quality and can be processed into a soothing cough syrup or a paste to relieve from nausea. This paste improves respiratory functions by removing phlegm and making it easier to cough. Loquat leaf is shown to shorten the recovery time from respiratory illness.
16. Reduce Irregular Hunger Pangs
Loquats are rich in fiber and are a healthy option for those who want to lose weight. Foods rich in fiber keep the stomach full for a longer period and reduce irregular hunger pangs.
17. For High Cholesterol
Loquat fruit could become a delicious source to balance high cholesterol levels. The minerals like potassium, zinc, and manganese have been proven to do the job effectively. You can find the essential minerals in loquat tea or whole fruit alike. However, more studies are underway in this regard.
18. Maintains Eyesight
Enriched with vitamin A, loquat could become a safe source to maintain your eyesight. The vitamin works as a shield against eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts. Therefore, consume some loquat and prevent eye damage.\
19. For Healthy Skin
Vitamin C is famous to beautify your skin because the antioxidant fights potential factors that damage your skin cells. Consuming loquat means obtaining antioxidants that will result in the smooth and radiant skin.
20. Loquat Fruit Keeps you Fit
Fresh loquat fruit is a powerhouse of various minerals and vitamins. When you consume the fruit regularly, your body will obtain the nutrients from it. They will function to strengthen your metabolism that will ultimately increase your energy levels keeping your body fit.
21. Increase Blood formation
Loquat fruit is a rich source of nutrient that is required for the production of blood. It provides manganese, magnesium, copper, iron and folate that are required for the formation of RBC. Also, it contains Vitamin C that increases the iron absorbing capacity of the body.
22. Protect from Colon Cancer
Loquat fruit contains high amount dietary fiber known as pectin, which helps to bind and clean toxins from the colon. Thus, it reduces the effects of toxin in the colon and protect from colon cancer.
Benefits of the Loquat Leaf
Loquat, also known as Eriobotrya japonica, is a subtropical tree with a long history of use in traditional and herbal medicine. Although the loquat produces edible fruit that is rich in calcium, iron, vitamin A, and potassium, the therapeutic power of loquat is contained in its large and glossy evergreen leaves. Traditionally used to make a tea, loquat leaf has been reputed to promote skin, respiratory, and intestinal health.
The Loquat tree, i.e., Eriobotrya japonica has leaves which are rich in nutrients and which come with different medicinal properties. The loquat leaves have origin from the southeastern part of China and maybe southern Japan. However, some people think that this tree was actually brought to Japan by the Chinese travelers. The fruit of the Loquat tree looks like something between a peach and a mango in both appearance and taste.
Furthermore, it is said that the fruit can be used as a sedative and it is known to lower excessive thirst and vomiting. The fruit and the leaves are high in vitamin C, calcium, vitamin A, phosphorous, potassium, and iron. When it comes to the leaves of this tree for a long time they have been used as a natural remedy for the treatment of different health problems and conditions. In fact, the natural remedy which is above mentioned is actually very simple, and it is tea from these leaves.
Health Benefits of Loquat Leaf Tea
This tea comes with many health benefits such as:
- Relieves diarrhea
- Detoxifies the liver
- Reduces swelling
- Regulates blood pressure thanks to its incredible potassium content
- Supports a healthy mood
- Boost the immunity
- Cleanses the kidneys
- Eliminates excess uric acid
- Counteracts intoxication
- Helps control diabetes and boosts the production of insulin
- Treats skin inflammation
How to Make Loquat Leaf Tea at Home
- Loquat leaves
How to Make This Tea
This is very simple and easy. The first thing you need to do is to crush the leaves. In a pot add water and let it boil. Next, in the boiling water, you need put 1 tbsp. of crushed leaves. Let it simmer for a while, and your tea is ready.
How to Use This Tea
You should drink one cup after meals. Note: Don’t sweeten the tea with anything.
Why is Loquat Leaf Beneficial?
Science has discovered that many of the health benefits provided by loquat leaf are owed to its impressive antioxidant activity. Being an ultra-rich source of natural antioxidants, loquat leaf is a common additive in cosmetics and food. Antioxidants, which have many benefits, protect against harmful toxins and free radicals. Loquat leaf also contains triterpenoid acids which help soothe redness and swelling. Here are five facts about loquat leaf.
