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Loquat (eriobotrya japonica)
A small evergreen tree belonging to the 'rosaceae' family that includes apples and pears. It was native to central China, but first cultivated in Japan (it is sometimes known as Japanese loquat or Japanese medlar), and first brought to Europe in 1787 for the beauty of its foliage.
In sub-tropical conditions, it produces delicious small yellow plum-like fruit about 4cm / one and a half inches long, with a sweet perfumed flesh. Some varieties have large pips that rather swamp the quality of the flesh.
The fruit can be candied, and also makes pleasant jelly.
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