Eriobotrya Japonica Loquat
Eriobotrya Japonica Loquat
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Eriobotrya Japonica Loquat, or Japanese Loquat, is a striking architectural tree or shrub with large evergreen leaves which will be a distinctive addition to your garden. A recipient of the RHS Award of Garden Merit, it is a noteworthy landscape plant for British gardens!
Although its common name is Japanese Loquat, Eriobotrya Japonica Loquat is actually native to China, and has been grown in the UK since the eighteenth century. It is most valuable for its unusually large evergreen foliage. Growing up to 30 cm in length, the leathery, dark green glossy leaves have a velvety white underside. New growth in April and May is an attractive pale green against the older leaves. Japanese Loquat produces its fragrant creamy white blooms in the autumn. They will only set fruit in milder regions, but when they do, the small yellow fruits are both delicious to eat and decorative when they ripen in spring and early summer.
Hardy through most of the UK, Eriobotrya Japonica Loquat will grow to a mature height and spread of 4-8 metres in 20 to 50 years. It needs little pruning to maintain an attractive shape, but will tolerate pruning to maintain a smaller size.
Plant your Japanese Loquat in a sheltered position in full sun, with a south or west facing aspect, in any well-drained soil. Tolerant of salt and urban pollution, it is a good choice for both city and coastal locations. Disease-free and remarkably drought tolerant once established, it is a very low-maintenance plant.
The exotic appearance of Eriobotrya Japonica Loquat makes it an excellent specimen tree. Planted against a sunny wall or in a sheltered courtyard, its evergreen foliage will provide interest year-round, while the fragrant flowers will be a delight in autumn, and a good late-season nectar source for bees and butterflies. It makes a great addition to a Mediterranean-style garden, where dramatic large leaves of Japanese Loquat will combine well with traditional Mediterranean plants. In a small city garden, a tree will grow well close to a wall, or in a sheltered corner. Their dense shade will create a cool spot in the height of the summer heat.
Eriobotrya Japonica Loquat will add an exotic ambiance to your landscape, whether it produces fruit or not. The huge, distinctive evergreen leaves provide year-round interest and will most definitely be a focal point in your garden!
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