Eriobotrya japonica (Rosaceae)

Common Name:


Scientific Name:

Eriobotrya japonica (Rosaceae)

Alternative common names:

 Japanese medlar; Japanese plum (English); Lukwart; Japanese mispel (Afrikaans)


A medium-sized evergreen, rounded tree up to 8m high, with stout branches and rusty, woolly down on the branches. The dark green, leathery leaves are glossy above and woolly beneath with prominent veins. White flowers appear from May to June followed by orange-yellow, pear-shaped, fleshy fruits with a few large seeds. This tree invades forests and roadsides.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

Asia (China and Japan).

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

CARA 2002 - Category 3 NEMBA - a. 1b in Western Cape and Forest biome. b. Not listen in urban areas in Western Cape. c. Not listed elsewhere. d. The fruit of the loquat is not listed if used for human consumption.

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Western Cape.

How does it spread?

The plant is spread by mammals and birds, which feed on the fruit and disseminate the seeds into the wild.

Why is it a problem?

It competes with indigenous species. It is an alternative host for the fruit fly which causes problems with the cultivation of apples, pears, peaches and plums particularly in the Western Cape.

What does it look like?

General description: Evergreen, rounded tree up to 8m high, with stout branches and rusty woolly-pubescent branchlets.
Leaves: Dark green and glossy above, rusty-pubescent beneath, stiff, leathery, prominently veined, with main veins ending in sharp teeth.
Flowers: Produces white flowers between May to June.
Fruit/Seeds: Produces orange-yellow, pear-shaped, fleshy pome, with a few large seeds.

Does the plant have any uses?

Used as an ornamental plant, has edible fruits, and birds feed on the fruits.

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