Eriobotrya japonica Lindl. Rosaceae. Japanese Plum. Loquat.
A fruit tree indigenous in Japan and China and much cultivated in India. The loquat was first made known by Kempfer in 1690. It was brought to Europe by the French in 1784 and in 1787 was imported from Canton to Kew. It has not fruited at Paris in the open air but is successfully cultivated in the south of France, and its fruit is common in the markets of Toulon. At Malta, it succeeds admirably. In Florida, it is spoken of as if well known under the name of Japanese plum in 1867, ripening its fruit in February and March. In the Gulf States, it is said to do well, the fruit is the size of a large plum, juicy, subacid, refreshing, and altogether delightful and unique in flavor and quality. In China the tree grows as far north as Fuhchau but does not produce as good fruit as in Canton. It is a more acid fruit than the apple and serves for cooking rather than as a table fruit. It resembles the medlar but is superior to it in flavor and size.