loquat

Loquat
Enlarge picture
Loquat fruit approaching maturity

Loquat fruit approaching maturity
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Rosales
Family:Rosaceae
Subfamily:Maloideae
Genus:Eriobotrya
Species:E. japonica
Binomial name
Eriobotrya japonica
(Thunb.) Lindl.
Synonyms
Mespilus japonica
Photinia japonica


The loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) is a fruit tree in the subfamily Maloideae of the family Rosaceae, indigenous to southeastern China.

Description

It is an evergreen large shrub or small tree, with a rounded crown, short trunk and woolly new twigs. The tree can grow to 5-10 m tall, but is often smaller, about 3-4 m.

The leaves are alternate, simple, 10-25 cm long, dark green, tough and leathery in texture, with a serrated margin, and densely velvety-hairy below with thick yellow-brown pubescence; the young leaves are also densely pubescent above, but this soon rubs off.

Loquats are unusual among fruit trees in that the flowers appear in the autumn or early winter, and the fruits are ripe in late winter or early spring. The flowers are 2 cm diameter, white, with five petals, and produced in stiff panicles of three to ten flowers.

Loquat fruits, growing in clusters, are oval, rounded or pear-shaped, 3-5 cm long, with a smooth or downy, yellow or orange, sometimes red-blushed skin. The succulent, tangy flesh is white, yellow or orange and sweet to subacid or acid, depending on the cultivar. Each fruit contains five ovules, of which three to five mature into large brown seeds. The skin, though thin, can be peeled off manually if the fruit is ripe.

Enlarge picture
Loquat in flower. This is a cultivar intended for home-growing, where the flowers open gradually, and thus the fruit also ripens gradually, compared to the commercially grown species where the flowers open almost simultaneously, and the whole tree's fruit also ripens together.

Use

The loquat is comparable to the apple in many aspects, with a high sugar, acid and pectin content. It is eaten as a fresh fruit and mixes well with other fruits in fresh fruit salads or fruit cups. Firm, slightly immature fruits are best for making pies or tarts. The fruits are also commonly used to make jam, jelly, and chutney, and are delicious poached in light syrup.

A type of loquat syrup is used in Chinese medicine for soothing the throat like a cough drop. Combined with other ingredients and known as pipa gao (枇杷膏; pinyin: pípágāo; literally "loquat paste"), it acts as a demulcent and an expectorant, as well as to soothe the digestive and respiratory systems. Loquats can also be used to make wine.

Like most related plants, the seeds (pips) and young leaves of the plant are slightly poisonous, containing small amounts of cyanogenetic glycocides which release cyanide when digested, though the low concentration and bitter flavour normally prevents enough being eaten to cause harm.

History

The Loquat was introduced into Japan and became naturalised there in very early times, and has been cultivated there for over 1,000 years. It has also become naturalised in India and many other areas. Chinese immigrants are presumed to have carried the loquat to Hawaii.

The Loquat was often mentioned in ancient Chinese literature, such as the poems of Li Bai.

Production

Japan is a leading producer of loquats (January to June), followed by Taiwan and China (March to July. In Bermuda, the loquat is a very popular fruit, usually available from February through April, and is commonly used in loquat jam. They are also grown in Palestine, Brazil, Turkey, Pakistan, Syria, Lebanon, Greece, Georgia, Armenia, Southern Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain (particularly around the town of Callosa d'en Sarrià), the south of France, New Zealand and northern Africa.

Cultivation

The Loquat is easy to grow and is often also grown as an ornamental tree; it was commonly grown in California by the 1870s. It also thrives in the humid south-east Texas (Houston) climate, as well as all over Palestine. The boldly textured foliage adds a tropical look to gardens, contrasting well with many other plants.

