There are plenty that help up know spring has arrived including Magnolia, Wisteria, Ranunculus and this…

It’s a Loquat tree and I grew up with one of these in my backyard and my brothers and I would climb and play in it for hours. Another thing we did was eat bucket loads of the fruit it produced every spring. With the stomach aches I had from eating so much fruit, I know a little bit about loquats.

While not as popular as they once were, you’ll find varieties excellent fruiting varieties in your local Mitre 10 garden centre. They are easy to grow and tolerate a wide range of soil types.

The Loquat originated in China and has spread around the world. They are incredibly touch. As you can see here, this one is growing in a verge. This evergreen makes a very attractive and well-shaped tree. The foliage is glossy with a downy reverse and ideal as a backdrop to add a tropical feel to the garden.

For me, the main reason for growing a loquat is the fruit. If you can beat the birds, then you’ll enjoy something very special.

The fruit is only produced over a few weeks. The skin bruises easily so you don’t normally see lots at your green grocers which makes loquats a bit of a delicacy.

The fruit is pear shaped and hangs in clusters which ripen from the top down. You can tell when a loquat is ripe by the colour, it should be a deep yellow to orange and the flesh is a little soft to touch.

Granted there are a lot of seeds and not too much flesh in a loquat, although the newer cultivars have more flesh, the flavor is fantastic. It’s quite unique. It’s aromatic and quite tangy.

Plenty of people have had a go at describing the taste some saying it’s a cross between pear, apricot and pineapple others peach, citrus and mild mango, either way I think it tastes fantastic.

If you’re looking at planting something evergreen, a bit tropical looking, easy to grow and produces a ripper fruit, then I reckon it’s hard to go past a loquat.




About The Author

In the Garden is an exciting new local South Australian TV program on Channel 9 this Summer & next Autumn showcasing the best ‘green’ stories this state has to tell. Check out the latest in garden trends, new plants and top tips to keep those gardens blooming.