Fruit and vegetables

Loquat - Mespilus germanica

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GeneralitŠ°

The Mespilus germanica is a shrub or small tree native to Europe and Asia, with deciduous leaves, not very long-lived, which in advanced age can reach 4-6 m in height. The bark is greyish, smooth; the crown is rounded, very branched, dense. The leaves are large, with short petioles, oval, dark green on the upper page, almost white on the lower page. In the spring, in May, it produces solitary flowers, at the apex of the new branches, white in color. In autumn, the medlar tree produces round, intense orange fruits, which have a shape similar to a crown on the upper part, the medlars contain 3-5 large seeds. The fruits of Mespilus germanica are edible, but their flavor is strongly acidic; medlars are usually picked after the first autumn freeze and dried in a cool, dark place, until the skin has turned brown, only in this way can sweet fruits be tasted.

M. cuneatus is a species present in Asia, always with edible fruits, also used in oriental medicine.


Exposure

Loquat needs sunny positions to grow without problems, but it also develops well in semi-shaded positions, where it can enjoy sunlight for at least a few hours every day. This plant isn't afraid of the cold weather, however we recommend repairing the very young specimens for the first winter after planting, placing them in a place that is also sheltered from the wind, a factor that can ruin the branches. Mespilus germanica is a rustic and resistant variety and can easily withstand even winter temperatures reaching - 15 ° C, thus becoming plants that can also be planted in places at high altitude.

These plants have a life cycle that can reach fifty years, even if the fruit production will gradually decrease.

To have a more vigorous development, the medlar plant should initially be exposed for a certain period to temperatures around 7 ° C.

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