Etymology

The name loquat derives from lou4 gwat1, the Cantonese pronunciation of its old classical Chinese name (Simplified Chinese: 芦橘; Traditional Chinese: 蘆橘; Pinyin: lújú, literally "reed orange"). In modern Chinese, it is more commonly known as pipa (Chinese: 枇杷; Pinyin: pípá), from the resemblance of its shape to that of the Chinese musical instrument pipa (琵琶). Likewise, in Japanese it is called biwa, similarly named from the corresponding musical instrument, biwa. It is also known as the "Japanese medlar", an appellation used in many languages: nêspera or magnório (Portuguese), níspero (Spanish), lokaat (Hindi), nespola (Italian), náspolya (Hungarian), nespra (Catalan), nèfle du Japon or bibasse (French). Other names include: sheseq (Hebrew), Askidinya, Akkidinya, Igadinya or Bashmala (Arabic), Akkadeneh or Akka Dhuniya (Lebanese), zger or Nor Ashkhar (Armenian), mushmala (Georgian), mousmoula or mespilia (Greek), muşmula, yeni dünya, or Malta Eriği in Turkish. In both Turkish and Armenian the name literally means "new world."

See also

External links

Scientific classification or biological classification is a method by which biologists group and categorize species of organisms. Scientific classification also can be called scientific taxonomy, but should be distinguished from folk taxonomy, which lacks scientific basis.
..... Click the link for more information.
Plantae
Haeckel, 1866[1]

Divisions

Green algae
  • Chlorophyta
  • Charophyta
Land plants (embryophytes)
  • Non-vascular land plants (bryophytes)

..... Click the link for more information.
Magnoliophyta

Classes

Magnoliopsida - Dicots
Liliopsida - Monocots

The flowering plants or angiosperms are the most widespread group of land plants. The flowering plants and the gymnosperms comprise the two extant groups of seed plants.
..... Click the link for more information.
Magnoliopsida

Magnoliopsida is the botanical name for a class of flowering plants. By definition the class will include the family Magnoliaceae, but its can otherwise vary, being more inclusive or less inclusive depending upon the classification system being
..... Click the link for more information.
Rosales
Perleb

Families

Barbeyaceae
Cannabaceae (hemp family)
Dirachmaceae
Elaeagnaceae (oleaster/Russian olive family)
Moraceae (mulberry family)
Rhamnaceae (buckthorn family)
..... Click the link for more information.
Rosaceae
Juss.

Global distribution of Rosaceae


Subfamilies

Rosoideae
Spiraeoideae
Maloideae
Amygdaloideae or Prunoideae

The Rosaceae
..... Click the link for more information.
Maloideae

Genera

Amelanchier - serviceberry, juneberry
Aronia - chokeberry
Chaenomeles - Japanese quince
Cotoneaster - cotoneaster
Crataegus - hawthorn
Cydonia - quince
Docynia
..... Click the link for more information.
Eriobotrya
Lindl.

Species

About 10, including:
Eriobotrya deflexa
Eriobotrya grandiflora
Eriobotrya hookeriana
Eriobotrya japonica - Loquat
Eriobotrya prinoides

Eriobotrya
..... Click the link for more information.
binomial nomenclature is the formal system of naming species. The system is also called binominal nomenclature (particularly in zoological circles), binary nomenclature (particularly in botanical circles), or the binomial classification system.
..... Click the link for more information.
Carl Peter Thunberg (November 11, 1743–August 8, 1828) was a Swedish naturalist. He has been called "the father of South African botany" and the "Japanese Linnaeus".
..... Click the link for more information.
John Lindley (February 8, 1799 - November 1, 1865) was an English botanist.

Lindley was born at Catton, near Norwich, where his father, George Lindley, author of A Guide to the Orchard and Kitchen Garden, owned a nursery garden.
..... Click the link for more information.
In scientific nomenclature, synonyms are different scientific names used for a single taxon. Usage and terminology are different for zoology and botany.