1. Liver Support
Your liver is part of your body’s first line of defense against toxins, and its job is to process and eliminate toxins. To help, loquat contains an antioxidant known as Amygdalin, or B-17, which supports the liver. It also contains linoleic acids and plant sterols, which encourage normal liver function.
2. Promotes Normal Blood Sugar
Support for blood sugar levels is another benefit offered by the triterpenes in loquat leaf. One triterpene in particular, tormentic acid, encourages polysaccharide production — a necessary component of insulin production. Although it is premature for diabetics to rejoice and rely on loquat leaf, it is encouraging news and hopefully we’ll see more research.
3. Encourages Respiratory Health
Support for the respiratory system is a cornerstone of the traditional use of loquat leaf. It’s been used as a remedy for congestion, cough, sensitivity to irritants, and even lung irritation. Clinical research has confirmed its efficacy. A 2009 study at the Kyungpook National University School of Medicine found that loquat leaf slowed the allergic reactions in mice. Other animal models have found that it helps to reduce sneezing and the effects of histamines. The primary reason loquat leaf is so beneficial is because it stops irritation from ever occurring. A separate study in 2009 found that loquat leaf disrupts the communication from the cells that detect irritation and “turn on” the redness and swelling response.
4. Soothes Skin and Gums
When used in a topical cream, loquat leaf can be an excellent remedy for the red, irritated skin that results from environmental sensitivities. This is especially true when irritation is the result of histamines. Similarly, the soothing benefits of loquat leaf can be had orally. Loquat leaf has been used to extinguish uncomfortable, swollen gums.
5. Supports Brain Health
Oxidative damage caused by free radicals is believed to be one of the primary causes of neurodegenerative disorders. Because loquat leaf is a beneficial antioxidant, it was examined in 2011 for its ability to support normal brain operation and protect against oxidative stress. Not only did the results confirm both, but mice given loquat leaf extract were observed to experience memory improvements.
6. Loquat Leaf Supports Mucous Membranes
In our Detox Foot Pads, organic loquat leaf extract may support the body’s natural detoxification process by acting as a mucolytic agent. This may help dissolve thick mucus that holds onto toxic compounds.
7. Loquat Leaf Releases Antioxidants
We now know that loquat leaf helps the body release antioxidants, the incredible health-supporting compounds that your body naturally produces. Antioxidants have all kinds of benefits, but they’re known mostly for their ability to neutralize harmful toxins. They are commonly used to protect the body against various diseases, support immunity, and possibly increase life expectancy.
8. Loquat Leaf Combats Diabetes
Out of all of its benefits, one of organic loquat’s most impressive ability is that it may help combat diabetes. Loquat leaf produces a variety of chemicals called triterpenes. One of the most important acids in this class of chemicals is tormentic acid. Tormentic acid has been shown to increase insulin production which may help reduce the symptoms related to diabetes. It has been approved by the Chinese government as a blood-sugar supporter because it produces a set of natural bodily chemicals known as polysaccharides, compounds that have also been shown to increase insulin production.
9. Loquat Leaf Supports the Pancreas
Diabetes is a debilitating, degenerative disease. The administering of insulin helps, but anything that can assist the pancreas is of primary importance. The only way to approach type II diabetes is to either give the body insulin injections or to help the pancreas produce insulin by regenerating its cells. We have strong evidence that organic loquat leaf supports pancreatic cells, which increases the production of insulin.
10. Loquat Leaf and Skin Redness
One of loquat leaf’s oldest reported benefits is the reduction of skin redness. When loquat leaf is used in topical cream, it can combat edema and histamine-induced skin contraction. In short, loquat may help soothe the skin and provide balance for skin health. Skin inflammation can often be painful and the soothing effect of loquat leaf can be very beneficial.
11. Loquat Leaf and Skin Cancer
Another benefit of loquat leaf that’s getting much exploration is its role in skin cancer. One of the major drugs that is used to combat the side effects of chemotherapy is adriamycin, and loquat leaf is thought to help reduce the side effects associated with this drug.
