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Eriobotrya japonica - (Thunb.)Lindl.

Common Name Loquat, Japanese Loquat
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards The seed is slightly poisonous. This report probably refers to the hydrogen cyanide that is found in many plants of this family, the seed should only be used in small amounts if it is bitter[K]. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
Habitats Not known in the wild[109].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Eriobotrya japonica Loquat, Japanese Loquat

Eriobotrya japonica Loquat, Japanese Loquat


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Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early fall, Early winter, Late fall, Late winter, Mid fall, Mid winter. Form: Rounded.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Eriobotrya japonica is an evergreen Tree growing to 9 m (29ft) by 5 m (16ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 7. It is in leaf all year, in flower from November to March, and the seeds ripen from April to June. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Mespilus japonica. Photinia japonica.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Secondary; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Seed
Edible Uses: Coffee

Fruit - raw, cooked or preserved[46]. A slightly acid, sweet aromatic flavour[200], they can be eaten out of hand or cooked in pies, sauces, jellies etc[3]. Loquat pie, if made from fruit that is not fully ripe, is said to taste like cherry pie[183]. The fruit is produced in winter and early spring[132], it is up to 4cm in diameter[200]. A nutritional analysis is available[218]. Seed - cooked. A pleasant flavour[142]. Caution is advised if the seed is bitter, see notes at top of the page. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute[105, 177, 183].

References   More on Edible Uses

Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Fruit (Dry weight)
  • 360 Calories per 100g
  • Water : 0%
  • Protein: 3.6g; Fat: 3.2g; Carbohydrate: 90g; Fibre: 5.8g; Ash: 4g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 290mg; Phosphorus: 190mg; Iron: 4.3mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 35mg; Potassium: 2650mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 5000mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.18mg; Riboflavin (B2): 4.9mg; Niacin: 2.3mg; B6: 0mg; C: 7.84mg;
  • Reference: [ 218]
  • Notes: The figures given are the median of a range quoted in the report.

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Analgesic  Antibacterial  Antiemetic  Antitussive  Antiviral  Astringent  Diuretic  Expectorant  

The loquat is one of the most popular cough remedies in the Far East, it is the ingredient of many patent medicines[238]. The leaves are analgesic, antibacterial, antiemetic, antitussive, antiviral, astringent, diuretic and expectorant[7, 116, 147, 176, 218, 279]. A decoction of the leaves or young shoots is used as an intestinal astringent and as a mouthwash in cases of thrush and also in the treatment of bronchitis, coughs, feverish colds etc[7, 238]. The leaves are harvested as required and can be used fresh or dried[238]. The hairs should be removed from the leaves in order to prevent irritation of the throat[238]. The flowers are expectorant[218, 240]. The fruit is slightly astringent, expectorant and sedative[7, 240]. It is used in allaying vomiting and thirst[240].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses


Wood - hard, close grained. Used for rulers etc[146].

Special Uses

Espalier  Food Forest  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Container, Espalier, Screen, Standard, Seashore, Specimen, Street tree. Prefers a fertile well-drained soil in full sun or light shade[200]. Succeeds in any well-drained soil but dislikes too much lime[3]. Prefers to be near the coast, tolerating maritime exposure but dislikes cold winds[200]. Tolerates dry soils[200]. Succeeds in an open position in the milder areas of Britain but usually requires wall protection in most of this country[11, 59]. Plants are hardy to at least -5°c, and can survive to between -12 and -17°c but with some damage[200]. Plants from different provenances differ widely in their hardiness, it is best to obtain stock as cuttings from plants that are established in this country[219]. Trees usually only flower and produce fruit in Britain after a long hot summer[11, 202], but a tree at Maidwell Hall in Northants fruits regularly[11]. The main difficulty with producing a crop of fruit from this tree is that the plant flower in the winter and will not ripen fruit of a satisfactory standard if the winter is cold. Indeed, the fruit is rendered inedible by hard frosts in cold areas[200]. Often cultivated for its edible fruit in warm temperate regions, there are more than 800 cultivars in Japan[200]. 'Advance' is a dwarf tree with very juicy fruits[200]. The flowers emit a most potent oriental perfume[245]. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Edible, Not North American native, Naturalizing, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms. In garden design, as well as the above-ground architecture of a plant, root structure considerations help in choosing plants that work together for their optimal soil requirements including nutrients and water. The root pattern is branching: a heart root, dividing from the crown into several primary roots going down and out [2-1].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold fame in the spring[200]. Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours and sow late winter in a warm greenhouse[78, 113]. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 4 months at 20°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame[200]. Cuttings of softwood, spring in a frame[78]. Air layering[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

TEMPERATE ASIA: Honshu, Hubei Sheng, Japan, Kyushu, Shikoku, Sichuan Sheng,China.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

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Readers comment

Eileen Cadman   Thu Jun 21 2007

I have one of these that grows as a standard in my back garden, and this year it has produced a large amount of fruit. I've been picking them and eating them raw, and they're delicious. I don't know which cultivar it is, but the flesh is whitish, and it has several brown seeds. The tree is now about 12-15 feet high, so harvesting is an effort, but it's worth it. In previous years it only produced a very few fruits, and the birds and squirrels got them. This year I did! Last year I cut down the other trunk, to a height of about 2 feet, and it has produced lots of leaves this year. Maybe that has something to do with the larger harvest this year? Eileen, London, N19.

Gillis   Thu Jun 28 2007

I am located in Ghent, Belgium. Since about 20 years I do have an Eriobotrya japonica in my garden. Very few times I had flowers on the tree; this year however I have fruit on the tree. Probably due to the mild autumn and winter.

Jan Karpisek   Thu Nov 20 2008

Photo of a young loquat by Jan Karpisek for pfaf.org

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