Zoology

In zoological nomenclature, synonyms are different scientific names that pertain to the same taxon, for example
..... Click the link for more information.
Maloideae

Genera

Amelanchier - serviceberry, juneberry
Aronia - chokeberry
Chaenomeles - Japanese quince
Cotoneaster - cotoneaster
Crataegus - hawthorn
Cydonia - quince
Docynia
..... Click the link for more information.
Rosaceae
Juss.

Global distribution of Rosaceae


Subfamilies

Rosoideae
Spiraeoideae
Maloideae
Amygdaloideae or Prunoideae

The Rosaceae
..... Click the link for more information.
This page contains Chinese text.
Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters.
China (Traditional Chinese:
..... Click the link for more information.
evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves all year round. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose all their foliage for part of the year.

Leaf persistence in evergreen plants may vary from only a few months (with new leaves constantly being grown and old
..... Click the link for more information.
A shrub or bush is a horticultural rather than strictly botanical category of woody plant, distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and lower height, usually less than 5-6 m (15-20 ft) tall.
..... Click the link for more information.
tree is a perennial woody plant. It is sometimes defined as a woody plant that attains diameter of 10 cm (30 cm girth) or more at breast height (130 cm above ground).
..... Click the link for more information.
leaf is an above-ground plant organ specialized for photosynthesis. For this purpose, a leaf is typically flat (laminar) and thin, to expose the cells containing chloroplast (chlorenchyma tissue, a type of parenchyma) to light over a broad area, and to allow light to penetrate
..... Click the link for more information.
Editing of this page by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled due to vandalism.
If you are prevented from editing this page, and you wish to make a change, please discuss changes on the talk page, request unprotection, log in, or .
..... Click the link for more information.
panicle is a compound raceme, a loose, much-branched indeterminate inflorescence with pedicellate flowers (and fruit) attached along the secondary branches (in other words, a branched cluster of flowers in which the branches are racemes).
..... Click the link for more information.
cultivar is a cultivated plant that has been selected and given a unique name because it has desirable characteristics (decorative or useful) that distinguish it from otherwise similar plants of the same species. When propagated it retains those characteristics.
..... Click the link for more information.
Editing of this page by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled due to vandalism.
If you are prevented from editing this page, and you wish to make a change, please discuss changes on the talk page, request unprotection, log in, or .
..... Click the link for more information.
Pectin, a white to light brown powder, is a heteropolysaccharide derived from the cell wall of higher terrestrial plants. It was first isolated and described in 1825 by Henri Braconnot[1].

It is mainly used in food as a gelling agent in jams and jellies.
..... Click the link for more information.
Fruit preserves refers to fruit, or vegetables, that have been prepared, canned or jarred for long term storage. The preparation of fruit preserves traditionally involves the use of pectin.
..... Click the link for more information.
Fruit preserves refers to fruit, or vegetables, that have been prepared, canned or jarred for long term storage. The preparation of fruit preserves traditionally involves the use of pectin.
..... Click the link for more information.
chutney (British spelling), chatni (Urdu or Hindi transliteration) or catni (archaic transliteration) is a term for a variety of sweet and spicy condiments, originally from South Asia. Chutney may be dry or wet; dry chutney is generally in the form of powder.
..... Click the link for more information.
syrup (from Arabic شراب sharab, beverage, via Latin siropus) is a thick, viscous liquid, containing a large amount of dissolved sugars, but showing little tendency to deposit crystals.
..... Click the link for more information.
Traditional Chinese medicine (also known as TCM, Simplified Chinese: 中医; Traditional Chinese: 中醫; Pinyin:
..... Click the link for more information.
A throat lozenge or cough drop is a small, medicated candy intended to be dissolved slowly in the mouth to lubricate and soothe irritated tissues of the throat (usually due to a sore throat), possibly from the common cold or influenza.
..... Click the link for more information.


This article is copied from an article on Wikipedia.org - the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community. The text was not checked or edited by anyone on our staff. Although the vast majority of the wikipedia encyclopedia articles provide accurate and timely information please do not assume the accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License.