12. Loquat Leaf and Viruses
Standard viruses are subject to the power of the loquat leaf. Evidence suggests that the loquat leaf produces a variety of acids that have an antiviral effect. These acids produce antigens, which are antiviral agents. Two of these chemicals are called megastigmane glycosides and polyphenolic constituents, both of which are known to produce viral antigens. Furthermore, the triterpene chemicals may help reduce rhinovirus, or the common cold.
13. Loquat Leaf Assists the Liver in Detoxifying Chemicals
The pancreas isn’t the only bodily organ that organic loquat leaf helps. It also helps the liver. Loquat leaf contains a substance known as Amygdalin (B-17), and this substance is known to help combat liver disorders as well as supporting the liver’s ability to process and eliminate poisons in the body. It is somewhat controversial as to how effective amygdalin is in the support of liver problems, but many believe that the controversy is due largely to excessively Western modes of thinking about health. Amygdalin, incidentally, is thought to have its benefits through anti-oxidation effects.
Uses Of Loquats
- It may be used as sedative when eaten in moderate quantity.
- It is used in making of fruit salads and fruit cups.
- Jam, jellies and chutney are prepared from it.
- Unripe fruits are used in making of pies or tarts.
- It is used in making of wine.
Medicinal uses of loquats: In China, it is uses as cough syrup as it eases throat infections. Its leaves are used as expectorant. Its leaves provide soothing effect to digestion.
- 4 lbs loquats
- 3⁄4 cup bottled lemon juice
- 1 cup water
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 2 whole cinnamon sticks
- 3 cups sugar
- Wash loquats and remove ends and seeds.
- Cut in half and place in a suacepan with the lemon juice and water.
- Add lemon halves and cinnamon sticks.
- Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lemon and cinnamon sticks.
- Continue cooking until mushy.
- Puree in a food processor or food mill.
- Put puree in a heavy pan and add sugar.
- Stir occasionally for 15-20 minutes until puree is thick and spreadable.
- Put into hot jars, clean rims and seal.
- Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.
Loquat Pie Filling
- 6 cups seeded loquats, coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cardamom (Black was used, but any type okay
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries, or other dried fruit (optional)
- Stew the loquats in a covered pot, with the water, sugar, and brown sugar until the liquid is reduced and the fruit is tender, but not brown. Add all the remaining ingredients, and allow to cool covered.
- This recipe will make one generous pie. I recommend a plain, unsweetened pie crust and a lattice top. Bake the pie for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees, or until the crust starts to brown.
Loquat Upside Down Cake
- 25 loquats halved and pitted
- 3/4 cups brown sugar
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 stick butter
- 3/4 granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cups milk
- Preheat oven to 190°.
- For the topping: melt the butter and mix with brown sugar. Arrange loquats on a greased pan with cut sides down. Then pour the melted butter with the brown sugar over the loquats.
- In a bowl sift together flour with baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- In another bowl cream butter with granulated sugar until smoothy and creamy. Then beat in vanilla and eggs. Combine dry ingredients with the batter mix, then add the milk and beat.
- Pour batter over loquats.
- Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cake cool for 10 minutes then flip it over a plate (before the caramel becomes sticky!).
Ornamental as well as practical, loquat trees make excellent lawn specimen trees, with whirls of glossy foliage and a naturally attractive shape. They grow about 25 feet tall with a canopy that spreads 15 to 20 feet—a size that is well-suited to home landscapes. Large clusters of attractive fruit stand out against the dark green, tropical-looking foliage and add to the tree’s visual appeal. Learn more about growing and caring for a loquat tree to see if this interesting addition would make a suitable option for you. What is a Loquat? You may be wondering exactly what is a loquat. Loquats (Eriobotrya japonica) are trees that produce small, round or pear-shaped fruits, rarely more than 2 inches long. Sweet or slightly acidic in flavor, the juicy flesh may be white, yellow or orange with a yellow or orange-blushed peel. Loquats are tasty when peeled and eaten fresh, or you can freeze the whole fruit for later use. They make excellent jellies, jams, preserves, cobblers or pies.
What is a Loquat?
You may be wondering exactly what is a loquat. Loquats (Eriobotrya japonica) are trees that produce small, round or pear-shaped fruits, rarely more than 2 inches long. Sweet or slightly acidic in flavor, the juicy flesh may be white, yellow or orange with a yellow or orange-blushed peel. Loquats are tasty when peeled and eaten fresh, or you can freeze the whole fruit for later use. They make excellent jellies, jams, preserves, cobblers or pies.
