Thursday, April 24, 2008
OK...I'll answer my own question. I heart Google.
Common name: Loquat, Japanese Plum
Botanical name: Eriobotrya japonica
Avg. Height X Width: 15' x 15'
Season: January to April
Damage temp: 22 F
Comments: Loquats are shaped like Christmas trees, but they have large fuzzy leaves that are green on top and silver underneath. The fruit tastes like a combination of peach and apricot. They are most often eaten fresh, in jellies and in wines. The trees will begin fruiting at just one to two years of age.
Oooh and from my favorite source, WIKIPEDIA:
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.