Loquat Tree Information
Loquat trees are sensitive to cold weather. The trees can tolerate temperatures as low as 10 F. (-12 C.) without serious damage, but temperatures below 27 F (-3 C.) kill the flowers and fruit. Some varieties are self-pollinating, and you can get a good yield from just one tree, but there are several cultivars that must be pollinated by another tree. When planting one tree, make sure it is a self-fertile type.
Loquat Tree Planting
Caring for a loquat tree properly begins with its planting. When growing loquat trees, you should plant the trees in a sunny location at least 25 to 30 feet from structures, electrical lines and other trees. When you remove the sapling from its container, rinse off some of the growing medium so that when you plant the tree, the roots come in direct contact with the soil. Plant the tree so that the soil line of the tree is even with the level of the surrounding soil. Water the tree twice the first week after planting and keep the soil lightly moist around the tree until it begins to put on new growth.
Caring for a Loquat Tree
Growing loquat fruit trees and their care focuses on good nutrition, water management and weed control. Fertilize the trees three times a year with a lawn fertilizer that does not contain weed killers. In the first year, use a cup of fertilizer divided into three applications spread over the growing season. In the second and third years, increase the annual amount of fertilizer to 2 cups. Scatter the fertilizer on the ground and water it in. Water a loquat tree when the blossoms begin to swell in spring and two to three more times when the fruit begins to ripen. Apply the water slowly, allowing it to sink into the soil as much as possible. Stop when the water begins to run off. Young trees don’t compete well with weeds, so maintain a weed-free area that extends 2 to 3 feet from the trunk of the tree. Take care when cultivating around the tree because the roots are shallow. A layer of mulch will help keep weeds at bay.
Few fruits are prettier than the loquat – small, bright and downy. They look especially striking in contrast to the large, dark-green leaves of the tree. That makes it particularly sad when you notice premature loquat fruit drop.
Why is My Loquat Tree Dropping Fruit?
Loquats (Eriobotrya japonica) are lovely little trees native to mild or subtropical areas of China. They are evergreen trees that grow to 20 feet (6 m.) tall with an equal spread. They are excellent shade trees thanks to their glossy, tropical looking leaves. Each leaf can row to 12 inches (30 cm.) long by 6 inches (15 cm.) wide. Their undersides are soft to the touch. Flowers are fragrant but not colorful. The panicles are gray, and produce fruit clusters of four or five yellow-orange loquats.
Flowers appear in late summer or even early autumn, pushing the fruit harvest into late winter or early spring. Sometimes, you may find that your loquat tree is dropping fruit. When you see fruit falling from a loquat tree in your home orchard, inevitably you want to know why this is happening. Since loquats develop in autumn and ripen in spring, it’s usually winter when you see fruit falling from a loquat tree in this country. There are several possible causes for loquat fruit drop. Loquat fruit doesn’t do well when the temperatures drop.
The tree is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10. It tolerates temperatures down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 C.). If winter temperatures fall below this, you can lose much of the fruit from the tree, or even all of it. As a gardener, you are at the mercy of winter weather when it comes to viable fruit. Another possible reason your loquat tree is dropping fruit is sunburn. High heat and bright sunshine will cause a sunburn response called purple spot. In hotter areas of the world, those with long summers, purple spot causes much fruit loss. Growers apply chemical sprays to speed up the ripening of fruit to prevent sunburn. In Brazil, they tie bags over the fruit to keep them out of the sun.
Negative Effects Of Loquat
Loquat leaves are frequently used in the preparation of oriental herbal teas. Drinking excessive amounts have been found to be potentially troublesome.
According to a study published by the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, a 39-year-old male drank two liters of loquat tea daily for two weeks to help lower his elevated triglyceride level. While he had a remarkable decrease in triglycerides and an increase in high density lipoprotein (HDL), he also developed toxic myopathy (muscle inflammation, muscle weakness and muscle pain. The study noted that other factors may have had a role in the myopathy of the patient, but that the ingestion of loquat leaves should be a consideration in the differential diagnosis of myopathy